Christmas isn’t Christmas without at least one rendition of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, so where better to visit in the run up to Christmas than the Charles Dickens House in Bloomsbury. Come Christmastide it is decorated in a suitably Christmassy manner.
Stepping across the threshold of 48 Doughty Street in December is to enter Christmas past. Sprigs of holly and candles are everywhere you look. For the full Dickensian experience you can visit in the evening when flickering candle light illuminates your way. Evening tours are available throughout the year if you want to see his house without the holly. Even the dining table is set awaiting the great man and his friends, although I doubt they would have had personalised plates!
Visiting the Dickens House at any time of year, or day, offers the opportunity to glimpse behind the front door of a grand London terraced house. ‘Housemaid Tours’ are on offer throughout the year, or you can simply wander around learning about Dickens’ life from the son of a man thrown into debtors prison to the grandest literary lion in town. I especially like the shadows of Dickens that invite you to explore a little bit more of the house.
Doughty Street might be a little off the beaten track for many people, but fear not there is a very pleasant café at the back of the museum. It even has a courtyard garden to sit in, the perfect place to bring a laptop and work on your own novel perhaps?
CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM
48 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LX
Open: December every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day 10am – 5pm.
January – November, Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
Admission: Adults £9, concessions £6, Children £4
Christmas by Candlelight: £20 (evening entry for the rest of the year costs the same as regular admission)