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.
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 Castle. Built on the highest part of Rochester’s Roman city wall, to defend the crossing of the River Medway.
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. Many of the buildings that featured in the works of Dickens can still be seen today on a self-guided walking tour. Leaflet with map available for £1 from Medway Visitor Information Centre.
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.
When visiting Rochester, it's worth making the Medway Visitor Information Centre your first port of call. Here you will find information on local attractions, maps, souvenirs and much more, including an art gallery and Huguenot Museum on the first floor.
During the summer months, visitors can explore the city on foot with a local guide or they can literally follow in the footsteps of Dickens’ on a self-guided walking tour and see the buildings he wrote about in his works (leaflet available with map) from the Medway Visitor Information Centre in 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.