Upnor Castle, Kent, England

In Counties, Days Out, English Heritage, Kent, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Proudly on the banks of the Medway

Kent certainly has its fair share of history and the little known Upnor Castle on the banks of the River Medway, greets sailors as they journey along.

Upnor Castle from the river, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

It often goes unnoticed as a prominent landmark in Medway as Chatham has its dockyard and rich naval history.

Then there is the picturesque town of Rochester being home to a Castle, Cathedral and tales of Charles Dickens, with all this Upnor just may get overshadowed.

English Heritage

Why not consider an English Heritage Membership. There is so much to see in the England with an annual subscription.

Entrance to Upnor Castle for an adult is £6.40 (2019) or free with Membership.

Just a short hop

But honestly, this little village, and the English Heritage Castle is a treat.
To access the castle, you get to enjoy a stroll down the High Street of Upnor’s lovely village.

Upnor High Street, Kent, England, UK

Along the cobbled road, you pass by some really quaint clapboard homes and stores and in just the 200 metre walk two traditional English pubs.

Looking up the Hight Street, Upnor, Kent, England, UK


On entering Upnor Castle your first impressions may be that it isn’t very big, but it certainly doesn’t lack in history.

It was built by the order of Queen Elizabeth I, between 1559 – 1567 as an artillery fort to protect the Royal Naval fleet at Chatham dockyard and ships anchored in the River Medway.

The front of Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK
Trained on the Dutch, Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

Then came the Dutch

However, 100 years later, it didn’t quite go to plan.

Our visit coincided with the 350th anniversary of the “Battle of Medway”, whereby the Dutch invaded the English and kicked our backsides.

So, unfortunately, Upnor didn’t quite live up to supposed expectations.

The Battle of Medway exhibition, Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK
Entrance to Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

The Battle of Medway isn’t prominent in British history, perhaps for the fact that we lost but none the less it happened.

The spiral staircase, Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK
The tunnels under Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

An interesting read

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.


Following the attack on the neglected Upnor, it no longer survived as a fortress, and newer forts were built further along the Medway.

Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

However, it didn’t put an end to the castle; it soon became converted into a “Magazine”, storage for munitions of guns, gun carriages, gun powder & muskets.

Powder Barrels, Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

By 1691 it had come into its own, it was now England’s largest Magazine by far out shining Tower of London, the next largest.

The firepower at Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

The Medway

As you step out onto the triangular gun platform overlooking the Medway, it’s quite difficult to comprehend how it would have looked with the English & Dutch naval ships in intense battle.

The River Medway, Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

Particularly, for us as we managed to pick one of those rare English sunny days.

Cannons in place, Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

How to get there

You can catch a train from London St Pancras or London Victoria to Rochester Station. Upnor Castle is located 3.5 miles from Rochester.

Nearby free parking is available.

Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of Upnor, and it’s Castle.

Why not subscribe to our channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Have You?

Visited Upnor? Or one of the many other castles in Kent? Are you interested in the history of this area?

Inspired to visit Upnor Castle?

You can reach it from from London, or if you’re visiting Kent make it part of exploring Medway.

The front of Upnor Castle, Upnor, Kent, England, UK

(Why not Pin It for Later?)

About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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