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view across the Needles

The Needles

The Needles

in/near Isle Of Wight, Isle Of Wight,
England South East

Review added: 11/02/2007 16:41
By: velvet202 (0.00 earned from reviews) Earn 's

"The Needles are situated on the most western point of the Isle of Wight and describe the three jagged chalk rock formations which rise majestically out of the sea. These and the red and white striped lighthouse on the third and farthest rock form the island's most famous landmark.

The Isle of Wight was once connected to Dorset by a chalk ridge, which ran across the centre of the island and into the sea. However, the tributaries of the Solent River and the battering of the sea's waves gradually wore away the chalk band. The Needles and the old Harry Rocks in Dorset are its last remainings. For a long time, the Needles consisted of four pinnacles but the fourth rock collapsed during a heavy storm in 1764.

The 30m high rocks have always been hazardous to many ships and seamen. Consequently, in 1782, the lighthouse was built according to the designs of R. Jupp, who was the surveyor for the East India Company.
Directly overlooking the famous Needles is the Needles Old Battery, which is a Victorian coastal fort which was established in the late 19th century as a defense against French invasion. Due to its spectacular location, the fort was later used as a lookout during the Second World War. At the base of the cliffs, visitors will see the coloured sands of Alum Bay, from where the Needles extend out to sea.

The Needles are highly regarded as a navigational and recreational area. The rocks are a focal point of the 'Round the Island Race', which is one of the most prestigious internationally renowned yacht-racing events in which sailors compete for the Gold roman Bowl. They are also very popular with bird watchers due to large swarms of sea birds, puffins, razorbills, cormorants and gulls.

The Needles offer a spectacular view when visited during the warm months, from March until the end of September. The nearest towns are Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington. With its picturesque white formations, the Needles have been praised in many a contemporary film and crime fiction. The formations are unique and attract thousands of visitors each year."

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