Nearly 900 years after the King Henry’s first footsteps
Rochester Castle, which stands proudly on the banks of the River Medway, is adjacent to the old Roman London Road in Kent. It is a 12th–Century Keep and one of the greatest examples that remains today.
Protectively peering down across the historic town of Rochester, the Castle is still surrounded by its ancient stone walls. The inner and outer baileys have long gone; however, a family-friendly park and garden have been laid in their place.
Where is Rochester Castle
How to get to Rochester
- By Train
You can catch a train from London St Pancras or London Victoria to Rochester Station which takes around 40 minutes.
- By Car
Rochester is just over 3 miles (4.5km) off Junction 2 of M2 motorway. Parking is limited but there are a few car parks in and around the town.
Passing by Rochester CastleIconic view from the River Medway
The Rochester's medieval keep was in safe handsEmpowering the Archbishop
Rochester Castle still stands after 900 yearsExplore the ancient fortress
Visit some of Kent’s Historic Towns, Villages & Cities
Exploring Rochester CastleThe skies the limit, an open-air castle
Immediately you’ll notice the interior floors have all since disappeared. Way above, you can see birds soaring in the sky beyond the ramparts.
The interior walls within the tower have stood since the 17th-century. You can still make out the rooms’ layout and what they were potentially used for centuries ago.
Rochester Castle is one of over 400 historic places with free access to English Heritage members.
If you're planning on visiting the area then it's well worth considering, as Upnor Castle is only a few miles away.
If only Rochester Castle walls could speakCan you imagine the scurrying footsteps?
Rochester Castle's Royal DisputesThomas Becket met his match
The 1215 siege of Rochester CastleThe Royal Army’s persistence paid off
However, in the early 13th-century new disputes between King John and the Archbishop culminated in the famous siege of 1215.
Rebels had taken control of Rochester Castle, and the King wanted it back. He therefore, laid siege to Rochester Castle with his army and continually bombarded them.
Where to eat & drink in Rochester
- Don Vincenzo -A wonderful family-run, unpretentious Italian restaurant that is a joy to experience on the high street.
- Café Nucleus - great little place at the Bridge end of the high street for a coffee or more
- The Cooper's Arms - A great traditional pub, just a short stroll from the Castle & Cathedral
- The Two Brewers - Another traditional pub, this time a Shepherd Neame one, midway down the High Street
- Thai Four Two - A splendid little Thai restaurant on the High Street
- Three Sheets to the Wind – An unusual twist in this family-run pub, there’s a delightful Anglo-Austrian mix.
- The Eagle Tavern - A great little independent pub in the centre of the high street.
- Ye Arrow - Pub with a garden view overlooking Rochester Castle & Cathedral
The round tower of Rochester CastleA turret with a difference
If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".
You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.
Head to the rooftop of Rochester CastleWind your way up the spiralling tower
Although you can no longer tread upon the floorboards of former Kings, you can certainly climb the turrets and enjoy the fantastic views across the River Medway.
Wind your way up and up through the spiralling towers stepping upon the ancient stones that lead you to the rooftop. The views across Rochester and beyond are incredible.
Rochester Castle Keep is the tallest building of its kind in Europe and stands at 125ft (38 metres) high.
As you spiral around the towers and keep popping out at each level, take a stroll around, you’ll appreciate how the castle layout would have been centuries ago.
Inside Rochester CastleHow grand it would have been!
Map, guides and more
When you’re nurturing the seed of a road trip, plotting your destinations across a paper map just brings the adventure to life. Whether it’s the touchy-feely aspect of the map or the rustling sound of mastering the art of origami while trying to fold it away, I’m not too sure. Nonetheless, the good old Ordnance Survey guys and gals always come up trumps.
Take a look at the vast array of maps you can choose from.
Strolling Rochester Castle rampartsThe River Medway and beyond
Discover Rochester Castle gardensA free stroll around the grounds
To burn off that delicious sausage roll, head out of the main gardens and take a stroll through Rochester Castle’s lawned moat.
From here, you catch a magnificent viewpoint of the castle.
Where to stay in Rochester
- The Royal Victoria & Bull Hotel – Located within the heart of historic Rochester. Easy walking distance to the Castle, Cathedral, the River Medway and a great selection of restaurants. - The Gordon House Hotel – This traditional, comfortable hotel is located along the Dickensian High Street in Rochester. Just a short stroll to the Castle and Cathedral.
Inspired into creating your own adventure?The planning starts here
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