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Centuries of history and heritage just waiting to be discover in a place cherished by the Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, who lived in the area as a child and returned as a successful author.

Historic Rochester, with its Norman castle, was a place cherished by the Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, who lived in the area as a child and returned as a successful author.  

Historic Buildings

With history dating back centuries, there is so much to see and do in the historic city itself.  Explore the stunning Rochester Cathedral, founded in 604 and the second oldest in England.  Enjoy the breathtaking views from the top of one of the tallest keeps in the country at the magnificent Rochester CastleBuilt on the highest part of Rochester’s Roman city wall, to defend the crossing of the River Medway

Footsteps of Dickens

Dickens’ most impressionable childhood days were spent in Medway. Historic Rochester inspired the author so much that he featured it in his work more than any city, other than London.  

These include Restoration House, used in Dickens’ novel ‘Great Expectations’ as the home of Estella and Miss Havisham, The Six Poor Travellers House, immortalised by the author in a Christmas short story and the impressive Guildhall Museum on local history.  Nearby is Eastgate House a grade I listed building that featured in the works of Dickens and in the gardens visitors can view the author's chalet that was once sited at his home at Gad's Hill Place in Higham.

The Rochester Trail

The Rochester Greenspaces Trail follows a route from the heart of Rochester southwards through Rochester to Borstal.

Rochester has an exceptionally rich heritage. In the centre, Rochester Cathedral and castle are nationally important, along with many other historic buildings and notable figures associated with the area. The main trail links the centre of Rochester to the southern part of Rochester and is 6 miles (9.5 km) long. You should allow 2.5 to 3 hours to follow the whole route. This route is marked by green waymarkers. For more information on this trail, click here.

Explore the High Street

The High Street is also packed with quaint, independent shops and a great range of cafes and restaurants.  

The High Street Special events and festivals are held in Rochester every year.

 

Our top things to do

Follow in the footsteps of Dickens'

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Visit Medway
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