Fort Nelson was built in the 1860s as part of a chain of fortifications on Portsdown Hill to guard against a feared French invasion that never happened. Today, restored to its original Victorian glory, Fort Nelson is home to the artillery collection of the Royal Armouries, part of the national museum of arms and armour. The museum area is large and houses some interesting displays, both inside and outside; don’t worry, there is something for everyone, not just for those interested in guns and warfare! There are amazing views across Portsmouth Harbour and beyond to the Isle of Wight.

The drive along the Portsdown Hill road eastwards is spectacular with more views over Portsmouth Harbour and some good parking spots along the way.

Arrive for coffee at about 11:00 and maybe a wander round before lunch. An area will be reserved for us in the 1871 café for the lunch time period. The menu includes jacket potatoes, paninis, sandwiches, soup and ploughmans, lots of cakes, hot and cold drinks. Gluten-free rolls, sandwiches and cakes. Please pay for anything that you order in the café.

At 1:00 there is a firing of a Second World War 25-pounder Howitzer gun and after that you could start the Treasure Hunt. Clues will lead you through the various galleries (under cover) and it should take about 11⁄2-2 hours, depending on whether you get side-tracked by all the displays! You can always come back another day to explore the rest of the Fort. Bring something warm to wear for part of the hunt which is under canvas cover so could be a bit chilly.

A cream scone and tea or coffee has been arranged for 3:15 in a private area set aside for us in the Museum, for which there will be a £5.00 charge per person. Please send a cheque made payable to Wessex Area Club Lotus by 24th September 2017 to: James de Main, 3 Gilbert Close, Alderholt, Nr Fordingbridge, Hants SP6 3LU in order that we can make one payment on the day and we can supply numbers.

As there is no entrance charge to the museum and special arrangements have been made for our visit, people may feel that they would like to make a donation on the day.

For more information contact Ian Rymer: