Fort Victoria was built in 1852-5 as one of a series of defences built to protect the western end of the Solent. The earliest fortification was Worsley’s Tower built in about 1525. The channel between the Island and Hurst Spit on the mainland is only about 1.2 km wide at this point and is a vulnerable back door to Portsmouth and Southampton. Fort Albert, just to the west, forms a strong triangle
with Hurst Castle. Fort Victoria was garrisoned in 1855 – 6 by the Isle of Wight Artillery Militia.
Fort Victoria was built in response to a perceived French threat. When the guns became outdated the fort was used as an experimental and training base and the military left in 1962. The original casemates remain in place as a reminder of a different age.
The fort was designated a local authority Country Park in 1971, intended to provide a place for quiet recreation. It has been managed as a public park ever since by the Isle of Wight Council who own the site.
The family friendly place to visit is now home to several attractions and a place to eat, while you can enjoy the natural beach and coastline. The famous woodland nature trail has 22 hectares of woodland to explore, where a quiet visitor may be lucky enough to see a beautiful (but shy) Red Squirrel.
The attractions at Fort Victoria Country park are privately owned and operated so have their own individual opening times and prices. If there is an attraction you are particularly interested in visiting please see their website for further details.
REPTILARIUM – www.reptilarium.org
PLANETARIUM – www.islandastronomy.co.uk
H.M.S GLADIATOR EXHIBITION – www.facebook.com/FortVicMuseum
GIFTS & SOUVENIRS SHOP – www.facebook.com/FortVicMuseum
WONKOS SWEET SHOP – www.facebook.com/FortVicMuseum
STEAMPUNK CABIN – www.facebook.com/FortVicMuseum
PIRATES CABIN TOYS & GIFTS – www.facebook.com/FortVicMuseum
CAFE VERDI – Cafe on site open seasonally. Food and drinks are available on site at Verdis cafe which is open seasonally.
FREE PARKING – Large free car park. Each attraction is a very short walk from your car.
TOILETS – Baby Change Facilities & Disabled Toilets. Public Toilets on site are open 24/7 with disabled and baby change facilities.
PICNIC AREA – Large Grass areas for picnicking plus a dedicated picnic area with benches. This is your Service Description. Use this space to explain this service in more detail.
BBQ AREA – The Council has installed three purpose-made barbeques for family or small group use at Fort Victoria. Although groups of 12 people or fewer may turn up and use the barbeques without booking if they are not in use, at peak times they are in great demand and so to reserve a place, booking in advance is strongly recommended.