The Needles Walk
This circular walk pays a visit to the famous chalk sea stacks on the Isle of Wight Coast.
Start the walk from the Needles car park on Alum Bay New Rd, Totland Bay with a postcode of PO39 0JD for your sat navs. From the car park you can pick up footpaths heading west to the White Cliffs and The Needles. The row of three stacks of chalk rise about 30m out of the sea off the western extremity of the island. The Needles Lighthouse stands at the western end of the formation and was built in 1859. These unusual stacks were featured on the BBC Two TV programme Seven Natural Wonders (2005) as one of the wonders of Southern England. They take their name from a fourth needle-shaped pillar called Lot's Wife, which collapsed in a storm in 1764. Although the remaining three stacks do not resemble a needle the name has stuck.
At the western end you'll also find the old batteries built above the stacks to guard the West end of the Solent. These are now owned by the National Trust with more information here. There's also lovely views to Alum Bay on the north side and Scratchell's Bay on the south side.
You can then head east along a section of the coastal path, passing the coastguard cottages, before returning to the car park.
The area is also run as a tourist attraction where you can enjoy wonderful views from the chairlift.
PostcodePO39 0JD - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
Please click here for more information
The Needles Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
The Needles Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
The Needles OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
The Needles Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
At the batteries you will find a nice National Trust tea room where you can stop for refreshments. The tea room is in an attractive vintage style with transporting you back to the 1940s. There's excellent views over the area as the tea-room is located in the Port War Signal Station that was specifically built to give the clearest, closest views of shipping in the Solent and around the Needles.
The park is a fine place for a dog walk though you are asked to keep them on leads. They are not allowed in some of the buildings on the site though. The National Trust tea room mentioned above does have a dog friendly seating area downstairs though.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
To continue your walking in the area you could head east and climb to Tennyson Down for fine views over the area. You'll also find the Tennyson monument here which is dedicated to the famous poet that lived in the area. He was the Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria's reign and wrote the famous poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade". You can reach the down by following the Tennyson Trail and the Isle of Wight Coast Path. These two waymarked trails are a great way of further exploring the area around The Needles.
You could also head east along the coast path to visit the lovely Freshwater Bay. Here you can join with the waymarked Freshwater Way on the Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay Walk.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Isle of Wight Walks page.