* 2024 Season: Good Friday 29th March - 3rd November: Wednesday to Sunday, 1pm to 4.30pm (last entry 4pm)*
Dickens House Museum celebrates Charles Dickens' long connection with Broadstairs (1837-1851). It is housed in the cottage that was Charles Dickens' inspiration for the home of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. According to the reminiscences of Charles Dickens son Charley, they regularly had tea there with Miss Mary Pearson Strong, and her belief of her right to stop the passage of donkeys in front of her cottage became the donkey incident for the character of Betsey Trotwood.
The parlour, described by Dickens and illustrated by Phiz, will be known to readers of David Copperfield. The cupboard in the corner may be recognised as the "press" from which Miss Betsey produced the concoctions she gave poured down the throat of young David Copperfield.
Visitors to Dickens House Museum will see items that once belonged to Charles Dickens including letters written about Broadstairs, his writing box and mahogany sideboard, along with a fine collection of prints by H K Browne (Phiz), one of Dickens' principal illustrators. There are also displays of Dickensian memorabilia, Victorian costumes and Victoriana, as well as a feature on "Our English Watering Place". It was in 1851 that Charles Dickens wrote this affectionate record of the town and its inhabitants.
On the 5th October 1849 Charles Dickens, whilst staying at the Albion Hotel (now Royal Albion Hotel), where he was writing early chapters of David Copperfield said in a letter to friend, the illustrator John Leech, about the delights of the Thanet resort: "There has been a trifle of rain here – a spot or two. But today is one of the most wonderful and charming days I ever saw – the air so brisk and bracing as it is nowhere but at Broadstairs – the Channel so busy and alive with shipping as it is nowhere but off Broadstairs – the hotel so cosy and like a private house as it is nowhere but in Broadstairs – everything as nothing is out of Broadstairs. Veeve la Broadstairs!"
Tours are available for Groups of 10+ people from March 2024.
The museum has a gift shop and is staffed by volunteers, who are passionate about Charles Dickens and happy to guide visitors around the unique house.
Learn more about Charles Dickens on a digital discovery...
Pick up a copy of the new Dickens Town Trail from the museum
The entrance is wide enough for wheelchairs, and involves one step, but there is a ramp alternative. Staff can assist at the entrance point.
The attraction itself has 2 floors with 14 stairs. There is no lift or ramp alternative. The ground floor is accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. There are areas to sit and read information about the attraction.
There are 2 accessible parking bays approximately 50 metres from the entrance and the nearest accessible toilets are approximately 160 metres from the attraction, at Broadstairs Bandstand.
Quiet days and special tours can be arranged.
2024 Season (29th March - 3rd November)