Museum access

You will be sure of a warm welcome and an enjoyable trip when you next visit Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum. This page is where you’ll find all the information you need ahead of your visit. If you have any feedback, questions, or a suggestion for how we can improve our visitor experience at the museum, please contact Maire Ryan, Senior Museums and Visitor Services Officer, on email: MVS@portsmouthcc.gov.uk, or telephone: 023 9282 1879.

How to get here

Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum is located on Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth, PO1 4QL. There is no designated car park for the museum, but there is space outside to drop off and pick up. The All Saints pay and display car park on Church Street is less than 200 metres from the museum, crossing Church Street and following the brown sign to Old Commercial Road.

The car park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The museum has its own bus stop, called Charles Dickens Birthplace, that is served by the number 20 and 700 buses, as well as the 8 The Star, X4 Solent Ranger and Portsmouth Park & Ride service. Head up the very short lane from the bus stop to reach Old Commercial Road.

The nearest train station is Portsmouth and Southsea, which is less than 1.2km away. Turn right out of the station then head down Commercial Road, Church Street and Old Commercial Road to reach the museum.

There are regular services across the Solent to Portsmouth from the Isle of Wight. The Hovertravel and Fastcat services are the quickest for foot passengers. The Fastcat terminal inside Portsmouth Harbour station is the closest, at just over 2km away. From the station, you can reach the museum along The Hard, Queen Street, Alfred Road, Hope Street, Church Street and Old Commercial Road. If you are travelling via hovercraft, the museum is around 2.9km away from the terminal, along Clarence Esplanade, Pier Road, Jubilee Terrace, Kings Terrace, Landport Terrace, Hampshire Terrace, Guildhall Walk, Commercial Road, Church Street and Old Commercial Road.

When you arrive

There are outdoor steps down to the front door of the museum. When you arrive you’ll be in the reception and shop area, with the reception desk straight in front of you. Staff members will be on hand to answer any questions you have and get information ahead of your visit. The museum visit begins when you head through the doorway left of the reception desk.

Visitors with mobility impairments

The Dickens’ Birthplace Museum is a building that dates back to the very early 19th century, so it’s not designed or set up with accessibility in mind. This means it may be difficult for some visitors with mobility impairments to be able to get the full experience. However, our staff are fully trained in disability awareness, and equalities and diversity, so can help with any enquiries. Please get in touch if you have any queries.

Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum is accessed via a steep and narrow external staircase down to the shop. There are then three further flights of stairs up through the house.

There are handrails on all the staircases and all the museum toilets have grab rails.

Information contained on paddles within each room are available in large format, braille and various languages.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs wearing appropriate tabards are permitted in the museum. Non-assistance dogs are not allowed in the building.

Download the Access Statement for Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum (PDF, 482 KB).