Skip to main content
  1. Home
  2. What's On
  3. Rochester Christmas Markets & Dickensian Christmas Festival 2023
Rochesterchristasmarket Night TO USE 2

Getting to Rochester's Christmas events

There are many options for visitors to our Christmas Events to travel sustainably to Rochester.  Below we have detailed all the options available to you.

If you are travelling by car, parking in Rochester is limited across all the event days.  Find out more about parking options and the park and ride service for Dickensian Festival weekend below.


Travel Options:

  • Rochester by Train

    Rochester and Strood train stations both have excellent links with London Victoria and St. Pancras services, with the high-speed train reaching Medway in just 35 minutes.

    There are plenty of other train routes to reach Rochester from various towns throughout Kent and Medway. Rochester station is only a few minutes walk from the historic High Street and the Christmas Markets at Rochester Castle. Strood station is connected to Rochester Station via the London St. Pancras Service or just a short stroll across Rochester Bridge.

    If you need to get to your local train station by car, why not consider parking there and catch the train to Rochester?

    To help you plan your journey, visit Southeastern's website or use our 'Live' timetable search facility at the bottom of this page!

  • Rochester by Bus

    There are many bus stops in and around Rochester, and it's well served by bus routes from other destinations.

    • From Chatham: Arriva- 133, 140, 141, 190, 191, (193 Sundays) 700;Nu-Venture 151, 172, 173 174, 197
    • From Gravesend: Arriva 190  
    • From West Malling, Halling and Cuxton: Nu Venture 151  
    • From Grain, Hoo: Arriva 191 (193 Sundays)

    Full timetable details are available at, and

    Information also available from Traveline at or 0871 200 22 33 (calls cost 12p per minute plus network access charge)

  • Travel Around Medway by Bus for £2

    Until 31 December 2024, single bus fares will be capped at £2 following an initiative from the Department for Transport, as part of Household Support.

    Within Medway, Arriva and Chalkwell are participating in the scheme.

  • Free Bus Travel Weekend - 9 & 10 December

    Medway Council has also secured government funding to provide free bus travel in and around Medway on Saturday, 9 and Sunday, 10 December (up to 8pm). This includes single journeys on any Medway bus operator.

  • Coach & Minibus Parking

    If you are visiting the Christmas events by coach or minibus, you will need to prebook your visit in advance, as parking spaces and passenger pick-up times are limited.

    The deadline for booking is Wednesday, 1 November 2023. 

    NB. no spaces available for departure slots 1730 & 1800hrs on Saturday, 2 December and 1800hrs on Sunday, 3 December.

    Please download and complete the coach booking form.

  • Park and Ride - Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 December

    Rochester town centre parking will be extremely limited during the Rochester Dickensian Festival weekend. We strongly advise visitors to use the park and ride service, which will operate from the University of Greenwich, adjacent to The Historic Dockyard Chatham, between 9am-6pm every 10-12 minutes on both days of the Dickensian Christmas Festival.  

    For more details on how to reach the Park & Ride and bus accessibility, click here.

  • Blue Badge Parking

    Blue Badge spaces are available in all public pay and display car parks. Please note, for car parks operating ANPR camera systems, blue badge holders will need to register their vehicle in advance to qualify for free parking and must continue to display your badge when parked.

    For the Christmas Markets and Dickensian Christmas weekend, additional on street blue badge parking spaces are provided on the Esplanade (beneath the castle wall). These spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis.

    For further details on blue badge parking in Medway, please visit Medway Council's website.

  • Coming by Car

    Rochester town centre parking will be extremely limited during the Christmas events.

    Long Stay Car Parking

    Long stay car parking is available at the Rochester multi-storey car park, where you will find electric bays with charge points and blue badge spaces.

    The Brook multi-storey Chatham is approximately 20-minutes walking distance from Rochester, with regular buses operating from nearby Chatham Waterfront Bus Station.

    We strongly advise visitors to use public transport wherever possible, or during the Rochester Dickensian Festival weekend, use the park and ride service that will operate on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. Click here for more details on P&R.

  • Rochester by Bike

    For visitors wishing to cycle to the Rochester events, cycle racks can be found at Blue Boar Lane, Northgate and Corporation Street car park.

    It is advisable that you bring your own lock for security purposes.

  • Park and Stroll through Chatham Intra

    Chatham Intra is just a short stroll from historic Rochester, with a fascinating story to tell...

    Located at the intersection of Chatham and Rochester High Streets, Chatham Intra is full of character, with a multitude of small, independent businesses where you will find a wide range of bars and restaurants to explore.

    A stroll from Chatham Intra to the Rochester events will only take about 20-minutes on foot.

    Park your car in Chatham town centre, where you will find ample parking, including two multi-storey car parks, and take a stroll through Chatham Intra.

  • Chatham Waterfront Bus Station

    Chatham Waterfront Bus Station is located in the heart of Chatham town centre and is the main bus terminus for Medway.

    Bus services run 7 days a week from this station, serving destinations across Medway and Kent with regular services to Rochester.

    Chatham town centre has ample car parking, and visitors coming to Rochester for the Christmas events may wish to consider parking in Chatham and catch a bus to Rochester.

    Chatham is approximately 20 minutes walking distance on foot.

Plan Your Train Journey

Park the car at your local rail station on the Southeastern network and come to Rochester by train.  

To help you plan your journey, use the 'Live' trains timetable or visit Southeastern's website to plan your journey.






Wherever possible, we encourage our visitors to travel sustainably around Medway by walking, cycling and using public transport. It is possible to travel while keeping your carbon footprint low and caring for the planet at the same time. To read more about Car Free Days around Medway and our Climate Change Action Plan.

Medcouncil Cmykstrapline
Visit Medway
Official website of Visit Medway, Medway Council
Our Destinations
Official website of Visit Medway, Medway Council