The Handbook
The Handbook
No, it's not this one...

If there’s one thing that 2020 taught us, it’s the importance of self-isolation. And what could be more self-isolated than an island in the middle of the Solent?

So if you’ve got a spare £9m lying around, how about treating yourself to the ultimate self-isolation package? Three forts sat right in the middle of the world’s busiest shipping channel. Can’t afford that? *rummages around* okay, how about £750k? But it’s a do-er-upper…

“It’s not every day that a quirky trio of circular floating hotels come to market” sings the Knight Frank marketing material for the three forts, but it might as well be because that brochure is from 2018 when they were last for sale, and the forts are on the market yet again now for the third time in five years. Which is surprising, because these really are the ultimate homes. But with one of the trio on the market at just £750k (the price of a half decent flat in Balham), we’re seriously starting to think…

Or this one...

There are three islands for sale, Horse Sand Fort, No Man’s Fort and Spitbank Fort. Built as defences by the Victorians, No Man’s Fort and Spitbank Fort have both been converted into luxury hotels and would be ideal for continuing to run as going concerns, or (better) converting into your own personal Bond Villain lairs. They’re on at around £4m each, which is slightly out of most people’s budget.

Ideal for... converting into your own personal Bond Villain lair...

But the really exciting news is that their sister island, Horse Sand Fort, is being marketed at just £750,000. And you probably could plausibly get together with a few mates and pony up the dosh. Sure, it’s mainly priced so cheap because it’s in need of a lick of paint, but still…

...Or even this one
You guessed it... it's this one

There is plenty of scope, too. Take Spitbank Fort, the smallest of the trio and run as a boutique hotel with just nine suites. Extensively renovated the fort comes with period features (fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, er… gun emplacements) but also mod cons like rooftop hot-tubs.

With the right investment and vision it would be an incredible project. You may need pockets with a bit more depth than the initial three-quarters-of-a-million, though, it cost around £8m to get get Spitbank Fort fighting fit.

All three forts are being sold by posh estate agent Stutt & Parker and either come as a set of three or individually. The location, directly between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight make it perfect for anyone who loves the sea, anyone who loves seclusion or anyone on the run from the authorities or looking to hold the entire world to ransom as part of a mwa-ha-ha-ha type dastardly plan.

And set over 100 rooms and an incredible 100,000 square feet of space, there’s so much room to create something ambitious. The former anti-aircraft gun structure will no doubt be re-enforced enough to convert into a helipad, there’s fresh water from a well tapping into underground springs so potentially a pool… Sure getting your mortage approved might lead to some tricky questions, but it’d be worth it…

The only questions left to ask are ‘when can I move in?’ and ‘does it come with parking…?’

www.struttandparker.com