The Victorian Christmas Festival opens at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The Victorian Christmas Festival at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard opens its doors on Friday 29th November.

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Crowds outside HMS Victory, at Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth Historic DockyardCrowds outside HMS Victory, at Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Crowds outside HMS Victory, at Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Spokesman Alex Reynolds said: “Celebrating its 20th year, the Festival is always a favourite with visitors from across Hampshire and beyond, marking the start of the festive season and transforming the cobbled dockyard into a lively harbour-side market full of colourful stalls, familiar Dickensian characters and, new for this year, hair-raising circus performances.

“The Festival takes place from 29th November to 1st December, with a range of special events and attractions to enjoy each day…

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“Friday 29th November: The opening day of the Festival sees proceedings get underway with exclusive performances from Peterkin the madcap jester, who will bring party tricks and games to the main stage, brightening up everyone’s day with some traditional comedy. Grown-ups can enjoy a warming tipple in the ‘Tightrope Tavern’, while for an additional fee, aspiring Santa’s Little Helpers will be able to visit Father Christmas’ grotto, explore the elves’ workshop and receive a special festive gift.

“Saturday 30th November: On day two, the circus rolls into town, with a series of circus workshops taking place inside Action Stations and opportunities to enjoy side shows, watch incredible acrobats and even meet a fire breather! There’s plenty more entertainment available too with Mr Alexander’s Travelling Show - featuring sword juggling, chair balancing and a steady stream of jokes - as well as choirs treating the crowds to plenty of festive favourites.

“Sunday 1st December: With over 100 stalls selling everything from hand-crafted stocking fillers to traditional festive treats, there’s plenty of shopping to be done on the final day of the Festival. Visitors can take in a wonderful cabaret show by the Neptune Girls aboard HMS Warrior, take a ride on the carousel or even take to the water and soak up the surroundings on a wintry harbour tour.

“Throughout the Festival, costumed characters will be roaming the site so visitors can expect to bump into a host of Victorian favourites including Scrooge and Bob Cratchit. Tickets include access to all the attractions on the main dockyard site including HMS Warrior and HMS Victory, plus for the duration of the Festival only, the Mary Rose Museum."

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Tickets to the Victorian Christmas Festival can be booked online in advance and cost £17 per adult and £15 child per child (aged 5-15).

For more information visit