Charles Dickens is possibly Britain’s most celebrated novelist. Very few people escape without reading at least one of his stories during their school years, and he has a massive following as a result. If you are a fan of the greatest Victorian novelist and would like to imagine Britain through his eyes, why not plan a trip to see the places that inspired him, and about which he wrote? Last year was the 200th anniversary of his birth so the whole country is still set up for celebrating his life and works. Here are some must visit places for any Dickens reader:
The Dickens Museum
This impressive museum, set in the only remaining London home of the man himself, is full of interesting artefacts and information about Dickens’ life. See the place where two of Dickens’ daughters were born, and where he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. Stay in one of our London hotels to combine this with…
The Dickens Walking Tour of London
This adventurous option will see you wander through the streets of London to see the places that tell part of the story of Charles Dickens. Pop into the Inns of Court, where Dickens got his first job, aged 15, then follow a route that’ll take you to the place Pip stayed when he first arrived in London and the dining hall where Dickens set the opening of Bleak House.
The Dickens Birthplace Museum
While Dickens may have written much about the unfortunate circumstances of people’s births, his own was quite fortunate, as he began his life in the comfortable regency home now used as the museum. There, you will find many of his prized possessions on display, even including the couch on which he died. On the first Sunday of each month, the museum hosts readings of his work, which make for a lovely afternoon, particularly since they are free. Stay in our Portsmouth hotel for the chance to explore Dickens’ roots.
The Broadstairs Dickens Festival
Between 15th and 21st June, the Kent town of Broadstairs gets transformed into a Victorian-lovers paradise. The town, which is the place written about in Dickens’ Our English Watering Place, decided to celebrate the honour of being visited and loved by Dickens in the form of an annual festival, which includes period costumes, reenactments and readings. You’ll also get to explore a Victorian country fair, as well as listen to concerts of period-appropriate music. Book a room in our Margate Westwood hotel so as not to miss the action.
Restoration House, Rochester
This impressive Elizabethan mansion is Miss Havisham’s Satis House in Great Expectations, and is a must visit for any Dickens fan. Twice a year it plays host to the great Rochester Dickens Festivals, including a summer Victorian fair, and a Christmas festival in honour of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Gads Hill, Dickens’ former home, is in the process of being transformed into a museum and visitor centre, which will give even further access to the great man’s life. Stay in our Medway M2 hotel to be a short drive from all the Dickensian sites.