Access Keys

The Needles Old Battery

This spectacularly sited cliff top fort at Alum Bay, in the care of the National Trust has the best views of the Needles Rocks and a fascinating military history.

Built in 1862 following the threat of a French invasion, the Needles Old Battery contains new and updated exhibitions about its involvement in both World Wars, including displays by leading comic book artist of the 1950's Geoff Champion. Two original gun barrels are displayed in the parade ground and a tunnel accessed by a spiral staircase leads to a searchlight emplacement perched above the Needles Rocks.

Buy Needles Battery Tickets

Families can discover the site with ‘A Soldier’s Watch’, a specially designed activity pack which is free to borrow for the duration of your visit and younger children will enjoy looking for the toy soldiers (members of the Needles Regiment) hidden around the Battery.

The New Battery

Further up the headland is the Needles New Battery featuring an exhibition about the part the site played in Britain’s race for space – open 12 March - 30 October, 7 days a week open 11am to 4pm. Admission to the Needles New Battery is free. Refreshment kiosk (please note, there are no toilet facilities at the new Battery).More about the Needles New Battery


  • Tea room situated in the Port War Signal Station
  • Family activity packs
  • Lavatories
  • Dogs on leads allowed
  • Disabled access: There is no vehicular access to either Battery. For disabled access arrangements please phone (01983) 754772. Access to the tunnel is via a narrow spiral staircase. Stepped access to ground floor seating area of tea room (ramp available). One wheelchair available. Grounds partly accessible, uneven and loose gravel paths, steep slopes, some steps.

Forthcoming Events


Please note there is no vehicular access to the Needles Old Battery or New Battery. The nearest car park is at the Needles Park (not NT, minimum charge £5) then it is a 20 minute walk (approx ¾ mile) along a well surfaced private road with lovely views across the Solent or you may prefer to use the Southern Vectis Needles Tour Bus (additional charges apply. Half price fare available for National Trust members, please ask driver for details).

For disabled access arrangements please phone (01983) 754772 or


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