Forts of the Solent {Horse Sands}


Horse Sand Fort  is 240 ft across, built between 1865 and 1880, with two floors and a basement the fort is armour-plated all round. During the WW2 an extensive submarine barrier  was built in the form of large concrete blocks running about 6 ft below sea level from the fort to the shore at Southsea with only a single narrow gap to allow small craft to pass through, this barrier and a much shorter one running south from No Man’s Land Fort towards Ryde Sands remains as the cost of demolition is  too high. Although owned by the same owners as the other Solent forts this fort remains un-restored at this time.






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”

another place 1.jpg

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!




Eric & seagull



Eric Bartholomew, known by his stage name Eric Morecambe, was an English comedian who together with Ernie Wise formed the award-winning double act Morecambe and Wise. The partnership lasted from 1941 until Morecambe’s death in 1984. Unveiled by the Queen in 1999, the slightly larger than life Eric poses with a pair of binoculars around his neck (he was a keen bird watcher). The statue is set against the backdrop of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District




“One day in a nuclear age”

Sellafield in the UK is a nuclear fuel-reprocessing site  over looking the village of Seascale on the Irish Sea coast of Cumbria. Sellafield incorporates the original nuclear reactor plant of Windscale, which is now undergoing decommissioning and dismantling, as is Calder Hall, a neighbour of Windscale, which is also undergoing dismantling of its 4 nuclear reactors.


The Windscale fire of 1957 was the UK’s worst nuclear incident, a fire broke out in unit 1 of the 2 pile facility (the facility was a part of Britain’s atomic bomb project. The fire burnt for 3 days and there was a release of radioactive materials.






And then the rain came down

Continuing on towards the sea (on the West Coast) which we reached at Bowness-on-Solway.Where it started to rain.



We stopped at Holm Cultram Abbey. The 1st Monks came to this site in 1150. Dissolved in 1538 and fell into ruin. In 1880s the church was restored, & in 1913 the roof was restored pre-Reformation timbers were found, however the roof was completely destroyed in 2006 in an arson attack. By 2010 the windows and roof were reinstated.


The rain became worse by Silloth but stopped enough at Skinburness for another lighthouse adventure, East Cote Lighthouse dates back to 1864 when it was a “mobile” lighthouse on a rail track however in 1914 it became fixed in its current position.

light.jpglight1.jpgedward1 a.jpg

Also saw very nice monument to Edward the 1st (died near  here on July 7, 1307, Burgh by Sands)

edward 1.jpgsea