Want to own a fort in the Solent? Three forts off the Portsmouth coast are up for sale - for more than £8 million

Have a spare £8m lying about? A trio of historic forts in Solent could be yours as they go up for sale.

By Richard Lemmer
Thursday, 19th September 2019, 10:47 am
No Man's Fort.
No Man's Fort.

Solent Forts, owned by Dreams bed company founder Mike Clare, will be selling the forts No Man's Land, Horse Sand, and Spitbank, several miles off the coast of Southsea. 

No Man’s Fort features 23 en suite guest bedrooms, with guests able to arrive by boat or on the fort’s helipad, before drinking in its five themed bars and relaxing in its rooftop hot pools. 

Spitbank Fort has nine luxury guest suites plus staff accommodation, as well as a restaurant, two bars and a ‘wine cave.’ 

Sign up to our daily newsletter

No Man's Fort.

Horse Sand Fort is used to record the history of the follies and retains original gun carriages and armour plated walls.

Real estate advisor Colliers is selling the two hotel forts, with a freehold estimate of more than £8m. 

Paul Barrasford, a director in Colliers International’s hotels agency team, said: ‘In keeping with the unique nature of the forts and aside from buyers looking to continue the current use, we are expecting and would welcome interest from buyers looking to re-purpose the properties to say, ultra-private residences, corporate retreats or exclusive use venues.’

Horse Sand Fort is being sold by auction through Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers with bids starting at £750,000 on Friday, November 1.  

Spitbank Fort. Picture: Shaun Roster.

Rob Marchant, auctioneer at Clive Emson, said: ‘We sell some incredible land and properties at our actions but these forts must be among the most historically interesting.’

Mr Clare acquired the properties between 2010 and 2013, paying more than £5.5m in total – but he spent more than £12m renovating the sites. 

A spokesman for the holding company that owns the Forts said: ‘Mike Clare acquired the properties around ten years ago and spent several years redeveloping them.

‘After stepping back from the business that runs them he decided to sell in order to focus on other businesses and charity interests.’

Last year the entrepreneur tried to sell the forts, built in the 1860s by Lord Palmerston, with a guide price of £11m.