Alum Bay is well known for its multi-coloured sand cliffs and stunning views across the Solent. Many homes around the world have a glass object filled with sand as a memento of a visit to Alum Bay and The Needles, but perhaps less well-known is Alum Bay’s history.
Approximately 70 million years ago, the sea bed rose, was eroded and then sank beneath the sea again. The new sea was shallow and it laid down a series of sands and clay. Some 10 million years later, movement in the bedrock caused these sediments to be pushed up vertically to form the multi-coloured cliffs that are visible today
The sands are made of three minerals – quartz, felspar and mica, and in their pure state are white with other colours being produced through contamination by other minerals. Visitors can fill their own shapes with the coloured sand in The Sand Shop.
In the latter part of the 18th century, the first tourists started to arrive at Alum Bay and during the early part of the 19th century, it became an essential place to visit during an Isle of Wight holiday. During the two World Wars, however, the Alum Bay area was heavily militarised and access to visitors was barred.
A Great Family Day Out!
As we are a big family we bought the supersaver tickets to go on chairlift. This was amazing, I am not good with heights but it was very gentle and the views were stunning. Alum bay is gorgeous, we were lucky with the weather and spent about an hour on the beach...Lovely day out, something you should see if you go to the Isle of Wight
A must do when visiting Isle of Wight
We visited as a large family group and went on the cables cars down to the beach, this was great fun and we all agreed we would do it again on our next holiday.
A natural wonder!
What a stunning place, so beautiful in any weather. The views are incredible.
A. Whittall, Hampshire