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Activities in Gosport
Sights in Gosport
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Victorian postbox
There is much controversy as to the origin of the name Gosport .Some claim it was named after the large flocks of geese("Gooseport") that resided on ,what many centuries ago, was a flat and marshy area.Others think that it was from the "gorse" bush("Gorseport") which is abundant in the area .The most romantic,and most likely theory however is that it was named "God's Port" by Henri de Blois and his brother Thomas in 1135,who after a terrible night of storm at sea ,had managed to make land here,and were thankful for their deliverance.In the course of time the 'd' being dropped and the two words became one -"Gosport".
Nowadays Gosport is a clean and friendly town,with a good shopping High Street from the end of which you can admire parts of old Portsmouth and H.M.S.Victory,and see H.M.S.Warrior,and the welter of great white ferries,and other ships sailing majestically out of Portsmouth harbour.
Originally a modest fishing village,Gosport became the home of the Royal Submariners,and today,still is a base for many Naval establishments such as H.M.S.Sultan,the Royal Navy Engineering school.H.M.S. Collingwood, school of theory and application of weapons,H.M.S.Centurion and H.M.S. Daedalus,Royal Navy Air Stations.
The main tourist attraction of GOSPORT is the ROYAL NAVAL SUBMARINE MUSEUM,but if all this Naval heritage is not for you,why not at least benefit from the numerous Victorian pubs,built to comfort all these hardened seafaring men,studded like jewels around GOSPORT,with their facades of ornamental ironwork ,ceramic tiles and etched and stained glass,and their cosy mahogany barred interiors
GOSPORT has 2 marinas, Haslar Marina and Camper and Nicholson marina , the latter being home to Camper & Nicholson the world famous yacht building company established in 1782 , where Sir Francis Chichester's "Gypsy Moth" vessels were conceived and built.
There is a very good shingle beach at the end of the peninsula,at Stoke's bay.To the East,the beach becomes a conservation area that offers exellent walks to Fort Gilkicker,overlooking the entrance to Portsmouth harbour,and the golf course.
Gosport has many conservation areas and open spaces,and is a wonderful place for children,with miles of cyclepaths crisscrossing thhe town and parks.

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Things to do in Gosport

Harbour tours Other activities
During the summer , Portsmouth Harbour and it's warships, old and new , ( The Victory , Warrior etc) can be seen from close up by catching one of the tour boats operating from Gosport landing stage at the end of the High Street.
There are also from the same departure point , leisure cruises around the Solent , and to Fort Spitbank ,and the Isle of Wight.
The Alver Valley Natural / Country Park. Other activities
The valley is a fascinating criss cross of paths and trails.Some of these lead to ' The Wildgrounds' an important haven for rare breeds of creatures and plants. There is a programme of events all through the year including a Countryside Fayre'.
Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve Other activities
This 320 acres of sanctuary for birds and wildfowl is one of the best wetland habitats of its kind in the country. Situated on the Solent shore near Hill Head , here is a wonderful opportunity to observe at close quarters , the many wild fowl waders and migratory birds present ,from one of the many 'hides' available to rent.
There is in addition , a wonderful , peaceful 3 mile walk from the haven to Titchfield Abbey , along the River Meon.

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Things to see in Gosport

Submarine World (The Royal Naval Submarine Museum ) Museums
HMS Alliance at Submarine World.
The history of submariners albeit a comparatively short one,is nevertheless absolutely fascinating.The museum has exhibits retracing man's passion for the mysterious world under the waves,from very early dangerous looking contraptions to modern 'state of the art 'vessels.
A visit to the museum includes the world's first submarine Holland 1 and the HMS Alliance experience,and what an experience it truly is! .Before boarding,there is a short audiovisual show (complete with authentic diesel smell!) to give a proper atmosphere,and then on to the ship itself,a large vessel still in service up until 1973.This is not for the fainthearted,but the guides are old submariners themselves and are able to tell and recreate,life on board for visitors whilst putting them at their ease.It is both compelling and awesome,and a great tribute to the extremely brave men who lived and fought in submarines all around the world.

"Great deeds are done in the air and on land,nevertheless there is no part to be compared to your exploits"

Winston Churchill to the men of HM Submarines May 1943.
Titchfield Abbey Cathedrals and Abbeys
Titchfield Abbey
Titchfield Abbey was built in the 13th Century,with a fine Tudor gatehouse set in beautiful surroundings , these impressive remains definitely warrant a visit. The abbey was later adapted to become the mansion of the then Earl of Southampton ,and it is claimed that some of Shakespeare's including Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer's Night's Dream were first performed here.
17thCentury Village ( Little Woodham) Monuments and buildings
The year is 1642,in the reign of King Charles 1,the place,a small Hampshire village deep in the woodlands. This is the 17 th C Village experience. The faithfully re-created buildings,streets and shops, transport you back to England in the period preceding the Civil War. The villagers,in period costumes,go about their daily business in and around the village and will quite happily answer visitors' questions in fluent 17th Century English !.Open on selected days duringg the summer.

Don't miss it !.
Fort Brockhurst Museums
Fort Brockhurst.
Fort Brockhurst was built in the 19th Century, along with Fort Grange( now within the confines of HMS Sultan) , as part of the coastal defences of Hampshire.
Surrounded by a moat , Fort Brockhurst is an impressive edifice , and suprisingly pleasing to the eye considering it's original grim purpose.
Still in use in the 2 nd World War ,it is now a fascinating MUSEUM mainly of Naval & Aviation History.It also features regular battle re-enactments for the public, as well as it's increasingly popular Bonfire Night celebrations,with massed bands, and fireworks lighting up the ramparts!.
Gosport Museum Museums
Gosport museum situated in Gosport High St, , was originally a grammar school built in 1901, in the Art Nouveau style, featuring a marvellous frieze over the entrance, depicting people important to the history of Gosport.
It houses a large local history exhibition , and shows the role of Gosporteers during Naval conflicts. All of this is brought to life with the use of life-size costume figures.
The Gosport area is a rich source of geological finds,and therefore a recent addition to the museum,is an interactive geology section where fossil hunting is made easy !
There is also an art gallery and coffee shop.
Alverstoke Small villages
Michaelmas fair at Alverstoke
Gosport was once a hamlet in the parish of Alwarestock,as Alverstoke was then known ,from the river Alver.Nowadays Alverstoke has a picturesque little village centre ,laid out in the medieval style, with it's beautiful St Mary's church(mentioned in the Domesday book) and some very attractive streets such as 'The Crescent', a road built in the same style as Bath Row, where Queen Victoria liked to stay ,whilst waiting to cross the Solent to her beloved OSBORNE HOUSE on the Isle of Wight.

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