Enjoy the Dickens Festivals in Kent this June

May 18, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Upcoming Events

Charles Dickens is much loved for his great contribution to classic English literature. He was the quintessential Victorian author and today his novels are still read or turned into films, television dramas or stage plays. His epic stories include A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and David Copperfield. The vivid characters and exhaustive depiction of contemporary life are unforgettable. There is a museum to Dickens in his former home in central London, however it is in Kent, where many of his books were set, where his life and works are celebrated at two annual festivals in June, in different locations and at different times. Plus, there are costumed walking tours of Rochester throughout the year.

The towns around the River Medway were the inspiration for many of Dickens’ greatest works. Indeed, Restoration House in Rochester was Satis House in Great Expectations, where Miss Havisham lived. Charles Dickens spent five of his childhood years in the area from 1817 to 1822. He was an international legend when he returned for the last 13 years of his life.

The area is proud of its association with the writer and the Dickens Festival has celebrated these lasting connections every year since 1978. The festival’s combination of music, dance, drama and street theatre has rightly earned its place as one of the key events of the summer in Kent. This year the Dickens Festival runs over the weekend of the 31st May to 2nd June.

Broadstairs is full of quiet charm – Charles Dickens visited it regularly and declared it his favourite seaside resort. It is situated on Viking Bay – a wide sweep of golden sand basking against a backdrop of cliffs and picturesque Victorian and Edwardian architecture. A Dickens Festival has been running in the town since 1937. During the week commencing 15th June the town comes alive with parades, plays and concerts celebrating the author’s life and times.

If you are unable to make either of the festivals, you could always take a costumed walking tour of Charles Dickens’ Rochester. The town is still brimming with locations from his famous novels. The visits, which have been running since 2005, are led by guides who dress as characters from Dickens stories ranging from Our Mutual Friend to Nicholas Nickleby.