Charles Dickens’ Birthplace is set to reopen for private viewings from September for the cost of a normal admission ticket.
The small rooms in the Portsmouth City Council run museum make social distancing difficult so it is being opened for groups from the same household or support bubble, with no other visitors there at the same time.
Private viewings give visitors an hour slot to explore the museum and must be booked in advance. Initially are available on 5, 18 and 19 September and 9 and 11 October.
Cllr Steve Pitt, the council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: “It is great news we’re able to reopen Charles Dickens’ Birthplace to visitors and these private viewings are a fantastic opportunity for anyone who hasn’t been before to discover more about one of our country’s greatest authors and his links to Portsmouth.
“It’s a small building so rather than bring in impractical social distancing measures visitors can book a time slot where they get it to themselves for an hour and can enjoy it without worry about other people, at no extra cost.”
The museum is the latest city attraction to be reopened by the council after it was awarded the national We’re Good to Go standard. This confirms the museum is following government and public health guidance, has carried out a coronavirus risk assessment and has the necessary safety processes in place.
The rooms of Charles Dickens’ Birthplace take you on a journey not just into the life of the great author, but through lifestyles and preferences of people at the time. The three furnished rooms feature a display on Charles Dickens and Portsmouth, as well as a small collection of memorabilia including the couch on which he died at his house in Kent along with his snuff box, inkwell and paper knife; poignant reminders of an author celebrated for his prodigious talents and creative output.