Alum Bay is the location of a classic sequence of upper Paleocene and Eocene beds of soft sands and clays. The strata in the main section of the bay are near vertical and the sands are coloured due to oxidised iron compounds formed under different conditions. A stunning view of the Needles rock formation is available from Alum Bay, along with optional boat trips from the pier.
Such is the variety of colour in the sands that they were used in Victorian times for marmotinto, a popular artform.
Alum Bay is great for all ages, but perhaps a little overwhelming for the very youngest visitors
Here's some of the most frequently-asked questions about school visits to Alum Bay, posed by teachers and other group leaders
No. There are no toilets or refreshments down at the beach level. You need to take everything with you. The nearest toilets are at the Needles Attraction at the top of the hill during their opening hours.
Yes - there is no charge for entry to Alum Bay, however the only parking within a reasonable walking distance is at the Needles Attraction at the top of the hill where they charge for parking throughout the main season.
Alum Bay can be accessed via a public footpath leading down from the Needles Attraction. Bear in mind there are LOTS of steps involved as the beach sits at the bottom of a deep ravine. As an alternative, during the summer a chairlift operates from within the Needles Attraction but this is chargeable and has some age/height constraints.
The following Alum Bay educational resources are FREE to use when you book your trip with Education Destination. Some include pre or post-visit classroom work, others are on-site activities. All are accompanied by detailed Teacher Notes and some even have sample lesson plans!
Prepared by our expert team of teachers with local Island knowledge, each resource addresses a specific National Curriculum topic. Click on any image for full details.