Being a tourist in your own town is no new concept. Events like English Tourism Week have been promoting ‘stay-cations’ and holidays at home for a few years now. But Gosport has its very own event aimed at encouraging local residents and people who live nearby to discover what’s on offer in the town.
Now in its fifth year, Gosport’s Big Day Out returns on Sunday with a host of special events and out-of-the-ordinary activities to tempt outsiders to visit and residents to stay.
Organised by Gosport Borough Council, for 2012 the event has a special focus on family fun. And with heritage and culture, plus sailing and watersports, there is something for all the family to enjoy. The programme of events includes 33 attractions and a Roverbus to transport visitors between them.
The hub of the day’s events is based behind the Stokes Bay Sailing Club, from 10am until 5pm.
This is where you can board the vintage open-top bus for a free round-trip from Stokes Bay to Lee-on-the-Solent and back (timetables are available at the information tent).
Also at the hub is the chance to have a go at golf and BMX riding, play on the bouncy castle or visit the maritime bus and fire tender. There’s also a free treasure trail quiz.
Within walking distance from there are attractions including an open day at the Sailing Club and Gosport and District Angling Club, the Gosport’s Got Talent Show at the Alverbank Hotel, Gosport Solent Brass in Stanley Park and Crazy Golf at Solent Springs Adventure Club.
Brune Park Community College is holding a family fun day with taster sessions in the fitness suite, bouncy castles for kids and grown-ups and more.
Fort Brockhurst is holding an open day and there will be free fishing taster sessions, with equipment supplied, at the fort’s moat.
Over at Rowner, Little Woodham 17th Century Village is holding a free open day with villagers dressed in period costume going about life as it was at the beginning of the Civil War.
At Grange Farm, there’s a nature day with pond dipping, nature trails and stalls. The Diving Museum is holding a free open day and Thorngate Halls is hosting a summer fete.
Holbrook Recreation Centre is holding an open day that includes free swimming, ice skating and gym inductions, plus fun, games and prizes.
Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower will be opening its doors for free to residents of Gosport.
Meanwhile, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum is holding a free jazz concert on its jetty and offering half-price admission to Gosport residents.
There will also be model boat racing on Walpole Lake, harbour cruises, a round-the-harbours bike ride and more taster sessions.
And, while many of the attractions are laying on refreshments, families can also enjoy special meals and discounted prices at the Anglesey Hotel, The Boathouse Café and Subway.
For the full programme and map of events, plus the Roverbus timetable, see discovergosport.co.uk