Navigational tips and beauty spots around the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight.
Home to Blackgang Chine, believed to be the UK’s first theme park. Photo: Peter Bruce
Beyond Atherfield Point you’ll notice that the Isle of Wight is getting smaller. It’s falling into the Channel at an average rate of roughly 1m per year. It happens in landslips caused by the Gault clay, known on the island as blue slipper clay. After periods of heavy rainfall, the water gathers just above the impermeable clay, reducing friction and allowing the earth above it to slip. The most dramatic example of this is the fate of Blackgang Chine. Chines are coastal ravines but landslips have filled the Chine at Blackgang. This erosion has on several occasions chased inland Blackgang Chine Amusement Park, believed to be the UK’s first theme park since its foundation in May 1843. One of its attraction remains the skeleton of a whale that was washed up near The Needles, which has been on display since 1844.