Opening times for 7 December 2023
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Onsite parking is not available. The nearest car park is at Alum Bay (not National Trust and chargeable; 20% off for National Trust Members) or in Freshwater Bay (Isle of Wight Council). From Alum Bay there is a short, 15 minute walk up hill and on a tarmacked road to the Battery. Alternative parking is also available at Highdown car park (45 minute walk).
Tea-room serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, light bites and cakes.
Dogs on leads are welcome across the site. Dog bowls can be found outside of the tea-room.
Toilets are available at the Old Battery. Baby-changing facilities are located in the accessible toilet.
Adapted toilet and toilets available at Needles Old Battery. There are some steep slopes and uneven surfaces inside the Battery but they can be avoided. Onsite parking is not available – nearest car parks are at Alum Bay or Freshwater Bay (not NT). Dogs on leads are welcome.
Available at the Old Battery.
Further information about areas of the Old Battery not currently open to the public is available - please ask at Visitor Reception.
There is a small parking area close to the entrance gate of the Old Battery which is only available for limited accessible parking. Please contact the property on arrival at Alum Bay car park to check availability. To reach Visitor Reception, there is short downhill slope on a well surfaced path.
There are some steep slopes and uneven surfaces inside the Battery but they can be avoided if preferred.
Benches located around the site.
no vehicular access. West of Freshwater Bay (B3322)
Parking: No onsite parking. Limited disabled parking by arrangement. Alum Bay 3/4 mile (not National Trust, 20% off for National Trust Members) Freshwater Bay 3 miles (not National Trust), or Highdown (SZ325856) 2 miles, both across Downs
Alum Bay ¾ mile, well-surfaced path: 20 minute walk. Alternate 2 mile walk across the downs from High Down chalk pit car park.
services from Newport to Alum Bay, then ¾ mile. Needles Breezer from Yarmouth and Alum Bay (every 30 mins, March to October), member discount with card. https://www.islandbuses.info/services/SVCT/TNB
NCN67, ½ mile. 'Round the Island' route. From Freshwater Bay cycle along lanes and bridleways via Farringford and Moons Hill to the Needles Battery.
Yarmouth (Wightlink, 0871 376 1000) 5 miles; East Cowes (Red Funnel, 0844 844 9988) 16 miles; Ryde (Hovertravel 01983 717700 or Wightlink, 0871 376 1000) 22 miles.
Although the Needles New Battery and Old Battery are now closed for winter, our tea-room is open each weekend and everyday from 26 December - 1 January (11am-3pm). Plan a visit here.
Take a look at the map of The Needles Old Battery and New Battery to help plan your visit.
Find out about visiting the Needles Battery with your dog, including where they can go and what facilities there are for them. This is a one pawprint rated place.
The Needles Old Battery
Military fort built to protect the Needles passage and the naval dockyard at Portsmouth from the threat of French attack in the 19th century.
The Needles Rocks and lighthouse
Row of three distinctive chalk stacks, with the lighthouse standing boldly at the end of the outermost chalk stack.
The Needles New Battery and rocket testing sight
Two underground rooms tell the fascinating story of British space rockets which were secretly tested here between the 1950s-70s.
Explore the defensive site that helped protect a nation from invasion. See guns, underground tunnels and the secret rocket testing site plus views across the Solent.
The vintage tea-room at The Needles Old Battery is a special place for a tasty lunch or a cup of tea. Step inside and enjoy the view of the Needles and the iconic lighthouse.
Right on top of the cliffs on the Needles headland, this spacious cottage has uninterrupted views of the sea, glorious sunsets and the night sky.
On the Needles headland, this characterful former coastguard’s house has views of the sea, the sunset and the night sky.
Sitting high above the Needles at the very western tip of the Island, with bird’s-eye views of the Solent and unspoilt countryside, is the Needles Old Battery. A Victorian fort built in 1862 for a war that never took place, it became known as one of ‘Palmerston’s Follies’ after the politician that commissioned it, but was called into action during both World Wars.
The Battery’s multi-layered story is brought to life in a series of atmospheric rooms that show just what it was like to work here for Victorian gunners through to Second World War officers. Vivid cartoons by comic book artist Geoff Campion illustrate the part it played in the history of modern Britain too. On the Parade Ground stand two original guns, hauled up from the seas below where they were thrown years ago. Follow the underground tunnel as it twists and turns deep into the chalky cliffs and you’ll find a searchlight emplacement with views high above the Needles rocks and as far as Dorset on a clear day.
Further up the headland stands the New Battery. Here a small exhibition and a recreation of one of the rooms, reveals the astonishing and little-known story of Britain's Cold War 'race for space', when British-made rockets were tested here under conditions of great secrecy.
Discover the history of this important military site, including how it defended the nation from 1869 and its use as a site for secret rocket testing in the 1950s.
Find out more about the iconic Needles rocks and lighthouse. The Needles lighthouse stands on a remote spot on the Isle of Wight and has saved many lives. Discover how the rocks were formed and how they got their name.