Victorian Festival of Christmas – Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

A Victorian festival of Christmas at Portsmouth’s Historical Dockyard really was the perfect way to kick-start seasonal preparations and celebrations.

The popular family event returned to the city over the weekend holding the largest Christmas Market on the south coast.

The Christmas market offered a unique shopping experience with stalls to be enjoyed by everyone, selling a wide array of gifts from food and drink, to clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts, and home ware.

Ed Adanali, owner of Dreamblue stall at the market said: “It has been a very beautiful weekend.

“This is my second year here and I am very happy with how it has gone.

“People that brought my things last year, have returned to buy more things this year.

“It has been great for business, and this year I have made nearly three times what I made last year. I would definitely come back”.

David Wrandell, owner of Gwatkin Cider stall said: “It has been very good today.

“The event has allowed me to promote down this end of the country.

“I have had steady interest over the weekend and would come back again”.

With an even bigger market than ever before, the event definitely took people back in time with a host of costumed characters, live entertainment and Fagin’s Tavern.

The entertainment provided throughout the day was both realistic and magical.

The streets were covered in snow, penny farthings cycled around, chimney sweeps and pickpockets ran around, Father Christmas and his elves made a special appearance – it really was an event to remember.

Ian and Steven Boy, who were Victorian characters at the event said: “We have been doing this for nearly thirteen years now and love entertaining the public.

“We love being photographed in our costumes, it’s a great weekend”.

The event featured around Sherlock Holmes this year, bringing the world’s greatest detective back to his birthplace.

There were a number of Sherlock-based entertainments throughout the weekend, including ‘The Sherlock Trail’ and classic Sherlock animations.

The day was brought to a close when a brass band carried out a parade through the Victorian streets followed by all the characters; it really was a magical moment for the city, and something to be proud of.

It was then followed by a beautiful carol service in Fagin’s Tavern.

Entry to the market also gave you access to the Dockyard’s many attractions making it a great day out for the whole family.

The Victorian Festival of Christmas brought a bygone era back to life and filled everyone with festive cheer.

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