Get married at sea on one of the award-winning Solent Forts. I visited Spitbank Fort and experienced first hand, the absolute luxury and fascinating history of this iconic spa hotel in the middle of the Solent.
Award-winning Wedding Venues
The Solent Forts are three iconic venues in the Solent, off Portsmouth. Access to the forts is only by boat or helicoptor so, having surveyed my destination first from the top of the modern Spinnaker Tower on land, we took a short boat ride across to the venue, all arranged by the Solent Forts from their office on Gunwharf Quays.
Arriving at the fort, we alighted on the steel gantry and made our way to the very grand main door. The circular walls stand solid, despite their exposure to the elements since the mid-nineteenth century, providing a metaphor for enduring stability, that could be seen as lucky for those who marry there. As the grand door opened, music was playing and there was at once a relaxing atmosphere all around.
I wasn’t prepared for the beautiful vaulted brickwork on entering into the main bar area, the architecture is, of course, military and very utilitarian, but executed as only our predecessors could, with honest materials that retain their inherent authentic and aesthetic qualities.
The crew’s knowledge of the forts is impressive and after a glass of champagne, the guided tour was fascinating, informative and entertaining, taking us through the entire history of the fort and its sisters in the Solent. Walking through the fort there are constant reminders of its original purpose, lovingly restored and embellished with contemporary luxury style offering amazing views out to sea.
Spitbank Fort is a five-star venue with accommodation for 16, three function rooms for up to 60 guests, plus three bars, including the impressive Laurent Perrier Champagne bar. Available for exclusive use, Spitbank Fort is ideal for couples looking for an alternative setting for their wedding ceremony and reception.
There are hot tubs and a fire pit large enough for all the guests to enjoy as they sip champagne and marvel at the surrounding views. There is an open-air hot pool, sauna, sundecks and a games room and music rooms, plus the ‘bolt hole’, which tells a story…
The bedrooms are overly generous, genuinely breathtaking and the absolute height of luxury with vaulted ceilings, clad in iron with hardy solid rivets, all softened tastefully with the furnishings and carpets; it’s warm, welcoming, and very exciting.
Atop the fort is a modern ‘penthouse’ where the ceremony can take place in the wide vistas of the Solent. The bride and groom could even choose to have their bridal suite up there, for a very private room with a view (right under your own personal lighthouse!)
These venues are unlike any other; they blend luxury and style with history, presented in a clever and fascinating way. The Solent Forts are open for weekend lunches and overnight stays, so if you’re considering booking this venue for your big day, you can enjoy a fine dining experience or a spa weekend to view the venue before booking. Wedding packages start from £95 per person.
Please note all images featured here are of Spitbank and No Man’s Fort.