Victorian Festival of Christmas.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will welcome back the Victorian Festival of Christmas this year, which will see new specially created artistic installations take centre stage.

Described as one of the largest such festivals on the south coast, the Victorian Festival of Christmas will run from 1st to 3rd December, from 10am to 6pm.

About the festival

Kicking off the seasonal celebrations, the festival will transport visitors to a bygone era, with an array of colourful characters and street entertainers roaming the cobbled streets.

Leading the festivities this year will be a new, soon-to-be-unveiled regiment of 12 life-size naval-inspired figures by selected artists to bring a new look to the “12 Days of Christmas” song.

Visitors can encounter Father Christmas dressed in green, Scrooge in his hand-drawn carriage and young chimney sweeps, while enjoying street performances from Victorian magicians and musicians.

Historic parts of the dockyard will also be transformed into a Victorian-style street, complete with coffin measurers, ladies of the night, street urchins and market sellers among others.

In addition, this year there is a new family trail with Vice Admiral Lord Nelson’s favourite jewel at the centre of a Sherlock Holmes-inspired game.

Performances by The Edelweiss Bavarian Oompah Band, Old Sea Dogs, and Shep Woolley & the Ansome Sea Buoys will also take place at the stage.

To top off proceedings, there will be a 35-foot Christmas tree alongside HMS Victory.  

Booking your visit

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard offers discounted rates for groups of 15 people or more, along with free entry for the group leader and coach drivers.

For further information about the event, you can visit

To book your tickets, you can email or call 023-9283 8228.

(Photo Credit: Strong Island.)