"> 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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Solent Forts Bookings - Update August 2021

As you will be aware the government have stated all restrictions will be lifted in August 2021 but have not guaranteed that restrictions could not be restored later in the year. Whilst this is encouraging for many businesses currently affected by the restrictions it does not change the Forts current position.

The Forts are a unique proposition, and present a lot of logistical challenges, as well as the normal hotel/restaurant operational requirements to meet current regulations. We also need to be aware of our obligation to the Historical significance of our properties and the need to preserve their heritage.

As this situation is unprecedented, we are unsure when it will be safe to reopen, and we will continue to defer a reopening until there is no threat of further restrictions/forced closures and it is safe for both guests and staff, and we will be able to once more offer our guests the best possible experience.

You will appreciate the nature of the current situation and the volume of customer enquiries we are receiving at this time. We are a very small team working on reduced hours 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/enquiries or sell any more vouchers at this time.

Guests with existing bookings/vouchers are advised to contact the hello@solentfports.com email box.

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.