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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > England > Yarmouth beaches, Isle of Wight

About Yarmouth beaches, Isle of Wight

The small town of Yarmouth is a pretty tangle of streets and a cosy Isle of Wight resort serving the beautiful striped cliffs and golden sands of Alum Bay. The coastline here is the island at its most dramatic: at its most westernmost point lie the Needles, chunks of chalk rising from the sea that resemble jagged teeth.

Beach:

Alum Bay, a sandy beach set beneath technicolour cliffs, is the Isle of Wight’s most stunning bay. In summer a chair lift, with stupendous views, takes eager visitors to the beach, but otherwise you can access the beach by a footpath via the broad gorge of Alum Bay Chine.

Beyond the beach:

Tennyson Down (named after the poet who once lived here) is a brisk 6km (4 mile) walk between the Needles and Freshwater Bay. At the latter, you can visit Dimbola Lodge (www.dimbola.co.uk), the former home of photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, which now houses displays of her work and other interesting exhibitions.

Family fun:

Needle Park (www.theneedles.co.uk), at the top of the cliffs, has a cheerful array of rides and tacky souvenir shops, as well as a sweet factory where you can see sugary goodness being made and then enjoy the results. In summer, you can take the chairlift down to the beach from here: a spectacular trip with great views of the famous Needles. You can also visit the Needles Old Battery (West High Down, Alum Bay) a 19th-century fort used during WWII. The nearest resort is Yarmouth, which is a picturesque maze of streets.

Exploring further:

Splashing out: