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A feast of fine architecture - Rochester

Circular Walks along the Saxon Shore Way
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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview: 
A 3 mile walk past Castles and Cathedrals through the historic town of Rochester.

Rochester, set on the banks of the River Medway,... more »


  • Resoration House where CHarles II stayed in 1660

  • The Vines - a garden, originally a monastry vineyard, tucked away behind the cathedral

  • La Providence - square of almshouses founded to provide homes for French Protestants fleeing to England

  • Romans and medieval remains of the city wall at Blue Boar Lane

  • Rochester Bridge - dramatic views of the busy River Medway and beyond

  • Views of the North Downs

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Tips: 

Location: Rochester
Distance: 3 miles (4.8km)
Time: allow 1 hour 30 minutes
Explorer map: 163
Terrain: Urban pavements (take care... more »

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Points of Interest

The remains of a 19th Century Roman Bridge where discovered here. Many historians beleive the Romans had several bridges spanning the river here - the lowest crossing point on the Medway. Today, the river is still very important to the local economy. Admire the dramatic views from Rochester Bridge.

A short stroll leads to the towering remains of the Norman castle. It was one of the earliest stone castles to be built in England. Remnants of the town's Roman walls can be discovered in the stonework. The castle was built by Bishop Gundulph.

Equally awe-inspiring is Rochester Cathedral. The cathedral was founded in AD 604 by Bishop Justus. It is the second oldest in England and attracts thousands of visitors and pilgrims from across the world every year. Step inside and view the Gundulph Tower and crypt -the oldest part of the cathedral.

At Crow Lane, look out for Restoration House. This is an Elizabethan red brick house where Charles II stayed in 1660. It appears as Satis House, the home of Miss Haversham in Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations.

5. Fort Pitt

Fort Pitt was the site of the principal military hospital in the early 19th century and was chosen by Florence Nightingale as the first Army Medical School.

Built in 1861 by Simon Magnus, in memory of his son Lazarus. It is the home of the Jewish community in mid and north Kent.

7. Visitor Information Centre

The Guildhall, iwht its magnificent moulded plaster ceilings, was built in 1687. The building is now the Rochester Musuem.
Can you spot the impressive weather vane?

Why not celebrate everything Charles Dickens and visit Dickens World at Chatham Dockyards?