Time travel in the dockyard

The Victorian Festival of Christmas.
The Victorian Festival of Christmas.

Prepare to get ‘all shook up’

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Step back into the enchanting world of Dickens with a visit to the Victorian Festival of Christmas.

Now in its 15th year, the festival is taking place at the Historic Dockyard from today until Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

Organisers promise to transport visitors into a bygone era of Dickensian-style snow covered streets and a wonderland of entertainment.

Victorian characters such as chimney sweeps, suffragettes and the gentry will also be strolling about the grounds and street performers will add to the festive atmosphere.

More than 600 costumed volunteers organised by the Groundlings Theatre will be part of the event. This year’s festival also includes a first Victorian bandstand for the first time.

Not to be missed is Fagin’s Tavern in the Spiegeltent located next to HMS Victory. There you will find a real ale bar and entertainment.

Children will be able to meet and greet Santa’s reindeers, as well as encounter the jolly old man himself, fully decked out in his traditional green robes.

Head of events Roger Sheppard says this year’s festival followed months of planning and would be bigger than ever before.

He says: ‘This year we’ve got a brilliant programme and a bigger Christmas market than we’ve ever had.

‘It’s going to be a fantastic weekend and we encourage everyone to come on down and enjoy it.’

The biggest drawcard for many young visitors is sure to be the showing of the hit Disney animated film Frozen which the audience can sing along to.

A live host and lyrics on screen will help you sing along with the main characters, Elsa and Anna.

Visitors are encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from the film and take part in a fancy-dress competition.

There will be three showings of frozen each day, starting at 10:15am, 1pm and 4pm.

Tickets for the festival are £17.50 for adults, £15.50 for children and, and £16.50 for over 60s and students.

Tickets for Frozen cost an extra £1 but get there extra early for these as ‘walk-up’ tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first served basis . Visit christmasfestival.co.uk or call (023) 9283 9766 for more.