POPULAR events celebrating Gosport’s history are returning, with 27 open days requiring visitors to book in advance.
Gosport Heritage Open Days will return to the town from September 13 to 22, with popular venues to explore including HMS Sultan, Royal Haslar Hospital and Royal Clarence Yard.
The full programme of more than 70 Free to Explore events over 10 days includes 30 new walks, talks, displays and other events as well as the usual favourites. People can just turn up for most of them.
However, some events need to be booked for reasons of security or group size. Booking will be available from tomorrow (Saturday) at 9.30am by visiting gosportheritage.co.uk.
Nationally, Heritage Open Days celebrates its 25th anniversary this year but events have run in Gosport since 1992.
The town pioneered the concept before the national event was launched to become England’s largest festival of history and culture.
New events in Gosport this year that will need booking include Historic Rowner, a guided walk following in the footsteps of 19th century Reverend Richard Foster-Carter at St Mary the Virgin Church in Rowner, the only Grade 1 Listed building in Gosport dating from the 12th century.
Explorers can also spend the day becoming an archaeology surveyor in a two-hour walk and talk along the promenade from Gilkicker car park to the car park by the Diving Museum and Bayside Café at Stokes Bay.
A circular walk called Up Above the Streets and Houses will take interested local historians around the town centre to learn what it was like in days gone by, and the people and businesses in the area around 1900.
All events are free, and many allow access to places which are not normally open to the public.
There will be plenty for all ages, interests and abilities to enjoy - family fun days, music, exhibitions, guided walks, talks, tours, quizzes and many more.
For people who need some extra advice or help with booking, the Tourist Information Centre near the bus station is on hand to help, or call the assisted booking line on 07849 399823. Individuals or groups wanting advice on disability access to events can call 07531 001003.