Solent Forts: Strongholds in the Sea

3.04.2018

The Solent? Non-Britons may wonder what or where that might be. A marine area brimming with flat fish floundering about perhaps – or a lonely island lost somewhere in the limitless ocean? Whereas the former’s majority are commonly frequenting the chilly waters of the North Sea around the bend, the latter is a pretty close guess, at least when it comes to the „island“ part. Solving the geographical riddle: the Solent is a strait (about 20 x 4 miles) running between the mainland of England and the Isle of Wight. It not only serves as a shipping route for commercial and military vessels, but also poses as a welcome playground for a multitude of watersports. Southampton, the largest port, surely rings a bell in many a mind as being the last British pier for RMS Titanic to call at before commencing her unfortunate voyage across the Atlantic. Another popular harbour lying by Solent shores is Portsmouth, from where before-mentioned enigmatic islands are best reached: the Solent Forts, a group of sturdy man-made islands built in the late 19th century to ward off sea-born attack. The three Forts – Spitbank, No Man’s Land and Horse Sand – were decommissioned after WW II, lay dormant for a number of years, put up for sale in the 1960s seeing changing ownership. Today, the Solent Forts offer luxurious accommodation incorporated in extraordinary venues and are owned and managed by the AmaZing Venues company. www.amazingvenues.co.uk/solent-forts

The Spitbank Fort

Spitbank Fort, the smallest of the three Solent Forts, sports eight luxuriously fitted bedrooms, plus an open air hot pool, a sauna, a wine cellar and games rooms. It is ideal for exclusive use like the recently organised Fort Boyard-themed team building day and is licensed for weddings.

Spitbank Fort, the smallest of the three Solent Forts, sports eight luxuriously fitted bedrooms, plus an open air hot pool, a sauna, a wine cellar and games rooms. It is ideal for exclusive use like the recently organised Fort Boyard-themed team building day.

Spitbank Fort dunked in a romantic light.

Spitbank Fort dunked in a romantic light.

Spitbank Fort is popular for photo shoots and product launches

The fort holds a wedding licence and is a popular site for photo shoots and product launches.

No Man’s Fort

No Man’s Fort - three times the size of Spitbank Fort – is a favourite for large corporate events and luxury retreats. Themed parties for up to 200 guests are feasible - from The Great Gatsby, Bond Nights to Royal Britannia Lunches. The fort boasts 22 huge bedroom suites, plus facilities including a laser battle, sea golf, a hot-house with fire pit, a large rooftop fire pit, a cabaret bar, shops and restaurants.

No Man’s Fort – three times the size of Spitbank Fort – is a favourite for large corporate events and luxury retreats. Themed parties for up to 200 guests are feasible – from The Great Gatsby to Bond Nights to Royal Britannia Lunches. The fort boasts 22 huge bedroom suites, plus facilities including a laser battle, sea golf, a hot-house with fire pit, another large rooftop fire pit, a cabaret bar, shops and restaurants.

Although the exterior does'nt imply it, there's ample luxury to be had inside the fort.

Although the exterior does’nt imply it, ample state-of-the-art amenities are to be had inside No Man’s Fort.

The conversion of the third fort – Horse Sand Fort – is in full swing and coming soon.

How to get there There is a departure lounge in Gunwharf Quays only minutes from Portsmouth Station – fed every thirty minutes by trains from London’s Waterloo Station. The ride between the two cities takes about two hours. For the journey across to the forts, leisurely minded passengers can opt for an unhurried Catamaran trip. Speed junkies may choose to go for the RIB, a Rigid Inflatable Boat whizzing over the waves at up to 60 mph.

Cross over to the forts by CAT or RIB: the choice is all yours.

Crossing over to the forts by CAT or RIB: the choice is all yours.

Activities

Amongst the offerings for group activities on and off these exciting locations are breathtaking blasts on a 350 HP cobra RIB, fishing excursions for catch varying according to season or Treasure Hunts to lift the fort’s long-kept inner secrets. Participants may learn how to open a bottle of champagne with a swift swoop of the sabre, to prepare irresistable cocktails or delicious Canapés, indulge in wine & cheese and Caribbean plantation rum-tastings or just sit and relax around warm and crackling open flames with their very own fire pit rations kit in hand. AmaZing – who run a string of unusual venues in Great Britain – make it their mission to turn every type of occasion into a „roaring success“. Unusual venues require a grid of rules for visitors to go by. Interested parties are requested to peruse them thoroughly before making a booking: http://www.amazingvenues.co.uk/information/house-rules-amazing-venues http://www.amazingvenues.co.uk/venue/spitbank-fort/corporate All photos are courtesy of ©Amazing Venues. The header image depicts Spitbank Fort from a distance.