8 May 2014

Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent


Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent

The shores of Southsea on Portsea Island can be somewhat chemeleonic. Being part of the UK it does not escape from the ever changing weather, its the transporting views on a beautiful coastline that stretches of for miles that I immediately fell in love with back in 2003. I guess you can say it was love at first sight. The following year I moved to Portsmouth on Portsea Island, Southern coast of England. On long summer days I could easily spend the day out on the seafront watching sailboats play catch with the wind, ferries transporting islanders to Calais in France or watch cruise liners pass through with passengers hoping for a short break from cabin fever. The beauty that comes with living so close to the sea side and a break from the concrete jungle of London life is what inspired the move to Portsmouth.

My visit back to Portsmouth this time was for a Sunday lunch date on the Spitbank Fort. Not many people know about this place. On the coastline of Portsea Island lies the secrets of The Solent. I got to spend the day exploring one of the secrets. Spitbank Fort is one of four forts that was originally constructed to defend the British from Napoleon's army in the 18th century. Days of fighting have long gone and these abandoned forts have now been renovated, with one turned into a museum, one is solely owned, with the other two turned into luxury hotels. One of which is the Spitbank Fort and the other twice as big, opening its doors this Autumn.

One can only get to the forts by boat, so transportation was from the Royal Clarence Marina on Gosport. Floating passed the beautiful Spinnaker tower and sailors no doubt testing out their boats in readiness for Cowes week this coming summer. With a tricky entry onto the fort due to rough seas, on arrival we were met with glasses of wine and canapes. Then a tour of the fort with a little historical detail of the living conditions of the soldiers that guarded the seas from within the fort. You cannot help but admire the old generation for building such a fantastic structure in the sea, with the little the technology they had compared to what we can achieve today, and it still stands today. There is so much history within the walls. Touring the fort and watching ferries and speed boats sail passed we had worked up an appetite, so it was time to retreat to the dining room for lunch served with a side of Spit water! An interesting name for sure, but I assure you its not literal. There is a spring running 401 feet beneath the fort so you can quench your thirst with Spitbank(shortened to Spit) water, freshly bottled on site too. With conversations effortlessly flowing with other guests at the table and dessert beautifully caressing each and every taste bud you could be forgiven for your mind drifting off into a dreamy state filled with all things sweet and nice.

The fort was beautifully transformed from a neglected sea fort, to one that has a luxurious coziness to it with a mix of a nautical theme and some original furniture items for its hay day. A relaxing lounge, recreation room, outdoor heated pool with stunning sea views, a fire pit to cozy up to and a bar to toast the night away you would wish never to leave the fort. After much needed Sunday rest and relaxation on the fort it was time to head home and leave the overnight guest to enjoy enjoy their humble aboard.

The secret is now out of the bag. If you have not head of the forts on The Solent then you need get your fingers busy on Google so you can get you and your special someone over to Spitbank Fort stat! You will thank me for it. In the meantime some pictures from my exploration of the fort...


Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent Sunday Lunch
Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent Sunday Lunch
Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent Sunday Lunch
Vivienne WestWOOD Bag
Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent Sunday Lunch
Spitbank Fort | Secrets of The Solent Sunday Lunch

Rest and relaxation with panoromic sea views await you... So have you heard about the luxury forts on The Solent before?

32 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures.
    http://sophialastyles.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. That bar/lounge in Spitbank is the definition of cozy. Curling up with a book and nice glass of red in one of those chairs would be pretty close to perfect. Great shots of the food, too!

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    1. Thanks! This place is definitely for a bit of chilling with a glass of red. You are now making me which I was back there.

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  3. Very nice pictures ! I've been in Poursmouth ones, it miss me... Fantastic travel !

    Feel free to visit my blog ;-)
    http://electricblooming.blogspot.fr/

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  4. This place looks AMAZING! You've convinced me.

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  5. Oh my goodness this place is so up my alley - the brick archways are stunning! As a real lover of architecture I always find so much interest in old buildings being repurposed and a fort from the 18th century definitely fits the bill. I also love the courtyard looking place with the circular "pit" in the middle of it! Thanks for sharing this hidden gem, I only wish we had known about it before leaving the UK.

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    1. Then this is definitely the place for you! Hope you get to visit next time you are back in the UK.

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  6. This looks like a gorgeous hotel, I'm so jealous! Awesome pics too :)

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  7. Bee, I really love your photography! Who knew such cool accommodation lies within an old military fort?

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    1. Thanks Brianna, its always nice to know that people enjoy my photography :D

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  8. Wow, I had no idea this place existed! Just goes to show how much of my own country I still have to see! I love these photos though, amazing work and a fantastic post.

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    1. Thanks you Michael. I totally here you there is so much to see here.

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  9. Amazing photos (and the food looks insanely delicious)!

    http://the-globe-trot.blogspot.com

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  10. love!!!
    xx
    daniella
    simplybeautifulelegant.blogspot.com

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  11. I'm not much of a luxury person but the pictures are great!

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  12. A story in pictures, wonderful. I think I'd plop down in that leather chair and start reading all day, surrounded by such lucid history. What more could a reader wish for?

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    1. Exactly! I wanted to just chill out there but had to leave at the end of the evening :(

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  13. Love the photos and *Wow* has that changed since we lived in Portsmouth. We lived there with the fam in the 90s when my husband was a liason officer to the Royal Navy submarine force. I remember looking out at these forts (I think they were abandoned then?) and wondering what on earth was going to happen to them. Very cool transformation. I knew one was turned into a lux hotel, but I didn't know about the others! Thanks for the photo tour!

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    1. It definitely has changed since you moved I am sure. I was there from 2004 to 2010. There are still some places that are still the same and should stay the same so as not to spoil the beauty. You should definitely go back for a visit.

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  14. The inside, the interior and the view is stunning. Looks a lot more interesting than from the outside. ;)

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  15. Gorgeous pictures and the food looks amazing. Love your blog set up!

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  16. Really nice shots of the interior and the food! Looks like the perfect place for a relaxing night with a bottle of red wine

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  17. I would love to just hangout here, looks like a great place to relax!

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  18. This place looks great, you really seem to be living the high life!

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    1. Ha! Far from it. I just love a good treat every now and then :)

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  19. What a cool thing to do for a day! Sounds so luxurious and fancy. I love the interior decoration of the fort too.

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  20. Now this is my kind of place!!!! Your photos as always are the star of the post, you need to think about framing a few of these ones. Would make a great wall collage. Big thanks for linking up again with us for #SundayTraveler

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    1. Hahaha, Glad you like them. Maybe I should! Oh make a quick buck and start selling them?

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  21. This place looks lovely and you always have great photos! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler :)

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  22. What a beautiful place to eat and hang out. Love your photos and the detail it shows!

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  23. I've never heard before of the luxury forts on the Solent, but now would love to visit. The place is really unique. That bar is gorgeous, and the food looks tasty. Thanks for sharing!

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