Guardian Comment: Boom and bussed

Views inside and outside Lancaster Castle former prison.
Views inside and outside Lancaster Castle former prison.

It seems like all the positivity surrounding Lancaster in the past year has paid off - with visitors proving the point with their feet.

There is no doubt that the city and surrounding areas are on the cusp of a very special era in history as we begin to realise our potential - and let the outside world find us on the map. Lancaster has always been very special but limited by geographic and logistical challenges that have prevented us even attempting to compete on the tourist stage - despite the wealth of fantastic things to see and do.

But the opening up of the Castle to the public, combined with many fantastic events, theatrical and musical and more, we have the chance to do just that. One tour operator, visiting the city with a view to bussing in coach-loads of tourists, summed up the problem of Lancaster with one remark.

Apparently, he never even knew Lancaster had a railway station. It seems unbelievable that someone in the travel trade could not realise we are on the West Coast mainline - but it sums up the ignorance about the accessibility of Lancaster to the rest of the country.

And maybe we are responsible for letting that happen - for hiding our own light under a bushel.

We may not have a theme park, a race course or a lake - instead we have a stunning, historic, city, a remarkable cultural offering, a beautiful seaside resort, and enough pubs and restaurants to shake a stick at.

So now all we need to do is shout about it.