The Needles Old and New Battery

Perched atop the famous Needles rocks is the The Needles Old and New Battery, a Victorian fortification and subsequent top secret rocket testing location built back in 1862.

On the grounds sit two Armstrong 9-inch muzzle-loading guns, impressive original artefacts that date back to 1873. Underneath the Parade Ground you’ll find an underground tunnel leading down to stunning views of the rock formation and over to Dorset and beyond.

While you’re there, take a step into the Tearoom and be transported back to the 1940s. With a delicious menu and food freshly made using Island produce whenever possible, it’s the ideal place to recharge your batteries, in a Battery.

Further along, you’ll find the New Battery, once the site of secret Cold War rocket tests. Inside, you’ll get a feel of what it was like for the scientists working there, telling the fascinating story of British space rockets which were discreetly tested between the 50s and 70s. From here, miles of footpaths spread out across Tennyson Downs and the kiosk serves drinks and snacks for re-fuelling before heading onward.

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