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The Colourful Sands of Alum Bay – Isle of Wight, England

You will find this beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight – a small island just off the coast of mainland England.

It’s called Alum Bay and it is famous for its colourful sand cliffs.

The rugged, steep cliffs run almost vertically down to the turquoise sea and glisten in the sun in a staggering 21 different shades split in five main colour groups: red, green, white, yellow-brown and black.

It is beautiful to see and the place has been one of the biggest attractions on the Isle of Wight since Victorian times. People would come to visit and fill up glass bottles with alternating layers of the coloured sand to take home as a memento of their visit.

The souvenirs are still very popular today.

In fact, a shop in the small amusement park on the clifftops specialises in just that – see-through vessels in any shape and size which you can fill up yourself from big vats with sparkly multicoloured sand.

Alum Bay was the first place I visited on the Isle of Wight eight years ago. I re-visited it again this summer and, together with my family, I spent some time on the beach in the shadow of the colourful cliffs.

I took this picture there trying to capture in the beauty of the place – the sea with a boat and a pier on one hand, the fabled cliffs with the chairlift on the other and the pebbly beach between the two with the scores of people who flock there every day to admire nature at her very best.

Have you been to the Isle of Wight? Which landmark or attraction there did you love visiting? Let me know.


This post is part of my new series of blog posts. Called ‘Photo of the Day’ I use it to share with you (fingers crossed, daily) a photo which reveals the beauty and the reality of living in Italy and travelling in Europe. These are short posts (sometimes more of a caption, really), so that you can enjoy them on the go and use them to bring a ray of colour into each of your days.

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Monday 2nd of September 2019

Rossi, I read your blog and like you, I am enamoured by Alum Bay and the Isle of Wight. I was there this year (2019) in June and loved every minute of our brief stay. I wish I could have stayed longer, there is so much more to see and do on the Isle of Wight. Besides, the place has a peaceful tranquility which is good for the soul. I was on a three country trip ending the Netherlands. Maybe I'll visit again.

I live in Canada and I love to travel. I find that I prefer quiet places, seascapes and country sides instead of huge metropolis. Thank you for the article. I chanced upon it as I was looking for information about the different coloration of the sand cliffs. I have some beautiful pictures I can share with you. Hopefully I can upload a few for you. I consider myself technologically challenged at times but I'll give it a shot.


Thursday 5th of September 2019

Dear Bibi,

Thank you very much for getting in touch and for sharing your emotive memories of the Isle of Wight and Alum Bay. I agree, the island feels magical - a place removed from the daily problems of England and so rich of local culture, sights, and history. Unfortunately, it is not possible to upload photos in the comments here.

Best wishes,

Rossi :)

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