A small cathedral city on the banks of the River Medway, Rochester is a place with a long literary history, perhaps most famous for being the residence of Charles Dickens. The author’s legacy lives on in the city, where a number of events are held in his honour, while there are several attractions dedicated to his many works which were written in Rochester. Aside from that, Rochester has played a major role in British history, hosting kings and queens and being close to several battles which shaped the country for centuries. Today, the city is altogether quieter, although it provides a welcome change of pace from nearby Gillingham and Chatham, which along with Rochester form the Medway district.
If driving around Rochester, a small car would be the easiest thing to drive as it would make going around the narrow streets somewhat easier than with something bigger.
Driving in Rochester
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Although Rochester has a sizeable park and ride site near to its city centre, it’s only open to motorists on Saturdays.
Every car park in Rochester city centre is pay and display. Free parking may be available in Chatham and Gillingham though.
Rochester High Street is mostly one-way when open to traffic, although this part of the road is, in effect, pedestrianized.
Highlights & Hotspots
Dickens World in neighbouring Chatham is an attraction with a difference. As well as detailing every single stage of Charles Dickens’ life, it also screens 4-D films, has Victorian-themed classrooms and a haunted house paying homage to Ebenezer Scrooge, one of his finest characters.
The second oldest-founded cathedral in the country, Rochester Cathedral is the most impressive building in the city. Tours are available of the building most days, but the entire grounds should also be worth a look, especially as it shows how intricately it was designed.
The Guildhall Museum, another attraction which is free to enter, has been a museum since 1979, although the actual building was constructed in 1697. The exhibits on show there include an early copy of Great Expectations by Dickens.
At Rochester Castle, the Castle Concerts is an annual live music event taking place over four nights in mid-July. Classical and pop acts have played there over the years, including regular performances from the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
London Gatwick Airport is the easiest airport to get to from the city, located some 40 miles west. It‚Äôs one of the largest airports in the country serving a huge range of destinations all over the world as well as closer to home.
To get there, you should take the A229 then turn onto the M20, heading west. Go onto the M25 westbound and turn onto the M23 going south. The M23 has a turnoff going west to the airport itself.