Lord Nelson's Victory

Your visit to The Dickens Christmas Festival

Find out all the information you need to make The Dickens Christmas Festival 2018 your best yet. Explore the areas you'll be able to discover during your visit and what's on throughout the Christmas festival. 

The festival is open from 10am - 6pm from the 30 November - 2 December with last admission at 5pm. 

If you haven't purchased a ticket just yet, there's still plenty of time to do so. Read our handy guide on what not to miss and how to make the most of your day out at the event. 

The best ways to travel

Discover the convenience of travelling to The Dickens Christmas Festival using different transport routes available through Portsmouth.


Travelling by road

Take the worry out of travelling in to the city and use Portsmouth Park and Ride which runs seven days a week and is situated on the M275 entrance to Portsmouth. Find out more at parkandride.portsmouth.gov.uk.

If you prefer to drive, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is less than 5 miles from Junction 12 of the M27, follow the brown and white signs to “Historic Dockyard” which will lead you to our nearest car park. If this car park is full there are others within close proximity at Gunwharf Quays and Havant Street. 


Travelling by train

Portsmouth Harbour train station is just 200 metres from our entrance. Get 20% off day returns* from South Western Railway. Enjoy the festive fun and travel from over 35 destinations including Guildford, Southampton & Woking. Discover Christmas with South Western Railway here


Travelling by coach

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is located next to Portsmouth Hard Interchange which is served by all major coach providers and bus companies. The attraction is only a short walk from the interchange with frequent services to and from London daily.

Explore the map


Oliver Twist

Miniature railway stop - Fagin’s Tavern - Mr Alexander - Fairground - Punch & Judy - HMS Victory - The National Museum of the Royal Navy galleries - The Mary Rose Museum - HMS M.33

Christmas Carol

Miniature railway stop - Outdoor markets - The National Museum of the Royal Navy Tattoos Exhibition

Old Curiosity Shop

The Old Curiosity shop – National Museum gift shop - Mini ports - Indoor markets - Carousel - Boathouse 4 - Jutland: 36 Hours exhibition

David Copperfield

Gin & Prosecco parlour - Food & drink market

Great Expectations

HMS Warrior - Father Christmas - Living Snow Globe

External Caterers

There is plenty to choose from when it comes to food & drink at the Dickens Christmas Festival. We're bringing you tasty treats from a range of fantastic caterers. Cornish Pasty Company - Fish & chips - Yorkshire puddings - Flapping Jacks vegetarian treats - Dorset Hog n Sausage - Crepe Roulette - Scampi - Bubble & - BYSEA tea & coffee Landrover - Kwackers Duck Burgers

On-site catering

As well as the amazing external catering, coffees, cakes and other meals can be found in the Copper Kettle aboard HMS Warrior, Mary Rose’s Café and Costa in the Visitor Centre. Plus, lots of yummy Christmas-themed food will be served up in Boathouse #4 Restaurant in Boathouse 4 which has stunning views of Portsmouth Harbour and in the nautical Boathouse No.7.

Food & drink


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.