About Rochester


Alongside Rochester's beautiful cathedral, the town is home to many fine architectural examples.

On the site of a previous Roman fortification lies the town's imposing Norman castle, which is one of the country's best preserved castles from this period. The impressive keep towers over the surrounding area to a height of over one hundred feet, visitors can scale the ancient spiral staircases within its walls to take in the stunning views of the river and town beyond from the battlements.

Around the foot of the castle are the lovingly maintained castle gardens, which have played host to festivals and outdoor concerts since the Victorian era and are still as popular as ever to this day.

The town centre is home to a large selection of charming timber-framed townhouses and narrow winding streets which give it a timeless quality. To emphasise this atmosphere, the High Street was adorned with glorious floral displays and Victorian-style lighting. Hardly surprising then that Dickens set such literary classics as Great Expectations in Rochester, in fact the fine Restoration House which stands in the town centre was the basis for the home of Miss Havisham in the novel.

Aside from organised celebrations centred around the works of Dickens, Rochester also hosts an annual dancing chimney-sweeps festival which was originally based on Dickensian writings.

Around the historic town centre are a wealth of traditional shops, some of which date back to the Victorian era, offering a huge variety of unusual wares and services.