Joy for owner as forts win gongs at tourism awards

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TWO forts which have been converted into luxury hotels have won gongs at a tourism awards night.

Spitbank Fort and No Man’s Fort, which are owned by the firm Amazing Venues, have jointly won gold in a ‘tourism experience of the year’ category, and bronze in a ‘flavour of the south-east’ category at the Beautiful South Awards.

Amazing Venues owner Mike Clare said he was thrilled with the accolades for the forts.

Mr Clare said: ‘This is a great achievement for everyone at both Spitbank and No Man’s Fort. There is nowhere else like the Solent Forts.

‘We offer our guests a truly unique experience and we’re so proud that this has been recognised with the win of “best tourism experience”.’

The forts beat Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor, the Feathered Nest in Nether Westcote and the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu to win the best tourism experience award.

The awards were handed out at a ceremony at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.

Other winners included Portsmouth’s Mary Rose Museum, which took silver a ‘large visitor attraction of the year’ category and won bronze in an ‘access for all tourism’ category.

Wallops Wood Cottages in Droxford won silver in a ‘self-catering holiday provider of the year’ section.

The Hampshire Food Festival won silver in a ‘tourism event of the year’ category.

Spitbank Fort was opened to the public in 2012 and No Man’s Fort was opened earlier this year.

They were built, along with Horse Sand Fort and St Helen’s Fort between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight to defend Britain against the French.

Amazing Venues also owns Horse Sand Fort and plans to open it as a museum.

Mr Clare said the forts would now compete against venues from across the country for a national ‘best tourism experience’ gong at the Visit England Awards.

He said: ‘We have shown our worth against some of the best in the business, and we’re all looking forward to representing the south-east at national level.’

Spitbank Fort has nine bedrooms while No Man’s Fort has 22 bedrooms.