How often do you visit the wealth of attractions on our doorstep?
If you live or work in the Portsmouth area the answer is probably ‘hardly ever, if at all’.
Here are a few: Portchester Castle, Goodwood House, Arundel Castle, Portsmouth, Winchester and Chichester cathedrals, Uppark House, Stansted House.
And then, of course, there are the scintillating maritime hotspots in Portsmouth itself: HMS Victory, Warrior, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the outstanding Mary Rose Museum.
As a local you probably take most, if not all, for granted. They simply exist. We live alongside them but rarely give them a second thought, let alone step inside or on board.
We are so fortunate to have them and never forget, they are a mainstay of the region’s economy.
So it is invigorating to read of Helen Bonser-Wilton’s deadly-serious ambition to plough £500,000 into a new marketing campaign to sell the Mary Rose Museum worldwide and make it a must-see destination for hundreds of thousands of additional domestic and foreign visitors.
We admire her exciting vision of making it compete with the likes of Stonehenge, the Tower of London, and Bath’s Roman baths,
But she has a long way to go.
Last year 365,000 people visited the museum. Sounds good doesn’t it? But Stonehenge drew 1.3m in 2016, the Tower of London 2.7m and those Roman baths, 1.1m.
Still, all power to the Bonser-Wilton elbow. We’d be nothing without ambition.
And we can all play our part by encouraging as many people as possible to visit what by any standards is a world-class attraction right here, on our doorstep. Have you been?