10 fun events in the Portsmouth area this bank holiday weekend that aren't Victorious Festival

Butser 9th Legion Centurian Mark Scanlan (left), and Legionnaire Mark Pinsker.
Butser 9th Legion Centurian Mark Scanlan (left), and Legionnaire Mark Pinsker.
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Thousands of people might be arriving in Portsmouth this weekend for Victorious, but you’ll be glad to know there are other things to do apart from the festival.

Here are 10 fun activities and events in and around Portsmouth over the next three days for those who want to get outside and make the most of the bank holiday weekend.

1 – Vintage vehicles

The Rotary Club hosts the annual Gosport Vehicle Rally this bank holiday Monday at Stokes Bay in aid of Rotary and the Mayor of Gosport's charity fund.

 As well as a wide variety of cars on display, there will be stalls, food, refreshments, beer tent and entertainment

It takes place from 11am to 4pm. Adults cost £1 to enter, children 50p.

Go to gosportrotary.co.uk.

2 – A lost world

Art of the Dockyard is a show of the work of ex-dockie John Green featuring images of the Portsmouth Dockyard and the mates he worked alongside as well as drawings and prints of the local people of Portsmouth in their downtime; families on the beach, kids playing in the street, people gossiping at the market.

John Green's recollections of the Dockyard are rooted in the 1950s when he embarked on his apprenticeship as a young lad aged 15. His pictures evoke a place of work, noise and activity hard now to imagine but still very present in the memories of Portsmouth people.

It runs at Jack House Gallery in High Street, Old Portsmouth, from tomorrow at 10.30am until September 21. Go to jackhousegallery.co.uk.

3 – Spooky stories

Invited inside the great Keep of Portchester Castle by torchlight, you will find that the tower is not quite empty. Lurking in the shadows are figures from the past with a story to tell. But as you climb higher and higher within the Norman fortification you will realise that things are not as they seem. The ghosts all have a secret to hide; will you escape before their stories run out…?

There are walks at 7.30pm and 9pm tonight. Tickets £15. Go to eventbrite.co.uk.

4 – Tall stories

He's one of the tallest comics on the circuit, not that this has any bearing on how funny he is, but fortunately Steve Williams is also very funny, and he's the headliner at tonight's LOL Comedy Club at Portsmouth Guildhall. He is joined by the well-travelled Jack Campbell, the none-more down to earth Sean Percival, and former South Coast Comedian of The Year winner Mike Cox.

Tickets £18.20. Doors 7.30pm. Go to portsmouthguildhall.org.uk.

5 – Where’s that Boudicca?

Step back in time and visit the Butser IX Roman Legion when they take up residence in the Roman Villa at Butser Ancient Farm on Sunday and Monday, 10am-4pm. 

There will be fighting and marching demonstrations, archery, Roman cooking, crafts, games and more, plus plenty of opportunities to get hands on with the past and discover what life would have been like in Roman Britain.

Adults £9, children £5. Go to butserancientfarm.co.uk.

6 – Fruit and flowers

There has been a Horticultural Society in Emsworth for 100 years and  they are celebrating their centenary at the Emsworth Show, from 10.30am to 5pm on Monday at New Life Church, Main Road, Emsworth.  

Featuring locally-grown produce, arts and crafts and photography, there are more than 100 exhibitors taking part. Prize giving for the competition categories is at 4pm. Adults £5, free for under-12s. Go to emsworthshow.org.uk.

7 – The natural world

The annual Southern Nature Art Exhibition takes place from today until Monday, 10am-5pm daily, at Rookesbury Park in Southwick Road, Wickham.

Dozens of artists will have their work on display in a variety of mediums, each tackling this year's theme of nature's myths and legends. There will also be a children's art competition, and a tea room for refreshments.

Entry and parking is free, go to southernnatureart.com

8 – With the king himself

Tomorrow, the Mary Rose Museum is offering its very first Ultimate VIP Experience.

Lucky guests will embark on an exclusive day of talks, tours and exclusive experiences.

Participants will witness a dramatic retelling of the Battle of the Solent told by King Henry VIII himself, along with a private guided tour of the museum, including areas not usually open to the public.

After refreshments and a private audience with King Henry VIII, guests are whisked away for a Rib ride to the wreck site of the ship, accompanied by Dr Alexzandra Hildred - part of the original Mary Rose underwater archaeology dive team and now head of research.

To round off the day, guests will get a Mary Rose goody bag and a year’s entry to the museum. Tickets are £75 per person. Go to maryrose.org/VIP-experience.

9 – There’s a fine, fine line

Following a smash-hit run in 2016, the fur-lariously laugh-out-loud musical Avenue Q is back at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton from Tuesday until Saturday, August 31.

Catch-up with these unforgettable  characters on a downtown New York street trying to make sense of life's burning issues – like what do you do with a BA in English? How do you find your purpose? And is the internet really just for….never mind.

Tickets £19.50-34.50. Go to mayflower.org.uk.

10 – Traditional fare

Run by Fareham Lions, Stubbington Fayre and Donkey Derby takes place at Stubbington Rec on Monday from 11am to 4pm.

There will also be live music from brass bands and buskers, a dog show, plus plenty of stalls, classic cars and more. Go to facebook.com/StubFayre.