Portsmouth’s Victorian Festival of Christmas is back again

From left, Hazel Leathley with Pat Evans and Vivienne Patrick at last year's Victorian Festival of Christmas 
Picture by: Malcolm Wells (151128-2052)
From left, Hazel Leathley with Pat Evans and Vivienne Patrick at last year's Victorian Festival of Christmas Picture by: Malcolm Wells (151128-2052)
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  • New to the annual bonanza will be an immersive walkthrough showing the darker side of a Victorian Christmas
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FESTIVE wonder will soon be hitting Portsmouth as the city welcomes back its annual Victorian Festival of Christmas.

The wintry spectacle is the biggest fixture on the Historic Dockyard’s calendar.

This is one of the biggest events in the run up to Christmas on the south coast and every year just gets better

John Rawlinson, director of visitor experience at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

And this year’s offering looks set to once again wow crowds, with a bumper selection of events and attractions.

The three-day showcase will return on Friday, November 25, with organisers promising it will be the biggest in the event’s 17-year history.

John Rawlinson, director of visitor experience at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, said: ‘This is one of the biggest events in the run-up to Christmas on the south coast and every year gets better.

‘It’s always such a popular event and it’s wonderful to see hundreds of people lining the streets getting into the festive spirit.’

Last year’s bonanza attracted more than 35,000 people to the dockyard.

And with the array of festive fun on offer next month, organisers hope even more visitors will come along to the city.

New for 2016 is an immersive character-driven walk-through experience where visitors will meet a darker side of Christmas in Victorian times.

Historic parts of the dockyard will see a complete transformation into a Victorian-style street, complete with coffin measures, ladies of the night, street urchins, market sellers and many more.

But there will be plenty of family favourites also returning for transport revellers and a bygone era full of colour characters and snow-covered cobbled streets.

There will be everything from a traditional green Father Christmas, to Scrooge in his carry carriage, chimney sweeps and Victorian-style street magicians and musicians.

Fagin’s Tavern in the Spiegeltent, a bustling Christmas market will also be making a welcome return.

The festival takes place from Friday, November 25, to Sunday, November 27, with the dockyard open between 10am and 6pm.

To book tickets, see www.christmasfestival.co.uk