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Hog Roast Anyone................ .........
Spitbank Fort (Portsmouth)
Member Name: mythdata
Spitbank Fort (Portsmouth)
Advantages: Fantastic views of porthsmouth, Ilse of wight ang the english channel
Disadvantages: If you seas are rough you will be too...................
I have been visiting Portsmouth for many years, since meeting my husband as he has relatives, there we visit three to four times a year.
I usually opted for the Gunwarf quays to get some retail theory but a few years ago I visited the Spit bank fort in the Portsmouth harbor and I have never looked back as it was a real eye opener.
On arriving in Portsmouth you look out across the port solent from either Portsmouth or Gosport and you are instantly hit with views of four huge circular forts.
These are known as the 'Palmerston's Follies, each of these forts were build to protect Portsmouth's naval base from invasion.
Spitbank Fort is a Victorian sea fort, which was planned and built in 1861. These plans were pondered on by the government for some strange reason so the fort was not completed until 1878.
From 1878 until 1956 the fort was used as part of the navals costal defenses, but in 1962 the naval base did away with it and claimed it was no longer any use to them.
The fort stood unused until 1982 when the navy sold it and the new owner restored it to what we see today.
Out of all four forts Spitbank is the only one that has been fully restored to the public at the moment and offers many tours, dinners and nights out.
The other forts include St Helens fort, which is currently up for sale with a million pound price tag on it, it has been for sale for many years but has never sold. This maybe due to the fact that the fort can not get access to a gas or electricity supply, so if you fancy living by candle light then you could buy it.
Horse Sand Fort is one of the largest sea forts, it is 240 feet in diameter and consists of two floors and a basement. This was built as a gun fort but due to space the royal commission could not operate all of the guns so they were sent over to the other forts.
Today Horse Sand fort is deralickedand is only inhabited by wildlife.
Lastly the forth fort is called No Man's Land Fort and is located 2.2 kilometers away from the isle of Wight, but it can still be seen from Portsmouth. This was built fort the bargain price of £462,500 and it worth millions today.
This is by far the best fort and it is identical to Horse sand fort in size and appearance from the outside. I personally love this as it is now a luxury home and hotel, that was before its closure in 2004 it was very expensive to stay in. This was due to the high quality finish and the privacy offered.
In 2004 legionnaires was found in the hotels water unit, so this forced its closure.
This place is like a palace and consists of deluxe rooms, a swimming pool and it even had a casino and two helipads. After the closure this was put up for sale in 2005 with a ten million price tag.
ABOUT SPITBANK FORT
The fort is a massive round building, surrounded by the sea in Portsmouth harbor and the only way to access it is by boat or a water taxi.
Spitbank is a mile out to sea and can hold up to 400 people at a time, this ex military fort offers spectacular tour of this structure built of stone, granite and concrete and 15 ft thick armored walls, built to once protect the fort and the naval base against heavy fire.
This fort is not only a spectacular view from ashore but even inside the fort has some amazing sights, at the top of the fort you can take in the stunning view of Portsmouth, the Gunwarf quays, South sea castle and even the Isle of Wight.
This fort has a light house in which you can spend the weekend, it has 50 rooms that you can roam around to take it the history and all display guns. These are all situated around a central courtyard and spiral staircase. If you are daring and don't mind damp dark and confined spaces you can walk through a 400 foot passage by candle light.
If you only visit the fort and don't eat then you can buy refreshments at a small bar / café situated on the courtyard, the prices are same as you would expect to pay in a bar or café down south.
If you want to make an afternoon of it you can you can go over to spitbank for a spit roast, these usually take place on a Wednesday and a Sunday afternoon during the summer season, but I have known spitbank to take bookings for these lunches well into the winter.
If you opt for a spit roast dinner then prices include the meal, a guided tour, time to roam around on your own and boat transport to and from the fort. This spit roast usually last three to four hours.
The spit roast is great value as you get the roast, jackets potatoes, salads and a dessert plus you get the tour and some stunning views to boot, you can even learn a thing or too I certainly did.
As an anniversary gift this year my husband took me over there for the weekend, the fort hires out the light house for the ultimate escape. Here we stayed in a nice modern two story apartment situated in the light house, this can sleep up to four people and has an observation deck for you to take in the views.
This is basically a self catering break but it is a much better break than I have ever had self catering, the fridge came fully stocked with food and alcohol and we didn't even have to pay extra for it.
Spit bank have recently started to do disco nights, the fort basically turns into a night club once every month over the summer months, local Djs sail over and take up residence for the night.
I have to say this is really novel and I would advise it for anyone, but don't get to drunk as you have to come back by boat. The disco finishes at two in the morning but the only snag being the return boat departs at midnight, crazy I know but if you want to stay you can get a water taxi back that will cost you roughly 6.00, which isn't too bad if you want the extra two hours.
You can as book the fort for private functions like, birthdays, weddings and Christmas parties, I just wish I knew this when I got married, well maybe not it would cost a fortune.
For the spit roast dinners you can expect to pay
£ 22.50 per Adult
£ 15.90 per Child (between 9-12 Years)
£ 11.00 per Child (between 3-8 Years)
£ 20.00 per OAP
Which I feel is very reasonable, because the first time I went I paid £12.00 just to visit the fort, I would highly recommend the dinner as it tastes amazing.
If you have any special requirements they will cater for you but you need to let them know when booking.
To spend a night in the lighthouse it will set you back £275.00 based on two people sharing, if you want longer than a night they will cater for that and give you discount we got two nights for £475.00 saving us 75.00 in total. This price includes the boat to and from the fort.
Disco party nights do vary but you can expect to pay roughly 25-00 to 30.00 but it all depends on who the Dj is that night.
BOAT PICK UP POINTS
There are four different pick up and drop off points, so you can chooses which one will suit you.
Gosport ferry terminal.
The Historic Dockyard - next to the HMS Warrior.
The Hard, Portsmouth - Ferry station.
Gunwharf Quays, water bus pier.
As time vary, when you book you will be given your pick up and drop off times.
You may get lucky and be able to book on the same day as you want to go, but in my experience we have had to book months in advance so I would highly recommend you book to avoid disappointment, especially in the peak summer season.
For further information you can contact staff at spit bank at,
Spitbank Fort Ltd.
Town Quay House
99 Gosport Road
Telephone: 01329 242077
Fax: 01329 822591
If you are going over in a group try to haggle to price as they do give good discounts but only if you ask.
This is a great day out if the weather is nice but if it miserable you could be disappointed, also remember that you have to cross by boat so calm water is essential well in my case anyway. If the weather is that bad they cancel the trips and fully refund your deposit.
Visiting spitbank has offered me some spectacular views the spinnaker tower is one of many things that stand out there.
I love that the Isle of Wight and the P&O ferries just steam straight past the fort, you can even see the people waving at you an the ferries.
Another bit of information that is relatively useless but some may be interested in, this that spit bank was used for six weeks back in June 2002 for Ant and Dec Saturday night takeaway, It was called banged up with beadle where Jeremy beadle was locked in a dungeon and he had to learn new skill with a member of the public each week. I told you useless but I couldn't resist.
Lastly I just want to say I would highly recommend you book because it is worth a visit even if you go for the tour only.
Summary: Fantasic trip i take on a reqular basis, so much to do.....
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