There’s more to the Needles story than just the breathtaking views of the landmark, the Needles batteries sit high above them right on the tip of the Isle of Wight – and they have their own story to tell.
The Needles Old Battery dates back to 1862, and it doesn’t only make for a beautiful vantage point to admire views across the Solent but it’s played a part in both World Wars. A series of new rooms tell the story of the battery and its uses and the stories are illustrated with vibrant cartoons to bring them to life. The Parade Ground still includes a pair of original guns and if you follow the underground tunnel you’ll discover a searchlight emplacement which takes in dramatic views across the famous Needles rocks.
The New Battery holds a few surprises of its own too, and the modest exhibition in its underground spaces shows visitors how it was used for testing British rockets during the ’race for space’. The creation of the rockets was cloaked in secrecy, and the battery (found just a little further along on the headland than the Old Battery) made the perfect testing place.
You’ll also find a tea room at the site. Admission to the New Battery is free.