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
- 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.
Make a pocket rocket - The Needles Old Battery and New Battery
Dates: 12 April 2017 11:00am. Come along to the Needles New Battery and be just like the secret rocket testers that once worked at the Highdown site. Using simple materials, make your own rocket and then see if you can launch yours the highest.
Rocket site tours - The Needles Old Battery and New Battery
Dates: 13 April 2017 11:00am and 1 June 2017 11:00am. Learn more about the history of rocket testing at the Needles New Battery with our introductory talk and short walk around the site of the rocket gantries. Find out how the headland has evolved and become an AONB, and the important habitats it provides for wildlife.
Cadbury Egg Hunt - The Needles Old Battery and New Battery
Dates: 14 April to 17 April 2017, 10:30am to 4:00pm. Hunt around the Battery for the hidden clues. Once you've found them, solve the puzzle and claim your Easter chocolate reward.
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 email@example.com
How to find
- The Needles Old Battery
- Alum Bay, Isle of Wight PO39 0JH
- Tel: 01983 754772