National Trust hopes Netflix's The Dig will boost visitors to Sutton Hoo
- Credit: LARRY HORRICKS/NETFLIX
National Trust officials are preparing for an influx of visitors to Sutton Hoo after the success of the new Netflix film The Dig, which premiered on Friday night.
Nick Collinson, the Trust's regional manager for the Suffolk and Essex coasts, said the overwhelmingly positive response to the film suggested that visits to the site could be very popular once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
And when it is able to fully reopen, the £4million investment over the last few years should really come into its own.
Mr Collinson said: "It seems as if the reaction to the film has been overwhelmingly positive - and it used the Suffolk locations brilliantly to show off the whole area.
"With the developments we have seen here over recent years, we are ready if there is a great increase of interest in Sutton Hoo - with the new exhibition and Tranmer House telling the story of Mrs Pretty and Basil Brown."
You may also want to watch:
Last year, Sutton Hoo was partially open for visitors who had pre-booked in advance.
Mr Collinson said a booking system was likely to remain, but for most of the time there could be a "hybrid" system with booked visitors alongside those who just turned up on the spur of the moment.
- 1 Flooding leaves main route through town 'impassable'
- 2 A14 reopens after serious crash leaves road closed for several hours
- 3 Five cars and a horsebox involved in crash near RAF base
- 4 Teenager who lost driving licence receives surprise in post
- 5 Suffolk to miss worst of thunderstorms - but heavy downpours still expected
- 6 Man arrested after car crashes into supermarket sign
- 7 Winners and Losers: The boss, two commendations, absent friends and remaining winless wonders
- 8 See inside stunning £2m Woodbridge home with 'fantastic leisure complex'
- 9 600 protesters form 'human wall' to oppose Sizewell C sea defences
- 10 Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries in A14 crash
"We don't know how people will feel about going out or what the rules will be, but Sutton Hoo has a lot of space and there's now increased interest in it."
All the developments are now ready for use - including the new tower overlooking the burial mounds.
However, when that will open depends on what rules are being imposed for social distancing, because there are narrow staircases leading to the top.
Mr Collinson said many visitors - particularly if they were making a long journey to visit a property - welcomed the chance to book in advance, so they knew for certain when they could get into the exhibitions at a time when they were not too busy.
But while Sutton Hoo would inevitably be the main focus for many visitors, other sites in Suffolk should also benefit.
"The attractions of the local rivers and the villages that were filmed during the bike ride from Sutton Hoo to Basil's home at Rickinghall were wonderful and really showed off the attractions of Suffolk," said Mr Collinson.
"I am sure this will persuade a lot of people that Suffolk has a great deal to offer visitors and people who live here."
While much of the location filming was carried out in Suffolk, the actual set of The Dig's excavations was set up in Surrey - but National Trust staff members and volunteers were invited there in 2019 to meet the stars on set.