Today is the day we have been waiting for..…the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Victorian author Charles John Huffam Dickens and in Kent we are going to celebrate the whole year long. We know that Dickens was not adverse to a party, “I arrived home at one oClock this morning dead drunk, & was put to bed by my loving missis”.
Here is just a small selection of the literary celebrations in store over the year. Rochester, the town Dickens made his own, has already started its Dickens celebrations:
5th – 11th February: Celebrating Dickens in Rochester & Chatham
A host of celebrations including a parade, a Traditional Pantomime at Dickens World, a celebration at St Mary’s Churchyard and a Dickens cream tea at Eastgate House in Rochester.
9th February, The Bicentenary Dinner at Dickens World, Chatham
Dickens World is hosting a sit down meal in Victorian costume dress to celebrate the Bicentenary.
7th March, 11am: Why Dickens still matters; Gravesend Visitor Centre
Author Lucinda Dickens Hawksley talks about her new book on her great, great, great grandfather, Charles Dickens. Lucinda looks at the man behind the books, his journalism, his social campaigning and how he made a difference to the world in which he lived and why his ideals remain relevant today.
8th – 10th June: Medway Dickens Festival
A spectacular event when Rochester turns back the clock to the Victorian era and the streets throng with locals dressed in Victorian costume & parades take place through historic Rochester each day.
16th – 22nd June: Broadstairs Dickens Festival
Charles Dickens loved Broadstairs & visited regularly for over 20 years describing the seaside resort as “Our English Watering Place”. In 1937, to commemorate the centenary of the author’s first visit, a festival was planned and, with the exception of the years of World War 2, has been held annually in the third week of June ever since.
28th November – 16 December: Dickens Christmas Festival & Market in Rochester Castle
Back in Rochester again, and a Victorian Christmas Market held in the grounds of the Norman Castle, built to protect the River Medway crossing. Visit an array of wonderful German ‘style’ Christmas market huts selling Christmas gifts, hand-crafted goods and festive fayre. Street entertainers and Dickensian characters mingle amongst the revellers, whilst bands, and carol singers entertain visitors to the market.
If you are looking for something a little more personal, then South East Tour Guides can plan trips according to your Dickens interests. Click to see our brochure on Charles Dickens in Kent and how you can travel around the beautiful Garden of England discovering settings described in Dickens novels or following the influences of Kent upon Dickens, including many of his favourite places.
Contact email@example.com to request more details on how you can book your bespoke private tour.