Dickens Watering Hole and Ice Cream

Broadstairsa charming and timeless Victorian seaside town that continues to attract visitors, with winding lanes, clifftop promenade, cobbled streets and fishermen’s cottages. It is clear to see why Charles Dickens, the town’s most famous visitor declared ‘You cannot think how delightful and fresh the place is and how good the walks’, and found inspirations for stories.

Start your visit at Bleak House, nestled on the clifftop overlooking the town’s main beach Viking Bay. Dickens holidayed here every summer for 22 years and wrote several of his famous works including David Copperfield in the study looking out to sea.

Take a leisurely stroll down onto Broadstairs seafront taking in splendid views of Viking Bay, a magnificent horse shoe shaped bay where you will find children’s rides and a surf school.

As you walk along the promenade, stop off and enjoy delicious home-made ice cream from the 1950s Italian ice cream parlour Morelli’s complete with soda fountain and juke box. The business has expanded to stores in Harrods, Monaco, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. Broadstairs is also home to Chiappini’s where you will be spoilt for choice with the huge array of flavours on offer 

Located on Victoria Parade is Dickens House Museum, once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong, the inspiration for Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. This is now adapted as a museum to commemorate the novelist’s association with Broadstairs through letters, personal items, prints and costumes.

As you walk around the town you may spot further connections to the town’s famous holiday maker – Charles Dickens Pub, Dickens Walk, Nickleby Take Away Café and The Old Curiosity Shop.

If you are here in June, the annual Broadstairs Dickens Festival celebrates the life, times and works of the great author with plays, talks and even a Dickensian bathing party.