With plenty of hidden gems in this Kentish town that are great for all ages.

Rochester is the inspiration for Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, who lived locally as a child, returning after his travels and becoming a successful author.

Rochester Cathedral

This beautiful cathedral has amazing architecture, England’s second oldest cathedral, was founded in AD 604. And has been place of worship for over 1400 years.

Home of Textus Roffensis, the only existing written copy of the first code of English law.

There are lots of interesting little nooks, which have helpful information plaques explaining their relevance and lots care has been taken to explain the long history of the Cathedral in bite sized pieces.
After finishing your tour, why not visit the café in the crypt and enjoy the stunning architecture whilst having a bite to eat and a well-deserved pot of tea.

There is access for wheelchairs through the North door into the Nave. There are WCs for people with disabilities in the Cathedral (by the South Door). Visitors are reminded that this is a medieval building, and some areas have low lighting and uneven flooring.


Rochester Castle

Strategically placed astride the London Road, guarding an important crossing of the river Medway, this imposing fortress has a complex history of destruction and rebuilding. Today it stands as a proud reminder of the history of Rochester, along with the cathedral and cobbled streets. In 1087 Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester began the construction of the castle.

Six Poor Travellers’ house

This Tudor charity house was founded by the Elizabethan MP Richard Watts in the 1500’s to provide board and lodgings for six poor travellers and continued to do so right up to the Second World War, Closing its doors on the 20th of July 1940.

The Six Poor Travellers house and charity are memorialized in Dickens’ Christmas short story, The Seven Poor Travellers.

Once you have explored the house and discovered its history, taking time to learn about the Richard Watts charities that continue to make a difference in the present day, why not take a stroll into the courtyard and private herb garden.

The house has restricted access and is not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. The house is a Grade One listed building of historic and architectural importance; it is not possible to make it accessible for wheelchairs or pushchairs without compromising the architecture. The house has been added to over the centuries and has many steps and differing levels. People with limited mobility are asked to bear this in mind if planning to visit.

Visiting is available between April and October From Easter to October Wednesday to Sunday between the hours of 11am to 1pm 2pm to 4pm with the last entry at 15:45.


Restoration House

This Ancient mansion located in historic Rochester. Tucked away just off the High St.

Entering this house is like entering into another world. The rooms have an historic ambience, with early surviving paint schemes and original floors, windows and furnished with beautiful antique English furniture and portraits.

Take a stroll in to exceptionally well maintained in classic English style gardens, with immaculate lawns, yew hedges, topiary, an astonishing geometric parterre.

There is a flourishing cutting garden which supplies flowers for the arrangements in the house. And after 7 years of restoration the so called Tudor Garden will be emerging as an Italian water garden with statues and fountains, the water sourced from the aquifer and recycled through a gravity feed system.

Calling ahead is recommended due to this private gem only being open to the public on a restricted basis, on Thursdays and Fridays from the end of May to the end.


Eastgate Garden

Built in 1590, Eastgate House is a Grade I listed 16th century town house and is one of the most impressive and distinctive buildings in Rochester’s historic high street.

Why not embark on a visit to this Elizabethan Town House in the heart of Rochester. Recently re-opened after 13 years, now inviting visitors to learn about the history of this magnificent building. From a family home to a Victorian School this house has a myriad of tales to tell. Including its inspiration to the great author Charles Dickens featuring in The Pickwick Papers and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Visitors to the house can explore the amazing rooms of the house while learning the remarkable story of those who lived, worked and played here throughout the centuries.

Within the gardens of the house stands Dickens’ Swiss Chalet, used by the author as his study at his home at Gad’s Hill Place.

There is a small entry fee to enjoy this historic building.

Adult £5.90, Concession £3.20, Child (5-17 years) £2.70. Family ticket £14.40
Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Last admission 4.15pm.