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See for yourself why Charles Dickens loved to holiday in Broadstairs

Broadstairs, a charming and timeless Victorian seaside town, 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.

Bleak House (external viewing) nestled on the clifftop overlooks 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 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 home to Chiappini’s where you will be spoilt for choice with the huge array of flavours on offer

Located on Victoria Parade Dickens House Museum, was once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong, the inspiration for Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. Now, a museum to commemorate the novelist’s association with Broadstairs through letters, personal items, prints and costumes. Walk in Dickens’ footsteps, with the Dickens Town Trail created to mark the museum's 50th anniversary in 2023. 

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. On the seafront enter the plaque code to learn more

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.


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!"

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