Broadstairs is a seaside resort on the eastern Kent coast in south-east England. Victorian author Charles Dickens first came to stay here in 1837 when he was 25 year old rising author of The Pickwick Papers. He repeatedly returned over the next couple of decades.


Dickens House Museum.


The Dickens House Museum.

The Dickens House Museum was once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong on whom much of the character of Miss Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield is believed to be based.

The museum features a range of Dickens-related artefacts, including letters he wrote from or about Broadstairs.



Bleak House (formerly Fort House).

Bleak House, formerly known as Fort House, is a large house on the cliff overlooking the North Foreland and Viking Bay in Broadstairs. It was built around 1801 and then substantially extended, doubling in size, in 1901.

Charles Dickens spent Summer holidays at Fort House in the 1850s and 1860s and it was there in that “airy nest” above the harbour that he wrote perhaps his noted work, David Copperfield. Fort House was dubbed Bleak House in the early part of the 20th Century after an assertion that it was the Bleak House referred to in Dickens’ 1853 novel. The name Bleak House remained and the venue has promoted its connections to Dickens since.






Dickens Festival.

To commemorate the towns connections with the author, every year Broadstairs holds a Dickens festival (around the third week of June).


Further Reading (external sites).

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Click here to visit the Broadstairs Dickens Festival website.

Click here to visit the Wikipedia entry for Bleak House, Broadstairs.