Forts of the Solent (Spitbank)

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Spitbank Fort today is luxury accommodation. In 1861 building started on this Fort. Its main purpose was to form another line of defence for ships that made it past 2 other larger Forts in the Solent {Horse sands Fort and No Man’s Land Fort}. Building stopped and only restarted in 1867 after government reviews, but not completed until 1878. The Fort was fitted with x9 , 12 inch guns. In 1898 the role of the fort was changed to defend against smaller craft so added to its  roof were x2  4.7inch guns and searchlights. In the early 1900s all but three original large guns were removed.

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Naval Shipping

Boat trip out to the old forts in the Solent  today ended with a pop into the naval dockyard at Portsmouth.

D34 HMS Diamond type 45 air-defence destroyer launched 2007



F239 HMS Richmond type 23 Frigate launched 1993


D23 HMS Bristol type 82 destroyer the only vessel of her class to be built for the Royal Navy Launched 1969 she was converted into a training ship {static} in 1987.


P281 HMS Tyne River Class {off shore patrol boat} launched 2002.


Panic “the tide is in”

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Well we decided to stop off at Crosby beach to see Antony Gormley’s iron men looking out to sea. Our 3rd visit to this Beach & to this surreal art work but all 100 iron men were under water as the tide was in!

A link to an old blog

As the next hour passed the men started showing their bodies.



While waiting for the tide to drop we fed the birds!




Yes it is another lighthouse

The stone breakwater at Tynemouth extends from the foot of the Priory some 900 yards out to sea, protecting the northern side of the mouth of the Tyne. On its top is a walkway open daily. On the lee side is a lower level rail track, formerly used by trains and cranes during the construction and maintenance of the pier. At the seaward end is a lighthouse.

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The pier’s construction took over 40 years to build opening in around 1898 the original curved design did not hold against a great storm when the middle section was destroyed. The pier was rebuilt in a straighter line and completed in 1909. Another longer pier opposite at South Shields protects the southern side of the river mouth.


A lighthouse was built on the North Pier in 1864, but a new design was added when the 1909 repairs were undertaken by Trinity House.


A Lighthouse view from the Campervan.

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We are staying a few nights at Old Hartley Caravan Club Site the view from our window looks out to sea & at St Mary’s Lighthouse.Cut off at high tide but a causeway at low tide allows you to walk out to visit. about a mile from the camp site  along the coastal path and you arrive at the island.The lighthouse is decorative today and has no warning  light.

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On reaching the Island a group of grey seals were enjoying the sunshine.Warden are on hand to keep people from getting too close as the seals have been harassed by day trippers including people throwing stones at them.



A very big ship

The worlds largest cruise ship The 362-metre-long Harmony of the Seas costing just £700 million, docked in Southampton on Tuesday (17/05/16) ahead of its inaugural voyage to Rotterdam. The 16-deck ship, which has a 6,360-passenger-capacity.


Some facts:-

2,500 state rooms

23 swimming pools

20 restaurants

A living park in the centre of the ship with more 10,000 plants and 50 trees

The Abyss. The tallest slide at sea, plunging visitors 10 stories from deck 16 to deck 6

The deepest swimming pool at sea

Over 11,000 works of art

2,100 crewmembers of 77 different nationalities