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Dickens World

dw.jpgAbout 30 miles to the southeast of central London, at Chatham in Kent, the Dickens World indoor theme park is based around the life, times and stories of one of Britain’s greatest authors: Charles Dickens.

Dickens World can be found at Chatham Maritime (adjacent to the Dockland outlet center), near the Kentish town of Rochester where Charles Dickens spent his childhood. (Map)

The park that celebrates his legacy includes mockups and recreations of Victorian buildings, with cobbled streets, winding alleys, courtyards, shops and a dockside, populated by shop keepers and street entertainers in period costume. Here you’ll find Europe’s largest indoor boat ride, which takes visitors through recreations of London’s sewers, across the city and over the rooftops.

Other attractions include the Haunted House of Ebenezer Scrooge, Fagin’s Den (an ironic play area for children), Peggoty’s Boat House, the School Room (featuring “The Dreaded Disciplines of Victorian Education”), Crime and Punishment, an Old Curiosity Shoppe, a 4D high definition show and a state-of-the art animatronic show.

During the Christmas season, all attractions are converted into a Dickensian winter wonderland, where characters such as the Spirit of Christmas, Jack Frost and Scrooge come to life.

Dickens World is open year round: Tuesday-Friday from 10am-4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5:30pm. Tickets are £11.50 adults, £6.50 for children aged 5-15; children under 5 may enter free.

Trains to Chatham Station run from Charing Cross, London Bridge or Victoria. Dickens World is about 1 mile from Chatham Station; shuttle buses run every ten minutes and cost £1 for the round trip. If you’re driving from central London, the A2 road from just south of Tower Bridge will lead you to Rochester and Chatham.

Note: Should you want to stay overnight near the park, Dickens World generally offers a package deal at the adjacent Ramada Hotel, located at Chatham Maritime.

The official Dickens World website