Whether you’re visiting Holborn for business or pleasure, you simply can’t pass through this vibrant part of London without making time for a trip to the Charles Dickens Museum. Dickens lived here from 1837 until 1839 with his wife Catherine and their three children at the time (they later went on to have ten children), and this attractive terraced house on Doughty Street has been refurbished to appear as it would have done at the time.
The museum is currently closed for extensive renovation works to the tune of £3.1 million, but from the end of the year it will be re-opened to the public complete with improved access and a richer visitor experience. Key to the project is work to expand and redisplay the rooms in order to return them to their typical Victorian appearance.
This fascinating era will be brought to life, highlighting the intricacies of Victorian customs and throwing the spotlight on such domestic details as décor, furnishings and ornaments. Dickens’ personal belongings will also be on display, and visitors will be privy to such treasures as manuscripts, rare editions, letters, portraits, personal items, paintings and more.
Perhaps most important to the refurbishment works is the effort to make it feel as though Dickens has just left the building. This is what the visitor experience is all about, and the re-launch of this magnificent museum is expected to heighten this sense of presence, bringing with it a new sense of engagement and an enthralling insight into the great man’s life.
The museum will be re-opened with much fanfare at the end of the year, bringing with it a new range of educational sessions such as tours, workshops and interactive activities for all ages. Those with a quest for Dickens knowledge will thoroughly enjoy the museum experience and, if you have a little time to spare, it’s well worth stopping over to make the most of the experience.
There are plenty of Holborn hotels on offer to suit every taste and budget and the area is close to many other key attractions too, such as Covent Garden and Leicester Square. Simply hop on the tube, or its hit the pavements – it’s only a 15 minute walk from Holborn.
However great your expectations, this magnificent museum surely won’t disappoint.
The editor of Discovery News Journal, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.