Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Needles in Isle Of Wight

Always being used to having lazy weekends, today I decided to go ahead with a day trip to Isle of Wight although a friend bailed out this morning. Revisiting this post, it was over a year ago since I first visited the island. We took the Red Jet High Speed Ferry which was roughly a twenty minutes ride to Cowes. The tickets cost GBP 17.60 for a day return. From the pier, you can travel to the capital using Bus No 1. We got the Day Rover ticket which was only GBP 10.00 which entitles you to unlimited travel on buses on the island including the Open Top Tour Buses.

Newport: Capital of Isle Of Wight

After several scenic bus rides, we reached Alum Bay with the intention to visit the Needles. With our 1 Day Rover pass, we hop on the Needles Breezer bus which took us up to top of the hill.

Alum Bay in The Background
Scenic Views All Over The Island

The wind was very strong and thank god I came prepared. In the picture below, you can see The Needles. The description from Wikipedia as follow:

"The Needles is a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise out of the sea off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight, England, close to Alum Bay. A lighthouse designed by Scottish civil engineer James Walker has stood at the western end of the formation since 1859." The distinct light house has been unmanned since 1995.

The Needles
The Needles In The Background

I also discovered that there was a secret space exploration laboratory set up here and the first UK Satelite was launched from here and although it is still in orbit, it is no longer in use. The place was demolished after government funds were frozen and the facility was shut and the bull dozers sent in to demolish it. Sophisticated underground tunnels were covered with rubble until the National Trust purchased the place and open it up to public.

New Battery Isle Of Wight
Secret Rocket Launch Pad

Back at Alum Bay, we took the open air cable car ride to the pebble beach closer to cliffs covered by the amazing coloured sands. It is due to the rich content of minerals that give the cliff its amazing colour. There is a record of 21 colours of sands from here. The Victorians used to collect the sands in glass bottles, they are arranged it in layers of colour which makes its a very nice work of art.

Coloured Sands of Alum Bay
Coloured Sands of Alum Bay

That's all for now and it was a great Sunday spent.



Song Yia said...

I can't help but notice you labeled each picture with and a CROWN!

Pete said...

... jealous of all the fun trips :(