Get ready for the 86th Broadstairs Dickens Festival

Broadstairs Dickens Festival Photo Carole Adams

Broadstairs Dickens Festival returns this Friday, marking its 86th year.

Expect cricket, gin tasting, the festival play, talks, a Victorian Summer fair and music, the Grand Parade and more.

The festival, from June 16-18, marks the town’s link to the Victorian author who first visited in 1837 when he was 25.

After lodging at 12, High Street, where he worked on ‘Pickwick’, he took a house, which is now part of The Royal Albion Hotel, where he finished ‘Nicholas Nickleby’.

Photo Carole Adams

He also stayed at Lawn House, which is now Archway House, where he wrote part of Barnaby Rudge and finally at Fort House where he spent the majority of his holidays in Broadstairs and wrote part of ‘American Notes’, ‘David Copperfield’ and ‘The Haunted Man’.

It was at Fort House, now Bleak House, on his last long holiday in Broadstairs that he wrote ‘Our English Watering Place’ published in August 1852 and standing as a permanent reminder of his affection for the town.

Photo Carole Adams

In 1937, to commemorate the centenary of the author’s first visit, Gladys Waterer, the then resident of Dickens House, conceived the idea of putting on a production of David Copperfield and of having people about the town in Victorian dress to publicise it and the festival was born.

The Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship was formed the same year and today members meet in Broadstairs on the first Wednesday of each month.

Find more details at


1 Comment

  1. they are certainly obsessed with mr dickens considering he spent such a short time in broadstairs ?

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