VISITORS to Yarmouth Castle increased last year — and the attraction had its best year since 2003.
The castle's footfall was up 22 per cent in 2019, and then 2021 was its busiest year for 18 years.
Once one of Henry VIII’s most sophisticated coastal fortresses, Yarmouth Castle was designed to guard the western entrance to The Solent and prevent capture of the Isle of Wight as a prelude to larger assaults on the south of England.
Data shows 68 per cent of Yarmouth Castle's visitors were English Heritage members.
In 2021, more than 372,000 people joined English Heritage and they have driven visitor numbers to local sites.
English Heritage saw a boom in visitor numbers to its smaller, more local sites in 2021, with several reporting their best years since records began.
The charity said it is a "clear indication" that the public took advantage of the ‘stay at home’ mandate to rediscover the heritage on their doorstep.
Perhaps thanks to its high media profile over the past 18 months, Barnard Castle in County Durham had its best ever year in 2021, with visitor numbers to the picturesque fortress up by almost 20 per cent in comparison to 2019.