48 Hours in Medway
WELCOME TO MEDWAY
With history dating back centuries, there is so much to see and do in Medway. Here we will take you on a whistle stop tour to see some of our most treasured assets from iconic landmarks to the hidden gems tucked away just waiting to be discovered.
We start in historic Rochester a place cherished by the great British author Charles Dickens and featured in his works. Explore the stunning Rochester Cathedral one of the oldest in the country standing proudly next to the towering Norman keep. In Chatham we discover how the dockyard became one of the most important ship building industry in the area and how Upnor Castle situated just across the river was built as a gun fort to defend the dockyard against attacks.
This morning we start at the cathedral has been a place of worship and prayer since 604AD and predates the impressive castle. Inside we can discover the medieval crypt and admire the stunning architecture and wall-paintings including the Baptism Fresco dedicated in 2004.
A gentle stroll across the road and we arrive at the tallest Norman keeps in the country, Rochester Castle. The castle build in 1127 has be subjected three sieges over the centuries but the most important one was in 1215 during the reign of King John when he used the fat of 40 pigs to bring the southern corner of the keep down!
Now it's time to stop for some lunch. Rochester has an excellent selection of places to eat and drink from quaint tea-rooms, value for money pub lunches to set-lunch menus at the various restaurants in town.
Eastgate House & Gardens
We continue our tour at Eastgate House. Built in 16th and 17th centuries for Sir Peter Buck, Clerk to the Cheque at Chatham's Royal Dockyard the Grade I listed building is now open to the public. See the rooms as they would of been during these historic periods of time and a chance to view Dickens' writing chalet in the gardens.
Spoilt for choice - now we need to decide where to visit next to finish our Rochester tour? The Guildhall Museum a place to discover over 2,000 years local history. Six Poor Travellers House a charity house that provided board and lodgings for the poor and Restoration House a unique opportunity to view the house that featured as the home of Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham
We start our day off learning about 400-years of maritime history at one of Kent's leading visitor attractions. Take a fascinating tour of the ropery, hop on board three historic warships and explore the dockyard's latest attraction - Command of the Oceans exhibition.
As you will need at least half a day at the dockyard, to make the most of your visit and stop for lunch at The Mess Deck restaurant where you will be served delicious locally sourced meals and sandwiches including the dockyard's renowned traditional 'fish and chips'.
Fort Amherst & The Royal Engineers Museum
We continue with our military and maritime theme by doing an whistle stop tour of two attractions within a stones throw of the dockyard. Fort Amherst is Britain's biggest Napoleonic fortress, built to defend Medway from landward attack, here you can take a tour of tunnels that were used right up until WW2. The Royal Engineers Museum has always been on the frontline, building bridges and protecting our nation. Explore the galleries, learn about the famous military men in history from 1066 to the present day.
We finish our tour at the picturesque village of Upnor. The castle was built on the orders of Queen Elizabeth I to defend the Royal Dockyard and warships at anchor on the Medway. Here you can learn about the raid on Chatham by the Dutch in 1667 when they captured our flagship the Royal Charles. Onsite interpretation tells this fascinating story in graphic detail.