Broadstairs inspired the novelist Charles Dickens. He visited regularly between 1837 – 1859. Charles Dickens had a summer residence in Broadstairs, now known as Bleak House. The house is currently a bed-and- breakfast and a wedding venue, but you can visit the room where he sat at his desk overlooking Viking Bay, which inspired him to write David Copperfield.
Other novels Charles Dickens partly wrote whilst staying in Broadstairs include: Pickwick, Nicholas Nickleby, Barnaby Rudge , American Notes and The Haunted Man. Consequently, there is much reference to Charles Dickens in Broadstairs: The Old Curiosity Shop, Copperfields B&B, The Charles Dickens public house and the Charles Dickens School, to name just a few.
Located on the seafront is a lovely old cottage which is now the home of the Charles Dickens Museum, full of memorabilia and pictures. This building was once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong, the inspiration for Miss Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield.
Broadstairs is very proud of its association with the novelist Charles Dickens and each year in June the town hosts a Dickens Festival which includes musical entertainment and plays, a Dickensian beach party, Victorian Fair and lots more. This year’s festival will take place 19 – 21 June.