Many of us know more about our last holiday destination than we do about our home city.
We usually check out galleries, museums, natural wonders and historic sites when we’re travelling, but often we don’t take as much interest in our local area.
English Tourism Week is hoping to change all that by encouraging local tourism.
As an extension of the stay-cation concept that was introduced a few years ago, urging Brits to take their holidays in Britain, the organisers of English Tourism Week are suggesting that we should all try being tourists on our own patch for a week.
There is plenty going on to get families in the holiday spirit during the awareness week, which starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday, March 18.
The Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is currently being rebuilt, with the new museum due to open later this year. But you can still visit the site and handle replica artefacts, see a film of the ship’s story so far and meet costumed guides who bring to life the various crew members.
Until April 15, you can also see a collection of costumes from Emmy Award-winning series The Tudors, as worn by stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joss Stone and Joely Richardson.
The dockyard opens daily at 10am and year-long tickets cost £15.80 to £21.50.
See The News on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday next week for vouchers for a £10 ticket to the Historic Dockyard next weekend.
Meanwhile, over at the City Museum in Museum Road you can find out what makes Portsmouth different at an exhibition called No Place Like Pompey. You can also stroll through a 19th century dockworker’s kitchen, an art deco dining room and a 1950s living room, enjoy seaside amusements and explore the extraordinary life and world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – including Sherlock Holmes who was ‘born’ in Southsea.
In the temporary gallery space, the current exhibition A Tale of One City celebrates the bicentenary of Charles Dickens, who was born in Portsmouth.
The free city museum is open Tuesday to Sunday and bank holidays from 10am to 5pm.
In Southsea, key moments from D-Day are captured on film, in photos and with models at the D-Day Museum.
The centrepiece of the museum is the Overlord Embroidery. At 272 feet, it’s the modern equivalent of the Bayeux Tapestry, commemorating the pivotal moment in the Second World War.
Open daily from 10am to 5pm, entry into the D-Day Museum costs £4.50 to £6.50.
Visit during English Tourism Week for a 20 per cent discount on these prices.
Finally, Gunwharf Quays will be welcoming a very special guest tomorrow to kick off English Tourism Week.
King Henry VIII (or an impersonator of the infamous monarch) will be at the Portsmouth leisure destination tomorrow from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.
A fan of our city, he’ll be encouraging people to visit local museums and galleries, in particular the museum of the Mary Rose (his flagship), the D-Day Museum and the Portsmouth City Museum.
n For more details about the Mary Rose, D-Day and City Museums, plus other Hampshire museums and galleries, visit visitsoutheastengland.com/historyrevealed