Take a trip to Christmas past, in a more pleasant way than Scrooge did, by visiting one of the many Dickens, Victorian and medieval themed events taking place across the UK this festive season.
Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre
Ludlow’s medieval fayre features jesters, giant puppets, interactive theatre, live music and fighting knights. An event that encourages you to eat, drink and be merry with a cheery mix of entertainment, hands-on activities, local food and drink and more than 100 stalls.
This year’s entertainment will include walkabout and pop-up performances, mass carol-singing and wassailing sessions, axe-throwing and have-a-go archery. There’ll also be knight tournaments and historical re-enactments. The event takes place on both 23rd and 24th November, with tickets priced from £5.
Warwick Victorian Christmas Evening
At this year’s Victorian evening, on Thursday 28th November, there will be attractions throughout the town centre including a traditional steam-powered carousel, a Victorian Ferris wheel, fairground organs, fire spinners, morris dancing, Victorian scallywags, children’s rides and entertainment, a Victorian market, festive food, and craft stalls.
There will also be a Christmas Tree Festival at St. Mary’s Church, and a stage with live music and entertainment. Shopkeepers and stallholders will be in period costume, and visitors are encouraged to enter into the spirit of the evening by dressing up themselves.
Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre
Worcester’s 27th Victorian Fayre, running from 28th November to 1st December, will feature a traditional carousel, carols, and more than 200 stalls selling local produce and unique gifts.
There will also be entertainers on stilts and festive gentlemen jugglers, live music and buskers on every street corner, as well as Scrooge and some dubious characters hanging around Gin Alley.
Christmas through Time Black Country Living Museum
Find out about Christmas through time, starting from Victoria’s reign through to the 1930s, at the Black Country Living Museum.
Enjoy a classic film in the 1920s Limelight Cinema, see a plum pudding being made in the traditional way, write a Christmas card and relax by the fireside in the Bottle & Glass Inn with a mulled wine. The event runs from 23rd November to 24th December, with admission priced from £9.45.
Ulverston Dickensian Festival
Ulverston’s Dickensian Festival, or ‘Dickfest’ as cheeky locals call it, attracts thousands of people looking to savour the atmosphere of a traditional market town in the Dickensian era. This year’s event will be taking place on 23rd and 24th November.
Expect horse drawn carriages, a traditional funfair, brass bands, singing and dancing, costumed parades, mulled wine and plenty of festive food.
Otley Victorian Fayre
Otley Victorian Fayre, on 1st December, will have a wide variety of stalls offering gifts and food, as well as street entertainment and lots of people in Victorian costumes. The fayre has a special indoor area for stalls selling all handmade gifts and produce, perfect for Christmas shopping.
The event also features a Victorian themed shop window competition, a visit from Santa and fairground rides.
Grassington Dickensian Festival
On the first two weekends in December, Grassington travels back in time for their annual Dickensian Festival. Visitors are treated to a glorious array of sights, tastes and smells from a bygone era.
The village is adorned in Christmas lights, whilst the square and streets come alive with a traditional market where shopkeepers and villagers are dressed in Victorian costume. Visitors can enjoy buskers, bands, street entertainers, a torchlit procession, and mulled wine by the open brazier.
Ware Dickensian Evening
Step back in time on 6th December, with an evening of traditional entertainment. This year’s event in Ware will have stalls selling handmade gifts, hot food and drink.
At about 7pm, the Mayor, hailed by the Ware Town Crier, will turn on the lights on the mighty horse-chestnut tree in Tudor Square, to the accompaniment of carols. Expect live music and entertainment throughout the evening, as well as a funfair and plenty of stalls to browse.
Portsmouth’s Victorian Festival of Christmas
At this year’s festival, visitors will be able to enjoy Christmas markets, Victorian street performers and a traditional Father Christmas decked out in green.
Visitors can also relax in the Tightrope Tavern, catch a bit of cabaret from the Neptune Girls on HMS Warrior, watch Victorian choirs at the snow scene, see Mr Alexanders Travelling Show and enjoy a wintery ride on a harbour tour. The festival runs from 29th November to 1st December and tickets are priced from £15.
Victorian Christmas at Blists Hill
Experience the atmosphere of a bygone era and enjoy an array of traditional celebrations from the 1800s by visiting Blists Hill Victorian Town. Enjoy the town’s festive decorations, meet Father Christmas, listen to carol singers and brass bands, and try your hand at candle dipping and Christmas card making.
There’ll also be pantomime performances, Punch & Judy, and circus acts to watch. The celebrations take place over two weekends, 7th and 8th December and 14th and 15th December, with admission priced from £11.50.
Rochester Dickensian Christmas Festival
Expect street entertainment, open air carol concerts, parades and plenty of Victorian characters at this Dickensian festival. On 7th and 8th December, visitors will be able to rub shoulders with some of Dickens’ most beloved and infamous characters. There will also be a Christmas market for some festive shopping.
Festival highlights usually include the Seven Poor Travellers’ Procession, led by the Lamplighter, a speech by ‘Charles Dickens’ and the carving of the turkey, as well as a candlelit parade with costumed characters.
Garstang Victorian Christmas
Enjoy an array of street entertainment, on both 9th and 10th December, with bands, carol singers, street stalls, Punch & Judy, and Santa himself who arrives in style and sets up shop in his grotto on the High Street.
Garstang’s event will have a vast array of stalls selling everything from hog roast and German sausages, to candy floss and doughnuts, including a special area with items made in Lancashire. Most of the shops stay open in the evening for a spot of late night gift shopping too.
Victorian Christmas at Brunel’s ss Great Britain
Step back in time and meet ragged Victorians and passengers from the past. Meet Mr Brunel, take part in the Victorian print workshop, hear carol singers and brass bands, and enjoy some festive food and drink.
Visitors can also climb the rigging of ss Great Britain’s mainmast and pick up some Victorian style gifts including wooden toys. The Christmas weekend takes place on 7th and 8th December with tickets priced from £9.50.
Tales and Traditions of a Victorian Christmas
Head along to Edinburgh Castle and find out about the origins of Christmas traditions from Victorian times. Learn about the origins of the Christmas cracker, Christmas cards, and other festive traditions.
Head along between 19th and 21st December to hear more, the event is included with the normal admission price to the castle.
Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum
Finally, get into the Christmas spirit by making a visit to the former family home of Charles Dickens.
This year there will be events including a Christmas Housemaid’s Tour, A Christmas Carol with Professor Michael Slater, Ghost Stories for Christmas performed by James Swanton, costumed Christmas walks, A Christmas Carol performed by Dominic Gerrard, and a Christmas Late with theatrical entertainment and a candlelit bar.