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What the Dickens? A hovercraft!

Hovertravel is celebrating the 175th anniversary of Charles Dickens visiting the Isle of Wight by creating a combined flight and walking tour around Bonchurch.

Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, explains: “As a foot passenger ferry, Hovertravel is a firm favourite with walkers who are looking to explore the 500 miles of footpaths on the Isle of Wight. For 2024 we are celebrating one of the world’s greatest authors by combining our hovercraft flight with a transfer in a vintage bus for a guided walk around one of the locations he visited. Interesting intuitions into his time in Bonchurch, possible inspirations and the house he stayed in are all included in this fascinating insight into how Dickens passed his time on the Isle of Wight.”

Situated on the Undercliff, the picturesque village of Bonchurch has historic buildings built from stone which local quarries also sent to the English mainland and further afield to a variety of European cities. In the summer of 1849 Charles Dickens holidayed here, along with his family, and wrote several chapters of one of his novels. Hovertravel is offering customers the
opportunity to explore the village themselves or take advantage of the expert knowledge provided by renown local guide Sue Lowday.

The Pond in Bonchurch Village Road kicks off the tour with ancient local maps as Sue gives a brief history of Bonchurch. Then onto Winterbourne, the Dickens summer holiday home to hear of the many friends and family activities. There are more discoveries as the group progresses via the poet Swinburne’s East Dene family home and the Parish churchyard. The tour continues uphill along one of the secret paths of Bonchurch to visit the holiday home of illustrator John Leech and his wife. The path returns downhill walking along The Pitts down the steep 101 steps. Finally, the tour concludes by the pond to hear of one of Sue’s latest exciting discoveries about how the Dickens holiday ended.

For more details and bookings please visit: www.hovertravel.co.uk/events/dickens-bonchurch-experience

Contact Press Office

Accredited members of the media looking to film on our hovercraft or at our terminals for a relevant, current news story should contact our press office on:

✉ stephen@communicationmatters.co.uk

07831 268199

All requests will be assessed and responded to within 24 hours.

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