Rochester is a history-soaked market town set on the River Medway and filled with historic buildings. Some of the oldest date back to the 14th century. Shop on the charming High Street, explore the ancient Norman castle and discover the town’s connection to Charles Dickens.
Things to do in RochesterThe rich history of Rochester lives on in its historic buildings. Admire the beautiful brickwork of the Guildhall and marvel at the soaring spires and wooden ceiling of Rochester Cathedral. The heritage-listed Corn Exchange overlooks the High Street and has been reimaged as an elegant venue for private events.
Rochester Castle is perched on a chalk bluff and stands guard over the mouth of the River Medway. The stronghold was built in the 1100s and is one of the best-preserved Norman military castles in England. Climb up to the keep for sweeping views over the river and surrounding countryside or cross the bridge to the other side of the Medway for postcard-perfect views of the castle.
The High Street is framed by historic buildings with decorative brick and stone facades. Many house cosy tea rooms and trendy coffee shops. In others, you’ll find second-hand bookshops, vintage stores and clothing boutiques. While most of the action is set along the High Street, you can also venture down lanes and mews lined with centuries-old houses and flower-filled gardens.
Beloved British author Charles Dickens spent his childhood in Rochester, and you’ll find tributes to him across the town. Dickens’ Swiss Chalet is set in the gardens of Eastgate House and offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of where he penned some of his most famous novels.