Dockyard goes back to the Victorian days for Christmas

Kathy Rolfe (left) with her children Oscar (5, front left), Angus (20 months) Finlay (7) and Ethan (9) and her mum Gillian Hitchens, at the Festival of Christmas at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Kathy Rolfe (left) with her children Oscar (5, front left), Angus (20 months) Finlay (7) and Ethan (9) and her mum Gillian Hitchens, at the Festival of Christmas at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
The quarter deck of HMS Victory

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WITH a flurry of fake snow and plenty of Dickensian characters, the first day of a Christmas festival got under way.

Each year Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard is transformed into a winter wonderland as it welcomes the Victorian Festival of Christmas.

Joe David as a Willy Wonka character at the Festival of Christmas

Joe David as a Willy Wonka character at the Festival of Christmas

The event offers a mix of Christmas shopping with markets, festive food with a cookery demonstration and a chance to see a traditional Father Christmas, who is dressed in green, with baby reindeer.

Kathy Rolfe, 34, of Littlehampton, took her mum and four children, Ethan, nine, Finlay, seven, Oscar, five and Angus, 20 months.

Kathy said: ‘We had a great time.

‘The kids loved to see the baby reindeer.’

There was also live music and dance performances.

Jana Gee, 29, who travelled from Guildford with her children especially to experience the festival, said: ‘We absolutely loved it.

‘There was so much going on it was amazing.

‘Sometimes the kids can get bored, but there’s so much going on here they didn’t.’

Tickets can be bought for today and tomorrow.

To find out more visit christmasfestival.co.uk.