Coloured cliffs and the Needles rocks

NEAR THE WESTERNMOST point on the Isle of Wight, lies Alum Bay. From its pebble beach, the Needles rock formation with their light house can easily be seen. Turn your back on the Needles and you will see that the bay and its beach have a backdrop of folded cliffs. These are not any old cliffs. They are multi-coloured.

The colouration of the cliffs is caused by the presence of oxidised iron compounds formed under different conditions.

The beach from which the coloured cliffs can be seen can be reached two ways. Either by foot, using a series of staircases, or by travelling on a spectacular set of chairs suspended from cables: a sort of funicular. I recommend descending by foot to enjoy the views at leisure and returning using the chair lift. However, descending on the latter is also said to be an exciting experience.

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