A world-class day out made even more memorable
A visit to HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860, National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations and Harbour Tours is made even more special when you visit during A Victorian Festival of Christmas!
Download 2012s programme of events!
Information on last year's event:
A true Dickensian Christmas
Join us for a true Dickensian Christmas as this year we celebrate the birth of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth 200 years ago.
The Historic Dockyard with the Naval Pay Office, where Dickens’ father worked still in view, provides the perfect setting for you to meet some of Dickens’ best-loved characters including Scrooge with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Miss Havisham, Oliver Twist, The Artful Dodger, Nancy and Bill Sykes and Fagin with his rowdy gang of pick pockets and buskers in lively sketches and readings from Dickens’ well-loved classics.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year”
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Snowy Streets, a traditional Father Christmas and Reindeer!
There will be snow in the air and underfoot as you take a stroll along the ‘Rich’ and ‘Cheap’ sides of our Dickensian style street. Learn the etiquette of ladies and gentlemen as they promenade and play traditional Victorian games and contrast this with the daily toil of chimney sweeps and the wenches of the Lord Nelson Public House.
A Victorian Father Christmas, dressed in green, will be flying in for the occasion to greet one and all with his trusty Reindeer and Elves, delivering traditional gifts of oranges and coal in a magical new stage scene.
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Victorian dockyard and attractions and enjoy a host of colourful characters, traditional carol singing, a pipe band, the firing and drumming of the Fort Cumberland Guard and look out for Penny Farthings whizzing by!
The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) Re-enactment Society will be undertaking inspections and marches with their soldiers across the weekend. Keep a safe distance though, they are on a recruiting drive to up their numbers and their Recruiting Sergeant has their eye on you! But which wives will be allowed to travel with the soldiers as they leave for their next tour away from England? Watch the ‘wives ballot’ to find out!
The Victorian age of steam will come alive with displays of steam engines, organs and a miniature ride-on railway while Queen Victoria inspects proceedings with her companion, Mr Brown, aboard a beautiful horse-drawn carriage.
A Bavarian Oompah band will be the highlight of an upbeat programme of entertainment inside the ornate Fagin’s Tavern and marvel at the magic, fire eating, juggling and illusions of Mr Alexander’s Travelling Show.
Christmas shopping and food markets
Explore a glorious bazaar of arts, crafts food, drink and gifts at the largest Christmas market on the South Coast! By popular demand The Boutique Market will return with handmade items, artist’s work, vintage desirables and retro objects. Food lovers are also treated to quality, local produce at a Hampshire Fare Market offering a variety of fresh and unusual festive treats. Christmas drink demonstrations (with tasters for the grown-ups!) include mulled wine and cider, ales and hot toddies.