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Educational venues on the Isle of Wight

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Alum Bay

  • 5 resources

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.

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Archaeology Discovery Centre

Handle the artefacts left behind by ancient boatbuilders at Bouldnor some 8000 years ago. Indoor learning around archaeological evidence, science and techniques of marine exploration. Outdoor learning activities to understand the hunter gatherer lifestyle include recreating prehistoric technologies in our country park by foraging for the raw materials to produce cave paintings.

Chines of the Isle of Wight

  • 3 resources

A chine is a steep-sided river valley through soft eroding coastal cliffs of sandstone or clay. Fascinating folklore is attached to chines which have been linked to smuggling and shipwrecks.

The Island is home to 20 chines, many accessible, offering great opportunities for study.

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Compton Bay & Downs

  • 2 resources

A sandy bay running from the stunning white cliffs of Freshwater along to soft red and orange Cretaceous rocks which are rapidly eroding. One of the best places in Europe for fossil hunting, and definitely the best place on the Island to see dinosaur footprints!

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Dinosaur Isle

  • 66 resources

A purpose-built interactive dinosaur museum which properly displays and conserves the rich geological fossil collections and dinosaur related artefacts primarily discovered around the Isle of Wight, one of Europe's richest dinosaur localities.

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Freshwater Bay

  • 12 resources

Named after poet Alfred Lord Tennyson who lived nearby, Tennyson Down is a 3 mile chalk ridge extending from the Needles in the west to Freshwater Bay in the east.

Atop the down is a monument to Tennyson.

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Hurst Spit

  • 3 resources

Home to Hurst Castle (1544), a scheduled monument and popular destination for visitors, Hurst Spit and its defences, salt marshes and beaches make great learning resources.

Although not technically part of the Isle of Wight, Hurst Spit is reachable by ferry or charter from Yarmouth throughout the summer months.

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St Lawrence Undercliff

  • 6 resources

The largest urban landslide complex in northern Europe, The Undercliff stretches from Niton to Bonchurch and its sheltered south facing location gives rise to a microclimate considerably warmer than elsewhere on the Island.

Still prone to landslips and subsidence this is an ideal location to study coastal erosion.

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