Enjoy a stunning 20 min walk up the headland road, passing the coloured sands of Alum Bay and taking in views of the Needles Rocks and the mainland coast in the distance. As you walk, discover history, geology, science and nature along the way.

Explore the Needles Old Battery, a Palmerston Fort built in the Victorian era and still retaining two of its original 9inch rifle muzzle-loading guns. Used throughout both World Wars, the Battery is a great example of the response to sea and air invasion threat over the decades. Perched high on the most westerly point of the Island, it also boasts the closest views from land of the iconic Needles Rocks. The surrounding chalk grassland is protected and home to important species of wildflowers, butterflies, and birds. A walk through this natural landscape from the Old Battery brings you to the concrete architecture of the Highdown rocket test site. The secret workplace of the British space industry and Black Arrow rocket program from the mid-1950s to early 1970s, the remains of the testing area still stand as evidence of the part the Isle of Wight and British scientists played in the early years of satellites. Self-Led visit. School to obtain NT Memebership.

KEY TOPICS: 7, 8, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19, DT, EVS, G, SCI, M

Key Topics

1: Pre Romans  2: Romans 3: Medieval 4: Tudors 5: Stuarts 6: Georgians 7: Victorians 8: 20th Century 9: Defence 10: World Wars 11: Children 12: Transport 13: Domestic Homes 14: Smuggling 15: Work/Agriculture 16: Evidence/Archaeology 17: Local History 18: Other Topics 19: Change & continuity

A: Art AH: Agriculture/Horticulture DT: Design/Technology M: Maths EVS: Environmental Studies G: Geography IVL: Imaginative Writing, Literature SCI: Science PA: Physical Activity W: Wildlife & Animals

© National Trust/Chuck Eccleston