Alum Bay’s coloured sands and the Needles Rocks have to be on your holiday itinerary so you must visit The Needles Landmark Attraction. An exciting chair lift down to the beach, a boat trip to see the Needles and Lighthouse and the cliff-top amusements will make memories you’ll treasure.

Tabs

Save 10% off car ferry travel with admission tickets when booking together as a package deal.


How to book
:

  • Step 1: Add your attraction tickets to the basket below (minimum of 1 x family/group or 2 x adult/senior tickets).
  • Step 2: Click here to book the ferry (the ferry discount will be shown on the checkout page).

Perched at the westernmost end of the Isle of Wight, Needles Landmark Attraction sees over half a million visitors a year. Pay for your car parking, then purchase a book of saver tickets, which you can spend wherever you wish, topping them up if you run out.

Most people opt to try out the chair lift first – Jude Law took his children on here when he came to the island. At first you skim the tops of the trees and then suddenly the edge of the cliff appears and your heart leaps into your throat as you drop, very slowly, to the pebble beach below.

Take a leisurely boat trip or an exhilarating rib ride from here to the Needles Rocks and Trinity Lighthouse, making sure to bring a camera. See the tunnel entrances in the foot of the majestic chalk cliffs and look back on the coloured sands. Then you can walk back up to the cliff top – or take the chair lift if you dare.

Fill a glass ornament with those coloured sands at the top, and take the kids on the fun fairground style rides. See the glass blowers at work in the Alum Bay Glass Factory and watch sugar being made into all manner of confectionary in the Sweet Manufactory, then buy it in the shop.

Thursdays are party days during the summer at the attraction with live radio broadcasts, magic, mayhem and Music and Magic in the Skies as the sun goes down – a marvellous finale to your holiday.

Availability

  • the Needles site is open daily throughout the year. Family attractions are only open April to October

Opening times

  • generally opens at 10:00 - please check the calendar on the left for specific days and times

Last admission

  • 1 hour before closing time 

Parking

  • large car park

Accessibility

  • all public areas of the site (except for some rides and the beach) are accessible to wheelchair users.
  • the physical nature of the park results in some steep slopes which may need to be negotiated with care
  • disabled toilet facilities
  • assistance dogs are welcome

Children

  • baby changing facilities

Cafe

  • hot and cold meals available in The Marconi's restaurant
  • Marconi's is a licensed bar and tea rooms
  • during the summer months there are a wide range of catering kiosks located around the site

Gift shop

  • Pier Head Shopping Emporium with its facinating range of souviners
  • Alum Bay Glass shop where the glassmakers make a large range of beuatiful gifts
  • Sweet Shop where skilled sweet makers create treats for every sweet tooth
  • Sand shop where kids of all ages will enjoy making their own souvenir with 21 shades of Alum Bay sands

Summer Fireworks and Entertainment - Thursday 3, 10, 17 and 24 & 31 August!

  • Join in for 'Music and Magic in the Skies' a pyromusical extravaganza with loads of entertainment throughout the day

We hope you enjoy your visit and don't forget to tweet a pic

What's the deal with Supersaver tickets?

  • Supersaver ticket books come in sheets of 12 individual tickets, with one ticket book being purchased for £9. Each individual ticket has a park value of £1 and can be used on The Needles rides. That means you can make a saving of up to 25% on your day out.  Supersaver tickets are available between 1 April and the end of October each year
  • Buying a ticket with Red Funnel also includes the car parking charge (normally £5.00)


What package shall I buy?

  • Supersaver 1 ticket includes car parking for one car and a book of 12 single tokens for use on the attractions
  • Supersaver 2 ticket includes car parking for one car and 2 books of 12 single tokens (24) for use on the attractions
  • Supersaver 3 ticket includes car parking for one car and 3 books of 12 single tokens (36) for use on the attractions
  • if you need more tickets you can always purchase another book on the day at The Needles

How many ticket for a ride?

Chairlift Travel
Prices Stated are per person

Single Ticket

Supersaver Ticket

Chairlift Unlimited travel wristband

£9.00

n/a

Chairlift return

£6.00

6

Chairlift one way

£4.00

4

Pay as you Go Attractions
Prices Stated are Per-Person

Single Ticket

Supersaver Ticket

4D Cinema Experience

£4.00

4

Water Walkerz

£4.00

4

Water Peddlerz

£3.00

3

Jurassic Golf

£3.00

3

Vintage Cars

£2.00

2

Carousel

£2.00

2

Tea Cup Ride

£2.00

2

Games Kiosk - per game

£2.00

2

Sweet Manufactury Demonstration

£1.00

1

Alum Bay Glass Demonstration

£1.00

1

The Needles Landmark Attraction Address: Alum Bay New Road, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight, PO39 0JD

Ask someone if they've been to the Isle of Wight and where they went while there, nine times out of ten they'll mention the Needles, Alum Bay coloured sands and the Needles Park attraction on the cliff above the beach, which includes a chairlift to the beach.

The iconic chalk stacks that reach out to see at the westernmost tip of the Island are the tail of a chalk ridge that flows through the Island, practically from end to end. Crowned by the now unmanned Needles lighthouse, a generation of children grew up watching BBC TV's Blue Peter delivering Christmas goodies to the former lighthouse keepers.

On top of the chalk cliff sits the Needles Old Battery last used in WWII and further up is the Needles New Battery that last saw use as at rocket testing station during the Cold War. Both are open to the public, along with the test sites. Three of the four coastguard cottages nearby, owned by the National Trust, can be rented out for holidays.

The chalk ridge is between 65 million years on the southern side to 66 million years old on the northern side and the strata bordering this is of the Alum Bay sands, which are said to contain 21 different colours. The strata are now vertical because of a buckling of the earth's crust around 60 million years ago – this is thought to be when the Alps were formed.

The Victorians began selling the different coloured sands to visitors and built sand sheds on the beach and on the walk down from the top of the cliffs. Test tubes and other glass shaped vessels could be filled and people could collect the sand from the cliffs for themselves and fill bottles and other items on the beach. Amazingly this was still happening in the 1960s, but due to the continual threat of erosion and the danger of this folly, the cliffs are now closed to the public.

If you wish to fill glass vessels with sand you now go to the Sand Shop at the top of the cliff where there are loads of large boxes filled with the 21 different hues. Mike Kullander is the manager of this shop and has been with the park for over 30 years.

"The big sand building was built in 1987," said Mike. "I've tried sand huts on the beach but lost them to the sea. At the same time we sealed off and pedestrianized the top of the steps area and a road to the car park was built.

"We only use the sand that falls down the cliff every season and we do preserve the sand because otherwise it would be washed away every winter. "There are 21 colours and the only one we don't have is blue," added Mike.

At the top of the cliffs stood the Royal Needles Hotel where Marconi made his very first telegraphic message. The building is long gone but a monument near the viewing platform commemorates his magnificent achievement.

With a largish footprint on the 20 acre site, is the Needles Park, set at the top of the steps to the beach, which has a varied collection of things to do, eat and see. Newest to this is the Marconi's, a vintage themed bar and coffee shop with terrace overlooking the promenade. On one side of this is the restaurant and on the other is the cavernous Victorian themed gift shop. Towards the car park from here are the Sweet Factory and the IW Glass Studios.

Further in to the attraction are rides: a traditional carosel, a kiosk full of traditional games, spinning teacups, vintage cars on a railed circuit, Spin Cycles that turn 360 degrees when you pedal them and the new water zorbing pool. Super saver tickets can be purchased that have to be exchanged for the rides and games and a book of 12 costs only £9 .

The chairlift from the top of the cliff to the beach was built in 1971. "The third tressel at the top of the cliff (as the chairlift starts to fall down the cliff) has a block of concrete the size of a small bungalow under it and is built onto bedrock," said Mike. "The gold sand at the top of the cliff is the same stuff as Ayers Rock." he added. From the beach you can take a boat trip or fast RIB ride out to the Needles stacks. A camera takes your photo as you ascend on the chairlift and you can purchase a print from a kiosk at the top.

Read more

1.Starting Point Red Jet Terminal Cowes

Step off the Red Jet into Fountain Yard and you’re in the world’s yachting capital of Cowes that hosts the infamous Cowes Week regatta at the beginning of August. The Yacht Haven is to your left and in the summer it will be glittering with yachts of every shape and size – you’ll probably have already seen quite a few on your voyage over the Solent. Cowes is probably the best shopping town on the Island too, with lots of upmarket chains (mainly sailing connected) and boutique quirky shops, plus great pubs and restaurants.

Bit of History: Cowes was where the first ever America’s Cup was held in 1851 and is where you will find the prestigious Royal Yacht Squadron – which fires the canons to start the races during Cowes Week.

2. Bus Journey to Alum Bay

You need to take the number 1 bus to Newport that will be waiting in Fountain Yard outside the door to the Red Funnel terminal. Then change at the bus station in Newport to the number 7 bus to Alum Bay. Buy your ticket all the way through to Alum Bay when you get on at Cowes and just show it to the driver on the second bus, as otherwise you will be paying more than you need to. If you intend to do more exploring during the day (such as the trips later in this guide) then get a Day Rover for £10.

The bus journeys will take you through some beautiful countryside, skirting Parkhurst Forest and giving views across the fields to Newtown Creek. You travel through the pretty port of Yarmouth (great boutique shops) and Totland before you arrive at Alum Bay car park.

3. Buying your tickets

The Needles Landmark Attraction sits at the top of the cliffs here and is well worth exploring, especially if you have children. It is here that you buy the book of tickets you need to take the chair lift to the beach (and back) that will also let you take the fairground rides. You buy the boat tickets to the Needles at the beach, so make sure you have cash and/or cards with you.

4. Chair Lift

Just the same as a ski lift, the chair lift continually moves very slowly and you will be helped onto your seats by an experienced assistant. You’ll move horizontally over the top of some tall trees until you get to the edge of the cliff and then the chair lift angle changes to about 45 degrees and you’re dropping gently to the beach. You’ll see the coloured sands of the famous cliffs beneath your feet and to the left. At the bottom you’ll be helped out of your seats by another kind assistant and you make your way to your choice of boat.

5. Boat to the Needles

You can take a sturdy little ferry style boat or a fast rib ride out to the see the Needles chalk stacks and the lighthouse. Look out for the entrances to the tunnels at the bottom of the cliffs and the lookouts hewn into the chalk. Turn to look back at the beach and you have one of the best views of the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay and the turquoise sea. As you round the lighthouse the almost perfect semi-circular bite out of the cliff that is Scratchell’s Bay comes into view.

6. Needles Landmark Attraction

Retrace your journey back to the top of the cliff by chair lift and they take a photo of you as you get to the top of the cliff. A sign will tell you to look at the camera. You can then buy the photo from the kiosk at the top. Or you can walk up all of the steps if you prefer a bit of exercise. At the top you can fill a glass ornament with layers of the coloured sands, watch sweets being made in the Sweet Factory or see the artisan glass makers blowing swirly coloured glassware at Alum Bay Glass, making sure to buy some top quality mementos. There are loads of rides and stuff to do for kids and a large giftshop. Look for the memorial to Marconi, who sent his first radio signal from this location.

7. Spot of Lunch

Named for the pioneer radio transmitter, Marconi’s Restaurant has a selection of self-service hot and cold meals and you can sit inside or out. Next door Marconi’s Tea Rooms have a range of yummy cakes, hot and cold drinks and both are fully licensed. Check the Special Offers page on their website as there may be a food deal. http://www.theneedles.co.uk/pages/offers

7a. Bus to Old and New Batteries (optional)

Walk up to the top of the car park and you can take a Needles Breezer Bus to the Old and New Batteries at the tip of the white cliffs from which the Needles emerge. Well worth a look, the Old Battery has a really cool passageway to a lookout over the Needles. The New Battery hosts an exhibition to the Rocket Men who tested rocket engines here under total secrecy during the Cold War. You can see the remains of the bunkers they used and get to meet the men themselves.

8. Bus back to Cowes. Optional stop off in Yarmouth

Take the Needles Breezer all the way back to Yarmouth and you could stop off here for a meander around the town, with its cool shops and interesting castle. Blue is a great ladies fashion and lifestyle shop; Harwoods is a chandlery shop but has so much more, including fashion and homeware; Drift has lovely Fair Trade jewellery, wall hangings and vases; Yarmouth Gallery features the work of owner Ann Toms and many other Island artists. There are also a handful of great hostelries; The Wheatsheaf, The King’s Head, The Bugle and the more upmarket George Hotel.

Then take the number 7 bus to Newport and change onto the number I bus to Cowes. (If you are going to take the stop off in Yarmouth option, buy a Day Rover in Cowes. If you just want to go directly back to Cowes from the Needles then take the number 7 back to Newport and the number 1 to Cowes).

9. Supper in Cowes before going home

It would be a real shame not to see a bit of the famous Cowes before getting your Red Jet back to Southampton. Wander down to The Parde and see the historic Royal Yacht Squadron, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2015, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and The Royal London Yacht Club and then have a drink and some supper at the new Yachtsman pub. Or opt for another eatery in the town such as the cool Mess Canteen, Nomad’s fusion street food, Coast’s fab pizzas or the new North House hotel’s fine dining and oyster bar – and there are many more.

10. End Point Red jet Terminal Cowes

Your bus drops you right at the Red Jet terminal, whether you choose to mooch around Cowes is up to you! Have a great trip and we hope to see you back again soon.

Buy your tickets here today...

Save on the Needles Landmark tickets

  • View The Needles from the chair lift
  • Visit the famous coloured sands
  • Buy below and our price includes car parking
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