The Solent from the Water: Spinnaker Tower

The Solent from the Water: Spinnaker Tower

I was recently lucky enough to spend a week sailing in the Solent with the amazing Forces Wives Challenge and the Gwennili Sailing Trust onboard the luxurious and mighty Grand Gru, a 56’ Bavaria. Whilst bobbing around I realised that I know rather a lot about the Solent and all the things one can see when enjoying the water. I may have perhaps gone overboard (pun intended) in my excited explanations to my crew mates, but they were very patient! I thought therefore, I would put my random knowledge to good use and write a blog post, or two…. or maybe three.

Sailing with Forces Wives Challenge

I guess a sensible place to start would be my home port of Portsmouth. The most striking landmark is the 170m high Spinnaker Tower which overlooks the harbour. Shaped like the Spinnaker sail of a yacht, I am rather fond of it. It was originally going to be called the Millennium Tower and was designed as a monument to celebrate the year 2000. As with all these things, it wasn’t open for the year 2000! In fact ground wasn’t even broken until 2001; with completion in 2005. The tower was fitted with an external glass lift which would have given amazing views as you glided up to the viewing decks. But it never worked! 

Spinnaker Tower

There was much consternation in Portsmouth a few years ago when the powers-that-be planned to paint the tower red as part of a sponsorship deal with Emirates. As any good Pompey dweller knows, red is the colour of the dreaded Southampton. After much outcry, the idea was shelved, and for a while the tower sported a gold and blue paint job. Thankfully, once the sponsorship deal finished, the tower was repainted its original, and much more aesthetically pleasing, white. Despite its issues, it is a wonderful structure with amazing views from its observation platforms.

Many years ago I created a Spinnaker Tower design. It was one of my first Gillian Jones Designs pictures! And for some reason I had removed it from my website. I've gone back to look at it and I still like it(!), so I have added it back and it is now available. Might be a nice idea for a wedding gift if you are lucky enough to be invited to a wedding reception at the Tower!


Spinnaker Tower by Gillian Jones Designs


I think that is probably enough for one blog post! I will continue my journey around the Solent in a future post... Thanks for reading.

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