Spitbank Fort is one of those spots you read about in an Alexander Dumas novel. It's a gritty, grey, Victorian-era fortress with a dark past and nothing but miles of water on all sides. And it's the perfect place for a romantic weekend the next time you're on the coast of England.

One of three forts built in the mid-nineteenth century, Spitbank Fort once protected Portsmouth from Emperor Napoleon III's navy, and remained an active military base through World War II. It suffered considerable air damage along with the neighboring forts Horse Sand and No Man's Land during the war, and was decommissioned soon after that.


After being sold by the Ministry of Defense, Spitbank changed hands several times before being taken over by the hospitality company that converted it into a cosy eight-bedroom luxury hotel after $4.6 million worth of renovations. Based on these photos, that was money well spent. [Yatzer]