Wight. COWES. 10. Route. 75
Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, lies about 1 M. to the W. Lady Tenny¬
son is buried in the churchyard. The bay contains two isolated rocks
resembling the Needles (see below). Coach to Ventnor, see p. 71.
The *Walk along the cliffs from Freshwater Bay to Alum Bay
is one of the most enjoyable excursions in the island. From the
Freshwater Bay Hotel we ascend along the edge of the downs, over¬
looking the sea, to (72 hr.) High Down (485 ft.), which is marked
by a Memorial to Tennyson and affords a splendid "View of the sea
to the S., of the Solent and the Hampshire coast to the N., and of the
W. part of the island. Totland Bay (see below) lies below us on the
N. Continuing to follow the edge of the chalk-cliffs for 2-272 M.
more, we come in sight of Alum Bay and the Needles. (The best
view is obtained from the fort at the point, but visitors are not al¬
ways admitted.) At the point we are about 1 M. from the Needles
Hotel (see below), which lies a little inland from the bay.
In fine weather it is, perhaps, preferable to make the excursion from
Freshwater Bay to Alum Bay by boat, as this affords a better view of the
Needles and the fine cliffs (boat with boatmen 10-15s. or more). The
perpendicular Freshwater Cliffs, 400-500 ft. high, consist of chalk with
clearly defined layers or ribbons of flint. The finest are those of *Main
Bench, where numerous sea-fowl breed in spring. Before reaching the
Needles we pass the entrance of "Scratchell's Bay, a small but imposing
recess, where the action of the water on the lower strata of the chalk
cliffs has formed a magnificent natural arch, 200 ft. in height.
*Alum Bay (Royal Needles Hotel, R. from 4s., luncheon 2s. 6d.-3s.,
D. 5s.), so named because alum is found here, is remarkable for the
curious and pleasing effect produced by the vertical stripes of red,
yellow, green, and grey sandstone, contrasting with the white chalk
of the rest oT the cliffs. The *Needles are three white, pointed rocks
of chalk, resting on dark-coloured bases, and rising abruptly from
the sea to a height of 100 ft. On the outermost is a lighthouse.
Numerous excursion-steamers call at Alum Bay pier in summer.
Totland Bay (Totland Bay Hotel,R. from 4s., D. 5s.), about ii/2 M.
totheN. of Alum Bay, is another charming little watering-place, with
a pier and good boating and bathing. Steamers ply to Alum Bay,
Yarmouth, and Lymington in summer.
From Newport to Cowes, 4M., railway in 15-20min. (fares Is.,
9d., 4d.). •— The road (472 M.) passes the Union Workhouse (right)
and (left) Albany Barracks and Parkhurst Prison. Those who prefer
it may descend the Medina in a rowing-boat.
West Cowes. — 'Gloster, R. from 5s., D. 5s.; Marine; Fountain;
Pier; Globe, R. from 3s. 6d., D. from 2s. 6d. — Steamboats to South¬
ampton and to Ryde and Portsmouth several times daily.
West Cowes, a busy little town, prettily situated, containing
8664 inhab., and possessing the best harbour in the island, has
yacht-building yards, and is the headquarters of the Royal Yacht
Squadron, the 300 members of which are the owners of craft vary¬
ing in size from 40 to 500 tons, and employ 2000 of the best English