No Man's Fort off the coast of Portsmouth
PUBLISHED: 11:36 04 August 2015
Copyright 2015 - Shootinghip
For any keen sailors amongst you, you'd be hard pushed not to come across Lord Palmerston's three looming sea forts off the coast of Portsmouth.
Having already spent a night on spooky Spitbank, I was intrigued recently to head over to its much bigger sister, No Man’s Fort, to embark on what promised to be an experience akin to a James Bond movie. Sadly Daniel Craig (and those speedos) weren’t there to greet us on arrival, but a glass of champagne went down nicely in the stunning glass atrium - which forms a hub from which winding metal staircases disappear off intriguingly.
There’s something about these forts that brings out the inner child, and it wasn’t long before I was off exploring – looking out for hidden treasures. I didn’t have to search for long before coming across the stunning views atop the fort’s very own lighthouse. With glass floors separating the different levels, it’s as if you are floating between sea and sky. A tot of rum here gave the courage to reach the final floor where you could enjoy panoramic views of the Solent before heading back down to the grass topped roof complete with hot tubs, BBQ hut, helipads and a giant deckchair – the perfect place for a quick smug selfie!
Owners, AmaZing Venues, are serious about entertainment here on No Man’s and there is plenty to appeal to both the active (a laser tag game occupies the lower levels) and the inactive, (spa facilities boast signature sea salt treatments). With a nightclub, wine bar and snooker room all on board – you could be mistaken for thinking you’d booked a cruise. With 23 bedrooms compared to Spitbank’s nine, No Man’s is a completely different kettle of fish. Much more like a unique hotel experience, the fort offers plenty of opportunities to let loose, have fun and enjoy yourself. Dining is decent, but far less intimate – the food almost a distraction from the activities and entertainment. With themed party nights taking place throughout the month, the emphasis is definitely on providing a stay to remember.
As on Spitbank, furnishings are luxurious and the bedrooms are quirky but very, very comfortable. Sleek bathrooms abut each room and your own private porthole provides beautiful views of sailboats out on the Solent. Wandering around the fort I come across cubby holes with fancy dress, a giant Buddha, beach huts and soldiers in tableaux – from the bizarre to the surreal, there is something to amuse you at every turn.
Visit in a couple by all means, but as I thought during my stay on Spitbank, No Man’s would be a fantastic place to come with friends. Take over the fire pit and roast marshmallows whilst sipping rum and hot chocolate, tear around the atmospheric halls and shoot lasers at one another, and whack golf balls made of fish food off the top deck to the sound of applause. If you’re looking for somewhere to let off a bit of steam without a judgmental look from the couple in the corner, No Man’s is well worth a visit.
Suffering from a major sensory overload, the boat back was a sad affair as we plotted ways in which we could round up the troops and head back over for another night of freedom. Now that the headquarters has moved to Gunwharf, a spot of shopping softened the bump back down to earth, but you could still feel the tie to this party island as it drifted back out of view…I have a feeling we’ll soon be back for more.
Book your trip
No Man’s Fort from the AmaZing Venues property collection (0330 333 7 222, amazingvenues.co.uk) offers lunch packages from just £99 per person for four courses and overnight packages from £450 per room per night, including a glass of Champagne on arrival, tea and cake, buffet lunch, four course dinner, full English breakfast and full use of the facilities. All packages include return boat transfers from Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth. No Man’s Fort also caters for events of up to 200 guests, offers 23 luxury bedrooms.
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