Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyards

Ever since the year I met Rich, I've wanted to go to the Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyards. I'm a big fan of Victorian history (I actually once considered studying Victorian history at uni) and a total Christmas nut, so it seemed like the ultimate festive day out for me. 
Victorian Characters
After a nightmare parking (pro tip: get there before 12pm if you don't want to spend half an hour sat outside a full car park), we walked around to the entrance of the dockyards. Normally entry to the site is free but for this event it costs around £15 for an adult. However, this does include entry to all of the museums and harbour tours which would normally set you back £32 so it works out a great deal, especially when you factor in all the additional festivities.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyards Festival of Christmas

On arrival, we were given a programme which was charmingly designed to look like a Victorian newspaper. This was really helpful as it included a map of the site and details of when and where special events would take part. 

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a pretty miserable day weather-wise. We were subjected to sudden downpours and vicious winds, which was coupled with huge crowds, meaning the indoors areas were absolutely rammed. In fact, I got talking to a lady who'd attended every year and she said it was the wettest and busiest she'd ever seen it. Typical- we left it all those years and when we do finally go, it's the worst time!
Oliver Street Urchins
Despite the crowds and miserable weather, our spirits weren't dampened. Between spates of taking refuge in Fagin's Tavern- a marquee bar with live music- we explored Snowy Street, which was designed to look just like a Dickensian winter's street, with reenactors playing a range of Victorian characters, from judges and cockneys to prostitutes and prisoners. They were all fully in character and really got involved with the attendees. 

One of the big draws is the pre-Coca-Cola green Father Christmas but I was dissapointed to not even catch a glimpse of him. Probably my fault for not getting there early, to be honest. There was quite a lot I missed out on because of this, although I did make sure to see the oompah band and end our day with the Christmas Carol service. 
Victorian Festival of Christmas
It was a lovely day out to celebrate the start of the Christmas season. I'll definitely be returning... but will arrive a lot earlier next time!

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6 comments:

  1. This looks like such an amazing day out!! How cute! Xx

    OliviaCheryl.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh wow! I had no idea this was even a thing...
    Totally adding THIS to my next years winter goals :P
    Who puts it on?

    Sarah xxo | thesaltyseablog.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just the people at the Dockyards, I think

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  3. I'm with you there this place is fun and exceedingly Christmassy! Did they put the fake snow on despite the weather? X

    Katie https://countrykatieuk.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad you enjoyed it, I think it's fun and never fails to make me feel Christmassy. Did they put the fake snow on despite the bad weather?

    Katie xx https://countrykatieuk.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete

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