HMS Gannet

48 Hours in Medway for the history lover

WELCOME TO MEDWAY - An itinerary tour for the heritage lover

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 of Rochester Castle.

In Chatham we discover how the dockyard became one of the most important ship building industry in the area and get a chance to discover the area's military connections at the Royal Engineers Museum.

Don't forget to visit the museums in Rochester and learn about the area's history dating back centuries and learn about the people that visited and made the place their home.

Now it's time to explore....

DAY ONE

Rochester Cathedra
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.

 

Rochester Cathedral Fresco

Rochester Castle

No trip to Medway is complete without a visit to Rochester's most iconic landmark, its castle. Climb the Norman keep to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the river and across Medway, and learn about nearly 900 years of history, including attacks using flaming pigs during the bloody siege of 1215. 

 

Six Poor Travellers House

Six Poor Travellers House
Just around the corner from the cathedral is the Tudor charity house founded by the Elizabethan MP Richard Watts to provide board and lodgings for six poor travellers and continued to do so right up to the Second World War.

The house and charity are immortalised in Dickens' Christmas short story entitled The Seven Poor Travellers.

 

Lunch
Now it's time to stop for some lunch.  Rochester has an excellent selection of places to eat and drink from exciting new restaurants to continental cafes and quaint tea-rooms. 

Guildhall Museum
We continue our tour in Rochester at The Guildhall Museum.  

Built in 1687, the museum is located in the heart of Rochester and is bursting with character and charm. It maintains its 17th century design with magnificent painted plaster ceilings and large decorative oil paintings. 

The museum is free to enter and a great place to discover over 2,000 years of local history.

Museum is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm.

 

Guildhall Museum (main chamber)

Huguenot Museum
Rochester is home to Britain’s very first museum of Huguenot history.  Explore the objects, which include oil paintings, silver, documents, silk samples and personal items tell the important story of Britain’s first refugees, the crafts, trades and skills they brought with them and the impact their contribution has had on the development of our country.  

DAY TWO

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, explore the dockyard's Command of the Oceans exhibition and galleries, or book on a tour of the Call of the Midwife set. 

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Lunch
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'.

The Royal Engineers Museum
We continue with our military and maritime theme by visiting 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.

 

Royal Engineers Museum