For aficionados of Charles Dickens, this is a fabulous museum to visit.
Whilst this renowned novelist only lived in this beautiful Georgian terraced house from 1837 to 1839, it was in this house at 48 Doughty Street that he wrote what is regarded as his his masterpiece, ‘Oliver Twist’. He also wrote ‘Nicholas Nickleby ‘ here. It’s the only remaining London home of Charles Dickens, but it was an important place in the writer’s life. Within these walls his eldest two daughters were born, and his sister-in-law Mary died aged 17. With the publishing of ‘Oliver Twist’, it was therefore in this house that he achieved lasting celebrity and universal recognition as one of the world’s greatest storytellers.
As a museum, it holds the world’s most important collection relating to Dickens, who was not only a great novelist but also a tireless social campaigner. The collection includes letters, pictures, first editions, furniture, and memorabilia, all set out in lovingly restored rooms.
When you enter the museum you will step back in time and walk the halls in the footsteps of Charles Dickens. You will see where he wrote, where he dined and where he entertained his many guests with lively readings and performances. You will be able to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and scents of his family home. The rare books, paintings, photographs and personal objects on display here give a unique insight into his life and work.
Whilst you can book tickets on line, I just showed up and there was no issue with entry. My concession ticket cost £10.50; an adult ticket is £12.50. The museum is laid out over 5 floors. A lift is available for those requiring mobility assistance for four floors. Unfortunately the top attic floor containing the nursery and a bedroom for servants is accessible by stairs only.
The museum is nicely set up, and information boards convey a lot of useful information to make your visit more meaningful. There’s also guides in various rooms who will answer questions and provide information. A couple were a bit officious, not liking the fact that I dared to diverge from the set path to the top, but I wanted to revisit things I’d seen during my visit so just ignored that.
I enjoyed the museum. It will take you a good hour to explore fully, and to appreciate all the things that it contains. There’s a cafe, and bathroom facilities, though I used neither. The nearest underground stations are King’s Cross St Pancras, and Chancery Lane. I used the 63 bus, alighting at the Crowne Plaza hotel and walking the short distance to Doughty Street.