This is one of the few London houses Charles Dickens (1812–70) inhabited that is still standing, and it's the place where the master wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby and finished Pickwick Papers. The house looks exactly as it would have in Dickens's day, complete with first editions, letters, and a tall clerk's desk (Dickens wrote standing up, often while chatting with visiting friends and relatives). Down in the basement is a replica of
the Dingley Dell kitchen from Pickwick Papers, while some visitors have reported a ghostly presence in the Mary Hogarth bedroom where the great man's sister-in-law died. A varied program of special exhibitions (for both young and old) explores both Dickens's works and his family life—check out the "costumed tours" (details at the website) where you're guided through the Dickens residence by his housemaid. Christmas is a memorable time to visit, as the rooms are decorated in traditional style (tickets must be pre-booked for December 24–26). The museum also houses a shop and café.