Kidadl
Outside perspective of Charles Dickens Museum building.
Charles Dickens Museum interior.
Empty tables and chairs at cafe.
A Christmas Carol exhibition at Charles Dickens Museum.

Charles Dickens Museum

Kidadl.com is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our Terms & Conditions for further information.

Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Discover the life and work of the famous Victorian author Charles Dickens at this museum in his London home.
  • See where Dickens and his family lived, with incredible artefacts from his time.
  • Jump back in history with the interactive experiences for kids at the museum, including dressing up and playing with Victorian toys.
  • Learn more about what it would’ve been like to live here with one of the museum’s tours.

Journey back in time to the world of Oliver Twist with a trip to the Charles Dickens Museum in Central London. The museum is located in the house on Doughty Street in Bloomsbury where Dickens lived with his newly-wed wife and young children for two years. It is the only surviving London home of the famous author and well worth a visit for any fans of Victorian history.

Stepping inside this museum will transport you back almost two hundred years in the past, to the reign of Queen Victoria. The museum has recreated exactly what the house would’ve looked like when Charles Dickens lived here. While he was living in this house, Dickens wrote some of his most important and celebrated novels, including Oliver Twist and The Pickwick Papers.

What is now the museum is what was once Charles Dickens’ house from 1837 to 1839, just after he was married to his wife Catherine, when he was still relatively unknown. Here, they began to raise four of their ten children, and Dickens wrote and finished some of the books he is now most famous for. 

Eventually, as his fame grew, the family moved to a grander home, but this house still stands as the only London home of Dickens’ that remains today. Charles Dickens’ novels are today some of the most widely-read books ever written.

There’s plenty of brilliant things for kids to do inside this wonderful museum, one of the quirkiest museums in London. Older kids will have likely studied the Victorians in history class, and the audio guides are a fun way to bring this knowledge to life as you walk around the museum. The Museum Trail is also a great choice for kids; they can follow the clues that lead around the museum.

There are multiple opportunities for younger children to get involved at the museum. The museum has Victorian toys for kids to play with, and in the house’s kitchen you can dress up in the sort of clothes that Charles Dickens’ own children would have worn. There are many brilliant interactive experiences on offer at the museum, helping kids of all ages to engage with the amazing history of the building.

The museum also offers interactive tours to really help you understand what the house would’ve been like in Dickens’ time. The excellent Housemaid’s Tour is exclusive, involving a fantastic role-play experience, where one of Dickens’ Victorian housemaids greets your tour group at the door and shows you around whilst Dickens and his family visit their country house in Kent. This is one of the many fantastic tours of the museum that you can book for your family.

During school holidays and half-term, there are brilliant opportunities for kids to engage with the history of the museum for free. Previous kids’ activities at the museum have included making your own top hat like the gentlemen featured in Dickens’ novels and trying out Dickens’ famous writing style for yourself. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in how Dickens lived and created some of his most well-known works.

The Charles Dickens’ Museum is one of many wonderfully weird museums in London. Other brilliant museums of London include the nearby Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Imperial War Museum. 

What to know before you go

  • The Charles Dickens Museum is open from 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday. The museum takes around an hour and a half to see everything.
  • The museum is home to a lovely café, serving sandwiches, cakes, drinks, and other light bites. When the weather’s nice, the outdoor walled garden of the museum is a brilliant place to eat and relax after a few hours spent exploring the inside of the building.
  • The museum is mainly wheelchair accessible; there are no steps, and there is a lift between four of the five floors. Unfortunately, the attic cannot be reached by the lift.
  • There are accessible toilets at the museum, with baby changing access too. Buggies can be kept downstairs but cannot be brought up into the other floors of the house, as there isn’t enough room.

Getting there

  • Parking near the museum is limited due to the central location. There is blue badge parking available outside.
  • The museum is easily accessible; the closest Tube Station is Russell Square on the Piccadilly line, around a ten-minute walk away from the museum. Chancery Lane Station on the Central line is also a ten-minute walk away. Holborn Station is on both the Piccadilly and Central lines and is a 12-minute walk from the museum.
  • The nearest train stations are Farringdon, a fifteen-minute walk away, and Kings Cross/St Pancras, which takes a little under twenty minutes to walk to from the museum.
  • Many bus routes have stops nearby the museum. The 17, 38, 45, 46, 55, and 243 all have bus stops within walking distance.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines

Location

Show on Google Maps