"> The History of the Solent | Solent Forts History


Royal shipwrecks, Roman remains and naval battles

The Solent is the strait of water separating the Isle of Wight from mainland England and a major route for leisure, freight and military vessels. The area is hugely popular with yachting enthusiasts, and is also the location of the prestigious annual sailing event, Cowes Week.

It is difficult to pinpoint an exact timeframe for the emergence of this busy stretch of water, but human remains that date from the Roman era have been discovered by divers which suggests the sea level was much lower at this time and the strait, if it existed at all, would have been much narrower.

In 1545, Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose was lost in the strait just outside Portsmouth harbour during a naval battle between the English and French and over 350 crew members lost their lives. A salvage project in 1971 pinpointed the location of the remains of this famous ship and later, it was successfully lifted from the seabed in 1982 to be restored in Portsmouth.

Another famous ship to be associated with the Solent was the doomed luxury liner, Titanic, which left Southampton never to return, in April 1912. Having been deemed “unsinkable”, the iconic ship hit an iceberg and with not enough lifeboats to accommodate all 2,224 passengers, only 710 people survived.



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Dear Guests

As a result of recent Government guidance to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily cease trading at Solent Forts. The safety of our guests and crew is and always has been of paramount importance.

As this situation is unprecedented, we are, as yet, unsure when it will be safe to reopen the forts. as much as we would like to open them sooner, there is a small chance of late Summer 2020 depending on Coronavirus regulations however it may not be before Spring 2021.

You will appreciate the unprecedented nature of the current situation and the volume of customer enquiries we are receiving at this time. We as we are a very small team and will process all enquiries as soon as possible. Please channel all enquiries through our hello@solentforts.com email address.

Please be advised

We will NOT be taking any new bookings or sell any more vouchers during the current Coronavirus crisis.

Guests with existing bookings are advised that their deposit will be held pending a rebooking when the forts reopen – they do not have to commit to a date at this time, their credit will remain valid with us.

If you booked through a third party agency please contact them directly.

Despite government changes to restrictions (July4th) it is still not possible to operate the Forts due to their unique requirements in both transportation and sanitisation requirements. Further updates will be provided via our online statement and through our social media channels.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

The Solent Forts Team

*You may have seen that the Solent Forts are currently being marketed for sale. Hotels change hands regularly and existing bookings and deposits are transferred over to any new ownership. In the rare event this does not happen you will receive a full refund automatically at the time of sale. Please be assured your deposits and bookings are safe.