Dickens House Museum & Gift Shop, Broadstairs


Museum telephone: 01843 861232

Curator: Lee Ault

Curator telephone number : 01843 863453

E-mail: l.ault@btinternet.com




Dickens House Museum, Broadstairs celebrates Charles Dickens’ long connection with Broadstairs from 1837 to 1851.

The museum is housed in the cottage that was Charles Dickens’ inspiration for the home of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. David’s description of Betsey's cottage with its square gravelled garden full of flowers, and a parlour of old fashioned furniture still fits today.


Dickens House Museum


The character Betsy Trotwood is based on Miss Mary Pearson Strong who lived in the cottage that is now the museum. According to the reminiscences of Charles Dickens’ son Charley, he and his father regularly had tea and cakes in the parlour with the kindly and charming Miss Mary Pearson Strong.  He also remembers that Miss Pearson Strong was completely convinced of her right to stop the passage of donkeys along the cliff top in front of her cottage. This belief became the donkey incident for the character of Betsy Trotwood, with the famous quote:

“Janet! Donkeys!”

The museum is staffed by volunteer guides who are passionate about Charles Dickens. We look forward to showing you around this unique house and museum.

Opening times 2016

Spring: Good Friday (25th March) to 12th June

Every afternoon 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Summer: Monday 13th June until 11th September

Everyday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Autumn: Monday 12th September to 30th October

Every afternoon 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Late Autumn: Monday 31st October to 29th November

Weekend afternoons 1:00 pm to 4.30 pm


Group bookings

group bookings welcome all year round



The museum is in a heritage and listed building and as such is not fully DDA compliant.

The ground floor is accessible once the door step at the entrance is negotiated.

Upstairs is accessible to those who are able to climb a flight of stairs.