Lord Nelson's Victory

Discover the magic of Christmas

Travel back in time to a bygone era, where snowy Dickensian streets welcome you to a world of festive cheer, as you enjoy one of the south’s finest Christmas festivals. The gates open to a world of Christmas joy from 30 November - 2 December from 10am - 6pm. 

Treat yourself to some well-earned retail therapy as you browse our Christmas markets. We're bringing you brand new markets for 2018, the Hampshire Makers market - a celebration of local handmade talent! Plus, Dickensian street performers, traditional green Father Christmas and so much more!

Get your tickets at advanced ticket prices today!

Meet new Halloween friends onboard HMS Warrior

Meet Dickensian characters

This year we're celebrating Portsmouth-born Charles Dickens, seen by some as the father of the modern Christmas! Meet characters from Mr. Dickens' most famous novels including Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and A Christmas Carol.

Meet the fearsome Miss Havisham or the grump Mr Scrooge - you might even spot the legendary author himself. Test your knowledge of Charles Dickens and his literary works in our special quiz.

Enjoy a gin or two inside Fagin's Tavern

Gin-gle bells, gin-gle bells

Alongside our traditional festive entertainment, why not visit our brand new gin and prosecco parlour for an added bit of indulgence. Dickens himself was said to have been a fan of gin and was impressed with the new fangled "cocktail" on a trip to America in the 1840s - the Gin Sling became a firm favourite of his for the rest of this life.

Warm your spirits and raise a glass of gin in toast to Mr Dickens in the brand new Gin & Prosecco parlour.

Check out our Dickens Christmas Festival event guide

Plan your day out

Find out the best ways to travel to The Dickens Christmas Festival this season, when to arrive and what themed zones are available to explore.

Discover how each zone is themed around a Charles Dicken's novel, what each zone will feature and the most convenient route around the site.

Get a taste of what to expect when you visit and the attractions open to you on the day. 

Explore the exciting Old Curiousity Shop

We’re bringing our very own Curiosity Shop to the Dickens Christmas Festival but some have gotten loose! Can you find all the festive characters in time before Christmas ends? See if you can spot The Living Snow Globe – the most curious object of them all, as she wanders around the Historic Dockyard.

She'll often be seen near snowy areas and loves being the centre of attention. Can you try and get a picture with her? Try and make her smile - it won't be easy!

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Get your advanced tickets today

Enjoy cheaper tickets when you buy them online before you arrive at the south's largest Christmas festival.

Buy ticket
  • Visitors who buy a Dickens Christmas Festival ticket can gain entry to all attractions in the Historic Dockyard only, including the Mary Rose Museum. The waterbus service will be unavailable during this time.

  • The Dickens Christmas Festival is a separate ticketed event and is not included as part of a Full Navy Ticket. We offer fantastic value family and adult tickets online. You can buy your Dickens Christmas Festival ticket here.

  • Please note that the waterbus is not running during The Dickens Christmas Festival. If you would like to visit the Royal Navy Submarine Museum or Explosion Museum then you can access these sites by driving to the museum or using the Gosport Ferry and walking to the museum. The Submarine Museum is a 15 minute walk from the Gosport Ferry and the Explosion Museum is about a 40 minute walk from the ferry. The use of Gosport Ferry is not included as part of your festival ticket. You can purchase tickets from Gosport Ferry on the day. 

  • Due to the high volume of visitors expected, we’re unable to guarantee parking availability. We recommend visitors take public transport including the Park and Ride on Saturday and Sunday which drops you off just outside our gate. More information on parking alternatives can be found here.

  • When you buy your Dickens Christmas Festival ticket, make sure you have your confirmation email to hand, printed or on your phone before arriving. We’ll scan it on arrival before you enter the event. We recommend downloading the ticket as a PDF before arriving. 

  • To maintain safety for visitors, we operate a 100% bag search policy throughout the weekend of the Dickens Christmas Festival.

  • Visitors who require an accessible entrance can access the site through a dedicated side entrance into the Visitor Centre.

  • There are two ways we recommend – they’re fast and easy solutions. Portsmouth Park and Ride offers a day ticket for up to 8 people for £4 which drops you off outside Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. If possible, we recommend taking the train as Portsmouth Harbour Station is only a 3 minute walk away.

  • We will issue your free carers pass when you arrive, please feel free to book for the rest of your party in advance and bring with you some sort of proof of status. 

  • Our media team will be taking photos and filming on all three days. Please be aware that you might be captured on film when you enter marked areas across the Historic Dockyard. The footage may be used for promotional purposes online and in the media. If you do not wish to appear in the photographs or films, please avoid the area at the times given above.

  • Yes, you will be given a wristband or hand stamp to allow re-entry, although please be aware that you will need to pass through the bag search again upon re-entry.

  • Visitors will need to select from three different dates. Your ticket will only give you entry for the date you choose.  Additional tickets will be needed if you want entry across different days.

  • You can contact our team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will be able to re-send your email confirmation to you or call 023 9283 9766 (opt.1).

  • You can buy tickets on the door. However, we recommend buying tickets online prior to the event as prices for tickets will be more on the day. To get tickets at advance prices, purchase online before you arrive.

  • Personnel with a MOD 90 pass can get free entry to the Dickens Christmas Festival on presentation of the pass. Get 25% off for up to four friends and family upon presentation of the pass when you purchase them on the day inside the Visitor Centre.

    up to four friends and family tickets
  • Visitors can purchase tickets through Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website. Websites that feature discounts or promotions unrelated to the Dickens Christmas Festival can’t be used against an event ticket. 

  • Due to the volume of people expected, dogs are not allowed on site for safety reasons. Assistance dogs are allowed on site at any time.

  • Mobility scooters and wheelchairs can be organised and pre-booked through Portsmouth Shop Mobility and available for a fee. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 023 9281 6973. Mobility scooters charged at £15 per day.