Issuu on Google+

Visitor Guide 2013

www.visitmedway.org


Welcome

Contents

To understand Medway – its rich heritage and great future – there is only one place to start; on the river that defines the place and gives Medway its name.

Your visit starts here Our helpful information assistants at the award-winning Visitor Information Centre in Rochester are on hand to answer all your enquiries about Medway and the surrounding area. With expert knowledge of the area and hundreds of informative brochures and leaflets at their fingertips, the team are here to ensure your visit to Medway is an enjoyable one.

• A full tourist information service • Maps, leaflets and travel information (buses and rail) • National Express bookings • Souvenir and gift shop • Rochester Art gallery and Craft Case • Normas Café with seating inside and out • Public conveniences • Dedicated coach setting-down/pick-up point Medway Visitor Information Centre 95 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1LX Email: visitor.centre@medway.gov.uk 01634 338141 www.visitmedway.org

Welcome to Medway

4

Medway Visitor Information Centre

6

Fittingly, the centre of Medway follows the flow of the river. At one end its gateway is marked by the iconic Rochester Castle, built in 1127, the tallest surviving Norman keep in the country.

The journey here and travelling around

8

Travel two miles downstream and the historic castle is replaced by the symbolism of 21st century Medway – the award winning mixed-use development comprising of residential with a luxury marina, shopping and entertainment complex at Chatham Maritime.

Maps

10

Places to visit

12

Itineraries for enjoying Medway

16

Over 1,000 years of history in a day

18

What’s new for 2013

20

Sail between these gateways and the banks of the river reflect Medway’s evolution. The earliest use of the River Medway by the Royal Navy took place in the reign of Henry VIII and the Royal Dockyard was founded in 1567 during the reign of Elizabeth I. This put Medway at the heart of naval shipbuilding for more than 400 years.

History and heritage

22

Dickensian connections

24

Upstream and the University of Creative Arts – the newest of Medway’s four universities – overlooks Rochester railway station with its new high-speed service to London and the huge Rochester Riverside regeneration site, where work is underway to create a community of 2,000 homes alongside schools, shops and other services. Less than an hour from the Channel ports and just under 30 minutes from London, Medway is an exciting and dynamic area. We look forward to welcoming you to this special place of ours. Cllr Howard Doe

30 Shopping

Military and maritime past 26

38 Festivals

Family fun

28

Shopping and markets

30

Arts and culture

32

In pursuit of nature

34

Food and drink

36

Festivals and events

38

Talks, exhibitions and special weekend events

40

Accommodation

42

“Medway rich heritage and great future”

Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services

MEDWAY

Disclaimer: Inclusion of establishments in this publication does not imply recommendation or approval. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy of the information in this guide, the publishers, their agents or employees cannot accept responsibility for any errors, omissions or subsequent alterations. Written, edited and published by Medway Council’s Tourism Team, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR. Designed by Medway Council’s Communications Team. Printed by Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent. © Medway Council 2013 G7726

Manston, Kent International Airport


4

Welcome to Medway Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham edway is ideally located close to London and within easy reach of the Channel ports. The heart and soul of the area is the River Medway, cutting a glorious swathe through the urban landscape, framed by the Kent Downs and dramatic local scenery.

M

It is the river that defines Medway, that shapes the views and that has now largely transformed itself from the industrial river of the past to a wonderful leisure resource of the present. It is also the river that fittingly gives Medway its name. More than a dozen marinas populate the riverbanks and today, the river hosts regular leisure sailings, regattas, river races and an exciting annual River Festival.

The area is one of the south-east’s most dynamic destinations, marrying its celebrated heritage with a rapidly emerging vibrant cultural and creative arts scene. Whether you’re interested in exploring the area’s military and maritime connections; seeing the place Charles Dickens loved and wrote about; visiting heritage and family attractions or enjoying major festivals and events – you will find choice and variety. Medway’s extensive regeneration programme has changed the area dramatically over the years. This is most evident in the waterfront region of Chatham Maritime with its attractive marina, shopping and leisure development that sits along

the spectacular visitor attractions of The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Dickens World, Upnor Castle and The Great Lines Heritage Park. For what’s new in Medway for 2013 see pages 20 and 21. As you browse through the pages of this guide, you will be amazed how much there is to see and do - and if it’s been a while since you last visited, how much Medway has changed making it a must see destination. It is also worth remembering that Medway is also the perfect place to be based if you want to explore London and Canterbury or the gardens and coastline of Kent ■

5


Contact: Medway Visitor Information Centre 95 High Street Rochester Kent ME1 1LX 01634 338141 Email: visitor.centre@

6

medway.gov.uk www.visitmedway.org

Medway Visitor Information Centre – at your service N o visit to Medway would be complete without making the Medway Visitor Information Centre in Rochester your first port of call.

The award winning visitor information centre is in the heart of Rochester’s historic high street. The centre offers first class facilities for visitors including a full tourist information service where you can get leaflets on local and regional attractions, valuable advice from experienced tourist information staff

on what to see and do in the area or take a rest stop at the centre’s café where hot and cold refreshments are served. Other facilities available include an art gallery located on the ground floor, public toilets, inside and outside seating area and an excellent gift and souvenir shop where you can purchase postcards, stamps and books. Visitors arriving by car will find a number of pay and display car parks located close to the town centre. These are well signposted as you

enter Rochester. For car park locations and prices, visit www.medway.gov.uk/parking

The centre is fully accessible throughout and leads directly on to Rochester’s High Street. It’s open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 5pm on Sunday. The centre is closed on Sundays between October to March – except during festivals and special events. Please contact us before visiting to check opening hours.

Group travel For visitors arriving in groups by coach, the centre has four dedicated coach bays available for operators to set down and pick up their passengers in complete safety. These are located at the back of the Medway Visitor Information Centre on the A2. A waiting restriction applies for coaches using this area of 15 minutes for loading and unloading purposes only. Coach drivers can use our free 32 bay coach park at Acorn Wharf, less than 200 metres from the centre. Onsite facilities are provided at the coach park for drivers when the attendant is on duty. Access to the parking area is available 24-hours a day via the council’s CCTV system ■

7


Explore Medway aboard an open top bus

8

The journey here and travelling around edway is just 30 miles from London and 40 miles from the Channel ports and Eurotunnel. It’s easy to get to by rail, road, air and sea, and when you’re here, travelling around couldn’t be easier. The area has excellent public transport links by bus, train and taxi.

M

By road Medway’s five towns of Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester, Rainham and Strood are signed on the road network, plus look out for the brown tourist attraction signs.There is easy access from London and the Kent coast on the M2/A2 and M20 motorways, linking with the M25. There are direct links from the A2/M2 to Rochester/Chatham/

Gillingham via the A289/Medway Tunnel. Regular National Express coaches run from London Victoria to the area. For more information visit www.nationalexpress.com By air Medway is just over an hour’s drive from London’s Heathrow Airport via M25/A2/ M2. Gatwick Airport via M23/M25/M26/M20/A229, Stansted Airport via M11/M25/A2/M2 and A2/M2, Manston, Kent International Airport all within an hour. By sea and tunnel The Channel ports are only 40 minutes away. Ferry services operate throughout the year from Calais, Dover, Ramsgate and Ostend.

Medway can be easily reached via the A2/M2 from these ports. Eurotunnel gives quick access from the continent by car between Calais and Folkestone. Medway can be reached via the M20/A229. By rail Medway has five main rail stations Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham. All have frequent services from London mainline stations. The high-speed train from St Pancras takes just 35 minutes to reach Medway. Southeastern offers a range of value for money train fares. If you’re travelling with family or friends, ask for a Groupsave ticket where four

New for summer 2013, the Medway Open Top Sightseeing Bus operated by Arriva will enable you to hop on and off all day at various heritage attractions and stops en-route in Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham with discounted entry at local attractions. Tickets can be purchased from the driver on the day. For more information see pages 18 and 19.

travel for the price of two adults and up to four kids go for £1 each*. No need to pre-book, just turn up on the day and go. For more information visit www.southeasternrailway.co.uk *Terms and conditions apply. National Rail enquiries To plan your rail journeys phone 08457 484950 or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk Eurostar Rail travel from Europe to Medway is faster and easier by Eurostar. Ebbsfleet International Station is 20 minutes from Medway. For more information visit www.eurostar.com

9

save more if you get a weekly ticket. This service runs every 10 minutes, Monday to Saturday between Rochester and Chatham. Tickets can be bought from the bus driver. Explore historic Rochester and Chatham by bus with Arriva Whether you’re visiting friends and family or here on a short break, you can visit heritage attractions in Rochester, The Historic Dockyard Chatham and Dickens World complex with Arriva’s services 140/141. The Arriva Inner Medway ticket gives you the flexibility to hop on and off at various places of interest along the route and if you’re staying in the area for longer, you can

To visit the Royal Engineers Museum use Arriva services 101/182. Buses run every 10 minutes during the main part of the day from Chatham Waterfront Bus Station and Gillingham town centre. For information on all public transport in Medway visit www.medway.gov.uk/buses or visit the Travel Information Centre at Chatham Waterfront Bus Station ■


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Upnor Castle The Historic Dockyard Chatham St George’s Centre Royal Engineers Museum Fort Amherst The Brook Theatre The Central Theatre Old Brook Pumping Station Restoration House Eastgate House/Dickens Chalet Six Poor Travellers’ House Rochester Cathedral Guildhall Museum Rochester Castle Temple Manor Dickens World Diggerland

Attractions

Key

Buses and Taxis only

Railway line

Directional arrow to main access roads

Coach park

Bicycle parking

Taxi point

Rail station

Pedestrianised area

Park and ride/Saturday only

Parking – more than 100 spaces

Market

One-way system

Minor roads / relief roads

Main access roads

Eastgate House/Dickens Chalet

KENT

Fort Amherst

10 Wa te Warfront y

11

War Memorial

0

0.5 mile


12

Places to visit Medway has a great selection of heritage and family fun attractions just waiting to be explored. No matter what you enjoy, we’ve got so many different ways for you to spend your time, everyone is sure to find what they are looking for to suit their interest and budget.

Diggerland

Restoration House

Diggerland is an adventure park based on diggers and small dumpers. It offers visitors the opportunity to drive real construction machinery under the guidance of trained staff (no driving licence required). This exciting adventure park is the perfect place to bring the family and friends for an action day out. Experience a wide variety of rides and drives on offer – whether it’s to enjoy the view from the Sky Shuttle, hanging tight on Spin Dizzy, or digging dirt with a six ton digger. Open: Weekends and during school holidays between 10am to 5pm. Admission prices apply.

A unique example of an ancient city mansion, Restoration House derives its name from the stay of Charles II on the eve of the Restoration. Beautiful interiors with exceptional early paintwork are home to a fine collection of English furniture and portraits. The house has an unusually large walled garden covering some three quarters of an acre with formal hedges, parterre, pond and vegetable gardens. Charles Dickens used the house as the home of Miss Havisham and Estella in Great Expectations. Open: May to September (Thursdays and Fridays only from 10am to 5pm). Admission fee applies.

Fort Amherst

Buckmore Park International Kart Circuit Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent ME5 9QG 01634 201562 Email: sales@buckmore.co.uk www.buckmore.co.uk

Fort Amherst, an impressive fortress showing how soldiers of the Napoleonic period lived and fought. The fort was built in 1756 to protect the naval dockyard from a landward attack, and houses a fascinating network of underground chambers and tunnels that lead to the upper batteries where spectacular views of the surrounding area can be enjoyed. Special events, daily tunnel tours and regular ghost tours take place at the fort throughout the year. Open: Parkland grounds are open daily dawn to dusk (free of charge). Charges apply for tours and special events.

It is advisable when planning your visit to contact the attractions in advance to check their opening times and prices.

Buckmore Park International Kart Circuit Karting is fast, furious and fun. To experience high speeds with sharp bends, head for Buckmore Park International Kart circuit where famous British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and many others learnt their trade. This beautifully situated floodlit venue is the UK’s market leader when it comes to karting for all ages and driving abilities. With seven fleets of karts plus quad bikes, powerturn buggies and laser warfare, Buckmore Park is definitely the place to go. Open: Circuit is open all year round, seven days a week. Phone or visit website for hours and prices.

Dickens World Dickens World is an exciting (indoor) themed visitor attraction based around the life, books and times of one of Britain’s best-loved authors, Charles Dickens. Highlights include The Great Expectations ‘indoor tour’, The Haunted Man, Dotheboys (a Victorian school room), Peggoty’s Boathouse (4D high definition cinema show), the Britannia Theatre animatronics stage show and Fagin’s Den (a soft play area). A range of performances take place in The Courtyard and the Britannia Theatre. Open: Throughout the year on selected days (please phone or check website for details). Admission fee applies.

Guildhall Museum The Guildhall, built in 1687, is one of the finest 17th century civic buildings in Kent. Colourful and informative displays record more than 250,000 years of Medway history. At the centre of the museum is a reconstruction of a Medway prison hulk of the Napoleonic period. This walk-through experience illustrates the terrible conditions in which prisoners were kept. Learn about the life and work of Charles Dickens in the Dickens Discovery Room and audio-visual theatre and don’t miss the Medway gallery – it’s great fun for kids. Open: Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 4.30pm (last admission 4pm). Closed Mondays. Admission free.

Dickens World Leviathan Way, Chatham, Kent ME4 4LL 01634 890421 Email: enquiries@dickensworld.co.uk www.dickensworld.co.uk Diggerland Medway Valley Leisure Park Roman Way, Strood, Rochester Kent ME2 2NU 0871 2277007 Email: mail@diggerland.com www.diggerland.com Fort Amherst Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4UB 01634 847747 Email: info@fortamherst.com www.fortamherst.com Guildhall Museum High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1PY 01634 332680 Email: guildhall.museum@ medway.gov.uk www.visitmedway.org Restoration House Crow Lane, Rochester, Kent ME1 1ER 01634 848520 Email: robert.tucker@ restorationhouse.co.uk www.restorationhouse.co.uk

13


Rochester Airport At the heart of Kentish aviation, Rochester Airport has a proud history dating back to the 1930s when the Short brothers relocated their successful seaplane business to Rochester with ready access to the sea. Today visitors can experience heritage aircraft restoration in action at the airport’s exhibition facility. Open: Contact the airport for opening times and further information.

14

Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive The Royal Engineers Museum is Kent’s only Designated museum of international importance. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the debt owed to, and the part played by our solider engineers in past times to the present day. The many galleries and exhibits of the museum tell a fascinating story. The First and Second World War galleries give visitors a feel of life during the more gruelling parts of the 20th century. A dedicated gallery tells the story of Afghanistan, with a glimpse into the life of the modern day sapper. Open: All year round, Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11.30am to 5pm (last admission 4pm). Closed on Mondays. Admission fee applies.

Temple Manor A rare surviving 13th century house, belonging to the Knights Templar – an order of soldiers established in the crusading period to protect the holy lands and the pilgrims who travelled to them. Its original purpose was to provide lodgings and fresh horses for members of this order on their way to and from the crusades. Open: Limited opening hours, please phone or visit website for details. Admission free.

Rochester Castle

Six Poor Travellers House

The Old Brook Pumping Station

Rochester Castle is known as one of the best-preserved and finest examples of Norman architecture in England. The castle has a chequered history, having been subjected to siege three times, and in 1215 was partly demolished by King John who gained entry by undermining the south-east tower using the fat of 40 pigs to set fire to the pit props. Throughout the year the castle and its grounds play host to a number of spectacular events from a medieval festival, open air performances and concerts. Audio guides are available for a nominal fee. Open: Daily April to September, 10am to 6pm; October to March, 10am to 4pm (last admission 45 minutes before closing).

A fascinating Tudor almshouse founded by Elizabethan Member of Parliament Richard Watts, provided board and lodgings for six poor travellers - and continued to do so right up to the Second World War. The house and charity are immortalised in Dickens’ Christmas short story entitled The Seven Poor Travellers. A courtyard herb garden attracts many visitors in the summer. Open: March to October, Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm (closed 1pm to 2pm). Not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission free.

Listed as an ancient monument, the Brook Pumping Station was incorporated into Chatham’s main drainage system from 1929 until 1980. Today, it is an industrial museum and still houses the original equipment and engines which can be seen running. Other exhibits include a hot air engine and a restored road roller. Open: Limited opening hours please phone for details. Admission is free of charge.

Rochester Cathedral

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Upnor Castle

Founded in 604AD, Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest in England. With glorious Norman architecture in the nave and crypt, and one of the finest Romanesque facades in the country there is much to see for the casual visitor and specialist groups alike. Audiovisual tours in a number of different languages are available for visitors to use to explore the cathedral. The cathedral tea room is the perfect stop for that much needed rest when visiting. Open: Daily 7.30am to 6pm (5pm on Saturdays). Free admission to individuals, although donations are welcome. Audio guides £1 per person. Small charge per head applies for groups.

The world’s most complete dockyard of the age of sail with a fantastic range of attractions. Make your own rope at the Victorian Ropery and experience life at sea on board Three Historic Warships. Be inspired by the people who worked there in Steam, Steel and Submarines, and discover maritime treasures and a range of temporary exhibitions in No.1 Smithery. Don’t miss the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection, 3 Slip the BIG Space and, new for 2013, the Hearts of Oak gallery retelling the story of the construction of wooden hulled, sail powered warships. Tickets are valid for 12 months. Open: March to October, 10am to 6pm, October to November 10am to 4pm.

Situated on the banks of the River Medway, Upnor Castle was built to protect Queen Elizabeth’s warships when anchored in the Medway. Although the castle was an important link in the defence line, it proved ineffective when the Dutch sailed up the Medway in June 1667, under the command of Admiral de Ruyter, to attack the dockyard. The Dutch met resistance, but when they left two days later they had destroyed and captured a large number of Royal Navy ships anchored at Chatham. Open: April to September, 10am to 6pm and October, 10am to 4pm (last admission 45 minutes before closing). Admission fee applies (English Heritage members free except during special events).

Rochester Airport Maidstone Road, Rochester Kent ME5 9SD 01634 869969 www.rochesterairport.co.uk Rochester Castle Castle Hill, Rochester, Kent ME1 1SW 01634 335882 Email: rochester.castle@medway.gov.uk www.visitmedway.org Rochester Cathedral The Precincts, Rochester Kent ME1 1SX 01634 843366 Email: visits@ rochestercathedral.org www.rochestercathedral.org Royal Engineers Museum Prince Arthur Road, Gillingham Kent ME4 4UG 01634 822839 Email: mail@re-museum.co.uk www.re-museum.co.uk Six Poor Travellers House High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1LX 01634 845609 www.visitmedway.org Temple Manor Knight Road, Strood, Rochester Kent ME2 2AH 01634 335882 www.visitmedway.org The Historic Dockyard Chatham Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TE 01634 823800 Email: info@chdt.org.uk www.thedockyard.co.uk The Old Brook Pumping Station Solomons Road, Chatham Kent ME4 4LA 01634 362847 www.oldbrookpumping.co.uk Upnor Castle High Street, Upper Upnor Rochester, Kent ME2 4XG 01634 718742 Email: upnor.castle@medway.gov.uk www.visitmedway.org

15


Medway Open Top Sightseeing Bus A great way to visit the attractions featured on this page is on the new Medway Open Top Sightseeing Bus. Once you purchase your bus ticket from the driver, you can hop on and off the bus all day.

Itineraries for enjoying Medway Use these great itineraries for ideas and inspiration to help you make the most of your time in Medway. From following in the footsteps of Dickens and seeing the buildings and places that were an inspiration to the author; to enjoying our rich maritime and military heritage, look no further.

1

Chatham and historic Rochester

3

Morning: Discover more than 400 years of maritime history at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, one of Britain’s leading maritime heritage destinations.

16

A fantastic range of galleries and attractions to explore, and a fabulous programme of touring exhibitions at No.1 Smithery make this a must-see attraction. Learn the skills of rope making on the Victorian Ropery Tour and be gripped by stories of life aboard three historic warships and much more. Lunch option: Try the fully licensed Wheelwrights’ Restaurant at the dockyard where a good selection of quality hot and cold food is served, plus the chance to sample some real ale brewed at the dockyard’s own micro brewery. Afternoon: Spend the rest of the afternoon in Rochester High Street browsing the second-hand bookshops and specialist independent shops, and explore the fascinating heritage attractions such as the castle, cathedral, museum and historic houses. Not to be missed… Free guided walking tour around the city. The best way to see Rochester is on foot with a local guide from the City of Rochester Society. Tours take place between April and October on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 2.15pm from Medway Visitor Information Centre. They last around 90minutes.

2

Dickens’ Great Expectations

Morning: Start your day by following in the footsteps of Dickens on a self-guided walking tour around Rochester and visit the attractions that feature in the author’s works en-route. These include the Guildhall Museum, which is free to visit, Restoration House, the home of Miss Havisham and Estella in Great Expectations, and Six Poor Travellers House, immortalised by Dickens’ Christmas short story The Seven Poor Travellers and Eastgate House where Dickens’ chalet can be seen in the gardens. Leaflet with map is available from Medway Visitor Information Centre for £1. Lunch option: There’s so many places to eat and drink in Rochester you will be spoilt for choice. Rochester has an excellent selection of restaurants offering cuisines from around the world, cafes, tearooms and pubs offering daily lunchtime special menus. Tip: Look out for Rochester Bitter – a special ale brewed at the dockyard’s micro brewery and available at several pubs in Rochester. Afternoon: Now head for Dickens World at Chatham Maritime where you can step back in time to the Victorian era – speak when spoken to in the Victorian classroom, watch the 4D show on the author’s life experiences as he travels around the world.

Onboard commentary is provided, plus there’s an opportunity to visit the attractions of your choice en-route. Don’t forget to produce your bus ticket at the attraction admissions desk to receive discounted entry. Visit www.visitmedway.org for further details on fares and discounts.

Military and Maritime The towns of Chatham and Gillingham have strong military and maritime connections.

Morning: Relive the fascinating story of Britain’s military engineers through the centuries at the Royal Engineers Museum. The museum provides an insight into the life of the modern-day sapper though the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Discover the art of the bridge builder and the evolution of the bridge with substantial modern bridge collections. There are many galleries and exhibits to explore at the museum and fascinating stories of the First and Second World Wars. Fort Amherst, built in 1756 to protect the naval dockyard from landward attack is just short distance from the Royal Engineers Museum. The fort houses a fascinating network of underground chambers and tunnels, shelters, barracks, gun batteries and guardrooms. Daily tours of the tunnels are available throughout the year. Lunch option: Take a light lunch at the fort’s own onsite café. A selection of hot and cold food is available. Afternoon: Venture on to The Historic Dockyard Chatham (also see itinerary one - Chatham and historic Rochester) and discover the dockyard story from Victorian times through two world wars and be inspired by the innovation and bravery of those who worked with Steam, Steel and Submarines. Visit the dockyard’s exciting new Hearts of Oak gallery and hear the fascinating story on the reconstruction of wooden hulled, sail powered ships.

4

Retail therapy

There’s a range of shopping experiences just waiting to be explored in Medway. Whatever takes your fancy from high street shops in Chatham and Gillingham town centres, modern indoor shopping complexes at Dockside Outlet Centre and Hempstead Valley to independent retailers in Rochester. Chatham is the largest shopping centre in Medway. Within the pedestrian high street and large indoor Pentagon Shopping Centre, shoppers can find all the leading brand stores. Also in the town centre are The Brook and The Central theatres, offering a regular and wide-ranging entertainment programme for the whole family; plus an indoor bowling alley if you’re looking for something different to do on your shopping trip. Chatham is well served by public transport with a rail station within easy walking distance and a brand new bus terminal at Chatham Waterfront with excellent bus services to Rochester, Gillingham, Hempstead Valley and Dockside Outlet Centre. Lunch option: Places to eat can be found at any of the shopping centres mentioned above. Check out the places to eat and drink at the town centres on the tourism website www.visitmedway.org Weekly markets can be found at Gillingham and Strood town centres. On the third Sunday of each month a farmers’ market is held in Rochester and is a great place to buy locally-produced goods direct from farmers and producers.

17


Over 1,000 years of history in a day

stop

Medway Tunnel

d oa

Bo ley Hi l l

stop

lan ade Esp

Do ck R

stop

GILLINGHAM

ro m

Road

War memorial

p ton Roa

Great Lines Heritage Park

d

Hig h

Str eet

arg are t’s S tree t

Cro w

stop

stop

Maidstone Road

CHATHAM

Chat ham Hill A2

Medway Maritime Hospital Montgom ery

Rd

stop

treet yS bur ter Can

Ma idst one Road

Street

8

hS t re et s tS Ne w R tree t oa dA ve New Road A2

Be

Nelson Road

ur y terb Can

Eastgate House and Dickens’ chalet

3

Hig

New Road A 2

A229

Six Poor Travellers House

rook

s t R ow

S t re e t

Star Hill

Ea

Sun Pier

Gillingham Park

3

The modern Chatham Waterfront Bus Station is the place to hop off to visit Chatham town centre for shopping, or for catching other local bus services. Visit the travel information centre for timetables and further information. The bus stops here on its return journey from The Historic Dockyard Chatham (Stop 7).

4

Dock Road/ Gun Wharf for Fort Amherst

This is the stop to visit Fort Amherst. Built in 1756 to protect the naval dockyard from landward attack. Daily tunnel tours available daily at 11am and 2pm. The statue of Lord Horatio Kitchener (1815-1916) famous British military leader and statesman is situated outside of the fort’s entrance.

stop

If arriving or leaving by train, regular rail services operate to London mainline stations, Ebbsfleet International and the coast from this station. Across the road from the station is the Medway Little Theatre where regular shows, performances and local amateur dramas take place.

Chatham Waterfront Bus Station

stop

2

stop

stop

Bus visual only

Rochester Rail Station

5

9

Medway Visitor Information Centre

The bus has now completed its tour and brings you back to the starting point. The Visitor Information Centre has a café serving hot and cold refreshments within indoor and outdoor seating area and public conveniences. Perfect place to take a rest stop.

19

Th e B

t tree

Restoration House

ad Ro

S High

e

2

H ig h

Guildhall Museum

4

ne La

Rochester Cathedral Rochester Castle

o d St reet

1&9

The Vines

n La es Vin

St M

t

Riv er M edw ay

ad Ro

h Kni g

5

r hu Art e c n Pri

stop

A2 28

te thga Nor

Wo

Dock

C

stop

igh tR Kn

Rochester Pier

ROCHESTER

Corp or il l

18

nR

Rd

oad

al

River Medw ay

Strood H igh S Commercial Rd t

tio

n Ca

6

Dickens World is an exciting (indoor) themed visitor attraction based around the life, books and times of one of Britain’s best-loved authors, Charles Dickens. For shoppers, Dockside has 50 leading retailers offering great discounts. Also on site is a nine screen multiplex cinema, restaurants and bars.

B

No rth co te Ro ad

Sta

eet n Str atio

Prio ry R d

STROOD

6 7

oad

stop

l Hil

Pier R oad A28 9

stop

Vanguard Way A289

Chatham Maritime for Dickens World/ Dockside Outlet Centre

stop

MAP NOT TO SCALE

Brompton Royal Engineers Museum

Kent’s only Designated museum of national and international importance. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the debt owed to, and the part played by, our soldier engineers. Learn about Lord Horatio Kitchener, Gordon of Khartoum and many famous military people in history. Closed Mondays.

7

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Embark on a voyage of discovery and exploration at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, the world’s most complete dockyard from the Age of Sail. There’s a remarkable range of galleries – including a Victorian Ropery, three historic warships, No.1 Smithery and the exciting new Hearts of Oak gallery, plus much more.

stop

Bill St Rd

ad

y k Wa wic

ur y dsb n i Fr

London Road A2

The following heritage attractions are all within easy walking distance from the Medway Visitor Information Centre:

Fr i n

r Ro Upno

28 A2

le H ast

First bus departs here at 10am then runs hourly with the last bus departing at 5pm. The Medway Visitor Information Centre is in the heart of historic Rochester and the ideal first port of call for visitors to the area. It is a great place to pick up information on local attractions or browse around the souvenir and gift shop.

ur dsb

228 dA oa R y

Ber

1

Service operates Saturday and Sunday only during June and July and run a 7-day consecutive service from July, 20 to August, 31 inclusive. Fares: Adults £5.50, concessions £4.50, children £3 and family ticket £13 (based on 2 adults/2 children or 1 adult/3 children).

and off at any stop that takes your fancy. Don’t forget to enjoy discounted entry at local attractions on production of a valid bus ticket at the admissions desk. Details available on the bus, Medway Visitor Information Centre and online www.visitmedway.org ■

Medway Visitor Information Centre A226 end Road Graves

stop

T

getting to this starting point is a problem, don’t worry as you can join the bus at any of the stops featured en-route. Buy your all-day, hop on/off ticket from the bus driver, enjoy the onboard commentary on places you can see and visit en-route and get on

Cooli

here’s no better way to explore what Medway has to offer than on board the new open top sightseeing bus. Tours start from the coach bays at the back of Medway Visitor Information Centre in Rochester - however, if

8

Chatham Rail Station

If arriving or leaving by train, regular rail services operate to London mainline stations, Ebbsfleet International and the coast from this station. Just around the corner from this stop is Ordnance Terrace, Charles Dickens’ childhood home. The Dickens family lived here from 1812 to 1817.

Walking tours around Rochester Tours start from Medway Visitor Information Centre City of Rochester Society – Free tours A free walking tour around historic Rochester takes place every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from Good Friday to the end of October. Tours take place at 2.15pm and last 90-minutes. Donations welcome. Footsteps in Time costumed character tours Join a costumed walking tour led by one of Dickens’ characters and visit 13 locations that featured in the author’s works. Tours take place at 12noon on the fourth Sunday of the month, Feb-Nov. £4 per person (under 6-year-olds free). Disclaimer: This service is new for 2013 and will be operating as a pilot trial run. Bus route and timetable are subject to change. It is advisable to visit www.visitmedway.org or phone 01634 338141 for details.


What’s new for 2013 Medway Open Top Sightseeing Bus – 20 discover 1,000 years of history in one day Discover 1,000 years of history in one day aboard the new Medway Open Top Sightseeing Bus. The bus - complete with onboard commentary - will link Rochester and Chatham attractions on a circular one-hour tour, allowing visitors to hop-on and off at various stops en-route using a valid one-day ticket which can be purchased from the driver. Additional features will include meeting costumed characters at key locations on the route, and discounted entrance at participating visitor attractions featured on the tour on production of a valid bus ticket. Further details on the bus service can be found on pages 18 and 19 or by visiting www.visitmedway.org

Rochester Cathedral – Hidden Treasures, Fresh Expressions Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest cathedral in England and has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the ‘Hidden Treasures, Fresh Expressions’ project. The award of £158,000 will now enable the cathedral to progress their plans to apply for a full grant. The project will use the cathedral’s currently inaccessible and nationally significant archives as a catalyst for the development of exhibitions and workshops in the crypt and library. These architecturally and impressive spaces will be sympathetically opened up to allow access for all.

The Textus Roffensis, older and considered by some to be a more significant document than the Magna Carta, is currently locked away for safety in the archives of Medway Council. The project will make the Textus the jewel in the crown of an imaginative and dynamic treasury. Rochester Cathedral believes in the ability of people to bring the cathedral’s history alive through inventive activities and inspiring events.

Eastgate House, Rochester – Heritage Lottery grant Eastgate House is a Grade I listed building on Rochester’s High Street. In December 2012 the Eastgate House Project was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.28 million. The grant will be used to not only conserve this wonderful building and heritage for generations to come but to open it up as a distinctive, valued and vibrant community resource for Medway and visitors. Through an exciting and diverse range of activities and interpretation, inspired by the building and its residents over 400 years, the Eastgate House Project will enable anyone living in or visiting Medway to learn about, experience and enjoy this unique heritage. Conservation and repair work will begin in 2013, with a programme of activities taking place in the community. Eastgate House will reopen in 2015.

21 The Historic Dockyard Chatham Hearts of Oak Gallery Experience revolutionary digital theatre in this new gallery opening at The Historic Dockyard Chatham in spring 2013. Building on the most loved elements of the former Wooden Walls of England Gallery, new technology and interpretation techniques will bring the story of people, ships and processes to life in a vivid, engaging and exciting way. Join now-retired Master Shipwright, John North, as he relives his role as the Valiant’s carpenter and encourages his grandson to follow in his footsteps. What will the young man do? Become a shipwright like his grandfather – or follow his instincts and join the Royal Navy to be like Nelson? Find out when you visit. The Hearts of Oak Gallery uses more than 20 years of research and understanding to retell the story of the construction of wooden hulled, sail powered warships at Chatham Dockyard. At the time the dockyard was the world’s greatest dockyard of the age of sail – building the ships that led to British command of the world’s oceans for 150 years.

The Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive The museum has recently displayed an extremely rare V2 Rocket one of only four on display in the UK. The history of this V2 is vague but it is believed to have been picked up in the Netherlands in the midst of the chaos at the end

of the Second World War and brought back to the UK by the Royal Engineers. The V2 was the first long range ballistic missile to be actively used in combat. It was a terrifying weapon as it travelled three times faster than the speed of sound and so there was no warning. During 1944-45 over 500 V2’s fell on London, and the Germans launched over 2,500 on allied countries. The new Courtyard Café opened in September 2012.

Fort Amherst and the Great Lines Heritage Park Fort Amherst’s parkland is permanently open to the public, and free to enter, as part of the Great Lines Heritage Park. Construction of an award winning pedestrian bridge leading from the Field of Fire into Fort Amherst, crossing over one of the ditches within the Fort, opens up a circular route through the park and provides stunning views over the River Medway and beyond.

Medway Music Festival An exciting new music event will be taking place in July 2013 in Medway. The Medway Music Festival will offer an eclectic mix of music base events at various participating indoor and outdoor venues in Medway. For further details visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk


22

23

History and heritage he history of Rochester can be traced back centuries. The Romans came here and made Rochester one of their most important towns by building a stronghold and bridge over the River Medway.

T

Today, standing proudly on the banks of the River Medway and with the tallest keep in England, Rochester Castle is an impressive and prominent feature of the Medway skyline. The castle was partly demolished in 1215 at the hands of King John, who famously attacked it by tunnelling underneath and then burning the pit props using the fat of 40 pigs, to recapture it from the rebel noblemen. Visitors can see the rebuilt circular tower, which contrasts with the three remaining square ones as a reminder of one of the bloodiest sieges in history.

Across the road from the castle is Rochester Cathedral. This is England’s second oldest cathedral, founded in 604AD and has been a place of worship and prayer for over 1,400 years. The glorious Norman architecture of the nave and part of the crypt, as well as one of the finest Romanesque facades in England make it an inspirational place to visit. Visitors can explore the ancient untold stories of the cathedral’s stones via audiovisual tours in a number of different languages for a nominal fee. In Strood, across the river from Rochester, stands a rare surviving 13th century house belonging to the Knights Templar – an order of soldiers established in the crusading period to protect the holy lands and the pilgrims who travelled to them. Its original purpose was to provide

Explore Rochester’s rich history on a free 90-minute circular walking tour around the city with a local guide from the City of Rochester Society. Tours take place from Good Friday to the end of October, on selected days.

lodgings and fresh horses for members of this order on their way to and from the crusades. At the heart of Kentish aviation, Rochester Airport has a proud history. You can experience heritage aircraft restoration in action at the airport’s exhibition facility. To discover more on the history of Medway, a visit to Rochester’s Guildhall Museum is a must. It chronicles 2,000 years of local history. Experience the terrible conditions endured by Napoleonic prisoners, learn about the life, times and works of Charles Dickens in the Dickens Discovery Rooms and view Rochester’s heritage quarter and riverside development works taking shape using the Rochester Riverside Eye camera technology ■

Rochester Castle

Temple Manor

City of Rochester Society

Castle Hill, Rochester Kent ME1 1SW 01634 335882 www.visitmedway.org

Knight Road, Strood Rochester, Kent ME2 2AH 01634 335882 www.visitmedway.org

(Guided walking tours) 6 Yalding Close, Frindsbury, Rochester, Kent ME2 3XF 01634 320598 www.city-of-rochester.org.uk

Rochester Cathedral

Guildhall Museum

Rochester Airport

Garth House, The Precinct Rochester, Kent ME1 1SX 01634 843366 www.rochestercathedral.org

High Street, Rochester Kent ME1 PY 01634 332680 www.visitmedway.org

Maidstone Road, Chatham Kent ME5 9SD 01634 869969 www.rochesterairport.co.uk


24

25

Dickensian connections harles Dickens moved to the area when he was five and spent a happy childhood around Chatham. His father John, a clerk in the Royal Navy pay office, was transferred to Chatham in 1817.

C

Dickens’ most impressionable childhood days were spent in Medway and it was the place he found inspiration for some of his work’s greatest characters and settings. Many of the buildings found on Rochester’s historic high street carry plaques detailing how the author incorporated them into his novels. A gentle stroll around local sites and graveyards will reveal where he found the names of many of his characters.

Discover more about the life and times of the author at the Guildhall Museum’s Dickens Discovery Room where you will find authentic Dickensrelated objects on display and can watch a short film on the author’s connections with the area. Eastgate House is an exceptional Grade I listed building and in the gardens the author’s Swiss Chalet can be found. The chalet was a present to Dickens from his French actor friend and was used by the author as his study at Gad’s Hill Place, near Rochester. Other attractions to visit in Rochester associated with the author and that feature in his work include Restoration House, the Six

Poor Travellers House and Rochester Cathedral. The best way to explore historic Rochester and its Dickensian connections is with a local guide. The City of Rochester Society offer free 90minute walking tours (April- October) on selected days. No need to prebook, just turn up and enjoy the tour. On the fourth Sunday each month, (February-November) costumed guided walking tours are available with Footsteps in Time. Some of Dickens’ most famous characters, including Nancy, the ‘tart with the heart’ will escort you around Rochester pointing out the places of interest that featured in the works of Dickens.

Dickens was not only famous for his classic books but also his ghost stories, A Christmas Carol being the most popular and The Signalman the eeriest. On the last Sunday of each month join Count Von Dickens on a haunted ghost tour around Rochester. For more information on the above tours, including prices (where applicable) contact the organisations direct. In the Footsteps of Dickens a self–guided walking trail with map is available from Medway Visitor Information Centre for only £1. Only three miles from Rochester is Dickens World visitor attraction. Dickens World in Chatham Maritime takes visitors on a fascinating journey of the author’s lifetime as they step back in time to Dickensian England ■

Guildhall Museum

City of Rochester Society

(Dickens Discovery Rooms) High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 PY 01634 332680 www.visitmedway.org

6 Yalding Close, Frindsbury, Rochester, Kent ME2 3XF 01634 320598 www.city-of-rochester.org.uk

Eastgate House and Chalet

Footsteps in Time

High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1ER www.visitmedway.org

c/o 95 High Street, Rochester Kent ME1 1LX 01634 818630 www.footstepsintimerochester.co.uk

Restoration House Crow Lane, Rochester, Kent ME1 1RF 01634 848520 www.restorationhouse.co.uk

Six Poor Travellers House High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1LX 01634 845609 www.visitmedway.org

Rochester Cathedral Garth House, The Precinct, Rochester, Kent ME1 1SX 01634 843366 www.rochestercathedral.org

Rochester Ghost Walks 01634 819746 www.visitmedway.org

Dickens World Leviathan Way, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4LL 01634 890421 www.dickensworld.co.uk


26

27

Military and maritime past hipbuilding has long been a focal industry along the banks of the River Medway. It grew in importance when the Royal Dockyard was founded at Chatham over 400 years ago and has forged Medway’s proud heritage.

S

Set in 80 acres, The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular visitor attraction and film location, including the setting for the popular TV drama series Call the Midwife. This spectacular maritime heritage attraction offers visitors a variety of things to see and do as they wander around the heritage site exploring several galleries, climb aboard historic warships and learn about the skills of the trade required to be a first class shipbuilder.

The Royal Engineers Museum offers a fascinating insight into the work of the engineers over the centuries and houses a collection of international importance, telling the explosive history of Britain and its empire. Explore interactive displays, military vehicles and exceptional artefacts, including the Duke of Wellington’s map, used at the Battle of Waterloo. The Great Lines Heritage Park and Fort Amherst has seen an investment in excess of £3m spent connecting and opening up the features within the park that can now be enjoyed by the public free of charge. Fort Amherst was built in 1756 to defend the naval dockyard from landward attack, and it continued to serve this purpose up until the end of World

War Two. The fort has a vast complex of underground tunnels and chambers that can be explored on a guided tour.

Queen return to the river, based at her new home at Gillingham Pier. During the Second World War the ship was requisitioned and converted to a minesweeper, initially operating out of Dover. Her finest moment came in 1940 when she made seven crossings to beaches of Dunkirk, rescuing 7,000 men.

On the banks of the River Medway, Upnor Castle was built on the orders of Queen Elizabeth 1 to protect her naval warships moored at Chatham. Despite a brave attempt, the fort proved ineffective in 1667, when the Dutch sailed up the river to attack the British fleet at anchor. An exciting audiovisual experience relives this dramatic raid in detail at the castle.

Alongside the Medway Queen is the Light Vessel 21 (LV21), a 40-metre bright red steel-hulled lightship that is being transformed into a floating cultural facility.

The River Medway is recognised as one of Britain’s most important for leisure activities and has a fascinating and illustrious maritime heritage. 2013 sees the paddle steamer Medway

Many sailings and cruises take place on the river during the summer months, including trips aboard the Edith May, a beautifully restored Thames sailing barge ■

The Historic Dockyard Chatham Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TZ 01634 823800 www.thedockyard.co.uk

Royal Engineers Museum Prince Arthur Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4UG 01634 822839 www.re-museum.co.uk

Light Vessel 21 (LV21) Gillingham Pier, Pier Approach Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 1RX www.lv21.co.uk

Upnor Castle High Street, Upper Upnor, Rochester, Kent ME2 4XG 01634 718742 www.visitmedway.org

Fort Amherst Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4UB 01634 847747 www.fortamherst.com

Medway Queen Preservation Society Gillingham Pier, Pier Approach Road, Gillingham Kent ME7 1RX 01634 575717 / 575812 www.medwayqueen.co.uk

Edith May Thames Sailing Barge c/o Shakespeare Bungalow, Poot Lane, Upchurch, Kent ME9 7HL 01634 365343 www.edithmaybargecharter.co.uk


club, Gillingham FC, who play home games at the Priestfield Stadium.

28

Family fun ome rain or shine, there are plenty of family fun attractions in Medway to inspire, amuse and captivate the children.

C

There’s buckets of fun at Diggerland, the ultimate adventure park where adults and children can drive real diggers and dumper trucks. With 15 different rides to choose from, it’s the only place where you get a chance to have a go with real construction machinery under expert supervision. To experience high speed with sharp bends then Buckmore Park Kart Circuit is the place to go. It’s where Lewis Hamilton and many of Britain’s recent Formula One drivers learned their trade. Buckmore Park offers

karting for all ages and abilities and if you want to get your children into the exciting sport of karting then check out the Turn-up and Drive sessions available on selected days during the school holidays. All year round winter sports can be enjoyed at Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre, where you can brush up your skiing and snowboarding techniques and have a chance to jump in a sno-tube on the cresta run. If you fancy practising ice-skating skills and partying on ice then head for Silver Blades in Gillingham. The Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham is home to 1st Bowl ten-pin

bowling which is great way to unwind and enjoy family time together. Sporting fun for all is available at Medway’s leisure centres and green spaces, including Medway Park. This regional centre of sporting excellence was one of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games training centres, and is home to the national league basketball team, Medway Park Crusaders. Medway Park boasts international-standard facilities including a judo centre, one of the largest sports halls in the region and swimming and dive pools. If you prefer to watch sport than participate, Medway is proud to be home to Kent’s only league football

The Strand Leisure Park in Gillingham is also a great family outdoor attraction. Throughout the year there are tennis and netball courts, crazy golf and par three golf course, miniature railway and children’s play area. In the summer the outdoor swimming pool, with lazy river, provides great entertainment. The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Fort Amherst, Dickens World and Guildhall Museum are also family friendly places that run special exhibitions, workshops and events during the school holidays. For those wishing to get close to nature, check out Medway’s country parks and RSPB nature reserves where regular guided walks, talks and children’s workshops take place ■

1st Bowl The Pentagon Shopping Centre Chatham, Kent ME4 4HW 01634 408030 www.1stbowl.com

29 Buckmore Park Kart Circuit

Medway Park

Maidstone Road Chatham, Kent ME5 9QG 01634 201562 Email: sales@buckmore.co.uk www.buckmore.co.uk

Mill Road, Gillingham Kent ME7 1HF 01634 338855 Email: medwaypark@ medway.gov.uk www.medwaypark.org.uk

Chatham Ski & Snowboard Centre Alpine Park, Gillingham Kent ME7 3JH 01634 827979 Email: jnl-chatham@ nikegroup.co.uk www.chathamskislope.co.uk

Silver Blades Ambley Road Gillingham Business Park Gillingham, Kent ME8 0PU 01634 388477 Email: gillingham@silverblades.co.uk www.silver-blades.co.uk

Diggerland Medway Valley Leisure Park Roman Way, Strood, Kent ME2 2NU 0871 2277007 Email: mail@diggerland.com www.diggerland.com

Strand Leisure Park

Gillingham Football Club

Pier Road Gillingham, Kent ME7 1TT 01634 333925 Email: medwaypark@ medway.gov.uk www.medway.gov.uk

Priestfield Stadium Redfern Avenue Gillingham, Kent ME7 4DD 01634 300000 www.gillinghamfootballclub.com

For details on all of Medway Council’s leisure centres, country parks and facilities visit www.medway.gov.uk


30

31

Shopping and markets nthusiastic shoppers will find a mix of famous high street names alongside unique boutique and specialist shops in Medway.

E

Step back in time in historic Rochester, famous for its connections with the author, Charles Dickens. Rochester has maintained much of its Victorian charm and is packed with independent speciality shops where you can uncover unusual gifts or souvenirs to take home. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, from quaint old-world hostelries to modern bistros, cafes and bars serving homemade dishes and

lunches at great prices. On the third Sunday of each month you can buy seasonal products direct from the farmers and producers at the Rochester Farmers’ Market. Then at the end of year, get in the festive mood by visiting the Rochester Christmas Market at the castle. Chatham is in the heart of Medway and the largest of its shopping town centres. The pedestrianised high street and Pentagon Shopping Centre boasts hundreds of household and independent retailers, it is also home to 1st Bowl ten-pin bowling. The Central and Brook theatres in

Chatham offer an exciting range of shows for all the family. Getting to Chatham by public transport couldn’t be easier. Chatham Waterfront Bus Station is right outside the Pentagon and regular services link Chatham to the other retail centres in Medway. The town centres of Gillingham, Rainham and Strood are at the heart of the local community. Gillingham and Strood host twice-weekly markets, and adhoc speciality markets are held in Rainham’s shopping precinct.

At Hempstead Valley you can explore over 50 popular retailers including M&S and Sainsburys, all under one roof with a food court offering a range of different eateries. Located in a Grade Two listed building in Chatham Maritime, Dockside Outlet Shopping Centre houses 50 leading retailers offering great discounts. After your retail therapy, treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa experience at a local hotel. Check out the local hotels in Medway that offer weekend breaks, cabaret nights and spa packages ■

Medway general and farmers’ markets

Rochester Traders Association

www.visitmedway.org

www.cometorochester.co.uk

Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre

Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham and Strood Town Centre Management

Hempstead, Gillingham, Kent ME7 3PD 01634 387076 www.hempsteadvalley.com

Pentagon Shopping Centre Chatham, Kent ME4 4HY 01634 405388 www.pentagonshoppingcentre.co.uk

Dockside Outlet Shopping Centre Maritime Way, Chatham, Kent ME4 3ED 01634 899389 www.docksideshopping.co.uk

Email: tcm@medway.gov.uk


Contact: Medway Visitor Information Centre 95 High Street Rochester Kent ME1 1LX 01634 338141 Email: visitor.centre@ medway.gov.uk www.visitmedway.org

32

Arts and culture edway hosts more than 28 days of free festivals and events each year - more than anywhere else in the south-east, and 2013 promises to be another year to enjoy Medway.

M

Chatham town centre with a lion and dragon dancing in the streets and people dressed in authentic, colourful traditional costumes.

Medway’s art and culture will stimulate your senses and imagination. The well established traditional festivals celebrating Charles Dickens’ connections with the area (Dickens Festival, and Dickensian Christmas) are world famous, but are only part of the festival scene, which also includes the English, Sweeps, Fuse and River festivals to name a few.

In July, the Castle Concerts offer four consecutive evenings of music in the spectacular gardens at Rochester Castle. Status Quo, and The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra have already been confirmed for 2013. Check Medway Council’s events website www.enjoymedway.co.uk for the other acts to be confirmed, plus look out for the new music event that will be taking place in Medway this year.

The calendar of culture starts with Chinese New Year celebrations in

And it doesn’t stop there; Rochester and Upnor castles also host open-air

theatre productions and special events during the summer. There is an enticing choice of theatre from the mainstream productions at Chatham’s Central Theatre to the more experimental offerings of The Brook Theatre, also in Chatham. Regular performances of a quirky and intimate nature can be found at the Medway Little Theatre in Rochester and a wide range of productions, comedy nights and tribute evenings can be enjoyed at the Britannia Theatre, Dickens World. Medway’s arts scene has deepreaching roots, with Billy Childish, Zandra Rhodes and Jeff Banks having nurtured their talents in the

area. Add to this a current crop of flourishing artists, whose work is showcased at the Nucleus Arts Centre, and at the Rochester Art Gallery at Medway Visitor Information Centre where a high quality programme of contemporary art and craft exhibitions can be found. The No.1 Smithery in the Historic Dockyard stages a stimulating programme of internationally renowned touring exhibitions throughout the year. A stunning addition to Medway’s arts scene is Light Vessel 21 (LV21), a 40-metre steel-hulled lightship moored in Gillingham. The beautifully restored ship offers multi-functional spaces, from artist workshops to creative studios ■

What’s on

Medway Little Theatre

For the latest information on festivals and events in Medway visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

256 High Street, Rochester Kent ME1 1HY 01634 400322 Email: feedback@mlt.org.uk www.danwillis.freeserve.co.uk

The Central Theatre 170 High Street, Chatham Kent ME4 4AS 01634 338338 Email: theatres@medway.gov.uk www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

The Brook Theatre Old Town Hall, Chatham Kent ME4 4SE 01634 338338 Email: theatres@medway.gov.uk www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

Britannia Theatre, Dickens World Leviathan Way, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4LL 01634 890421 Email: enquiries@ dickensworld.co.uk www.dickensworld.co.uk

The Nucleus Arts Centre 272 High Street, Chatham Kent ME4 4BP 01634 812108 Email: nucleusarts@gmail.com www.nucleus-arts.com

No.1 Smithery The Historic Dockyard Chatham Dock Road, Chatham Kent ME4 4TZ 01634 823800 Email info@chdt.org.uk www.thedockyard.co.uk

Light Vessel 21 (LV21) Gillingham Pier, Gillingham Kent ME7 1RX Email info@lv21.co.uk www.lv21.co.uk

33


Capstone Farm Country Park, Gillingham ME7 3JG

In pursuit of nature he breathtaking landscapes and spectacular wildlife of the North Kent Marshes are an essential part of any visit to Medway. They are some of the most unspoilt, expansive landscapes in Kent and the most important natural wetlands in northern Europe.

T

The Hoo Peninsula cycle route, known as the Heron Trail, is a great way to explore an important part of this area. The 18-mile circular trail takes in both the Cliffe Pools and Northward Hill RSPB reserves. The Riverside and Capstone country parks are ideal places to get active

and explore as a family with their walking and nature trails, cycling routes and children’s play areas. Both have onsite visitor centres that provide excellent advice and educational resources and it’s worth checking out the programme of regular workshops and events that take place at the parks throughout the year. Riverside now hosts the popular annual English Festival where traditions through the iconic ages are brought to life (see page 38 for details). Riverside and Capstone Farm have both been awarded the Green Flag national standard for quality parks and green spaces ■

Cycle routes

Great Lines Heritage Park The Great Lines Heritage Park is 70 hectares of parkland. The park offers spectacular views over the River Medway, Fort Amherst, The Historic Dockyard Chatham and towards Rochester. The Royal Engineers Museum is in easy walking distance and the Lower Lines Park is a great example of the restoration of a unique historic landscape. Open: All year. 01634 331176 Email: chathamworldheritage@ medway.gov.uk www.chathamworldheritage.co.uk

There are 280 acres of ancient woodland, orchards and meadows to explore. Facilities include a visitor centre, café, fishing lake, events and workshops. The park is typical of the rolling landscape of the North Downs. Open: 362 days, closed Christmas Eve/Day and Boxing Day. 01634 338191 Email: capstonefarmcp@ medway.gov.uk www.medway.gov.uk

113, 114

Medway Council’s cycle map shows all the on and off-road cycle routes in the urban areas of Medway and includes the Heron Trail. For a copy of the map, email transport.planning@medway.gov.uk or phone 01634 331254.

101, 182, 116

Bus information online For details on all bus services operating in Medway, including routes and timetables visit www.medway.gov.uk/buses 133

= Bus service number

Ranscombe Farm Reserve, Cuxton ME2 1LA

RSPB Northward Hill, near High Halstow

Ranscombe Farm is a 600-acre nature reserve and working farm, set in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With its mix of cornfields, ancient woods and downland, it has been a favourite haunt of wildflower enthusiasts for hundreds of years and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Open: All year. 01634 292062 Email: ranscombe@plantlife.org.uk www.plantlife.org.uk/ranscombe

Explore woodland and marshland trails and see the biggest heronry in Britain. Ten kilometres of trails are accessible, the woodland car park is signposted in High Halstow and the main car park is signposted off the Cooling Road. Enjoy fantastic panoramas across the marshland and Thames estuary. Open: Throughout the year. 01634 222480 Email: northkentmarshes@rspb.org.uk www.rspb.org.uk/reserves 191

151

35 Berengrave Nature Reserve, Gillingham ME8 7UJ

Cliffe Pools RSPB Reserve, Cliffe

Located one mile from Riverside County Park, this disused quarry pit not only has tremendous historical value but has also become a valuable home to many species of wildlife and provides a variety of habitats, including ponds, reed bed and woodland. The glades, willow carr, open spaces and boardwalks weaving through the reserve give ideal places to observe the wildlife.

A spectacular landscape of open water and blue skies deep in the heart of Dickens country. Cliffe Pools is one of the most important places for wildlife in the UK with huge flocks of wading birds and waterfowl including avocets, dunlin and little egrets. Over 11km of trails including the Saxon Shore Way cross the reserve. Open: Every day. Car park open 8.30am to 5pm daily except Christmas Day. 01634 222480 Email: northkentmarshes@rspb.org.uk www.rspb.org.uk/reserves 133

D

131

W AY

34

Tun n

el

London/M25 A289 A278

Great Lines Heritage Park A229

Sixty-acre lake with footpaths, cliff top walks, bird hides and views over surrounding countryside. Fishing lakes, diving centre with full training facilities. Circular walks, visitor centre and many activities. Open: Throughout the year. Wildfowl Reserve, Fishing and Diving: 07816 437946 or 01959 523523 Fishing: 01634 220005 Diving: 07961 077241 Email: mail@bucklandlake.co.uk www.bucklandlake.eu

A2 28

Situated on the Medway estuary with a backdrop of meadows and marshes. Facilities at Riverside include a visitor centre and a café. There are a variety of habitats in the park, including mudflats and salt marsh, ponds and reed beds, grassland ands scrub which provide a haven for wildlife. Open: 362 days, closed Christmas Eve/Day and Boxing Day. 01634 337432 Email: riversidecp@medway.gov.uk www.medway.gov.uk 131, 176

E R IVE R M A2 89

Buckland Lake Reserve, near Cliffe

A22 8

Riverside Country Park, Gillingham ME7 2XH

Canterbury/Dover M2 Jct 3 M2 Jct 4


36

37 Food for thought…

Food and drink hether you are visiting Medway on business or pleasure, you’re sure to work up a healthy appetite exploring the abundance of places to eat and drink.

W

In Rochester High Street there’s a superb choice of restaurants and bistros, serving dishes from around the world. Alfresco dining is popular during the summer months on the historic High Street’s pedestrianised areas with many eateries offer enticing lunchtime menus perfect for tourists visiting the attractions. It’s worth

looking out for the daily specials that can be found on the blackboards. You’ll find traditional fine dining, award winning restaurants, quaint cafés with mouthwatering cakes and pastries to pubs offering traditional lunches served with locally brewed real ales. If dining on the waterfront takes your fancy, then a visit to Chatham Maritime is a must. Here you can have a pub lunch or fish and chips right next to an attractive marina or

Tantalise your taste buds by exploring and sampling the wide range of culinary delights from around the world at the many places to eat and drink in Medway.

try out Mexican, Chinese or Italian cuisine, at one of the many branded restaurants near Dickens World. Or if you’re staying in the area why not consider having an evening meal at Dickens World’s Porters Restaurant and Bar and check out their evening entertainment schedule. A gentle drive through the more rural parts of the area will take you to picturesque villages and towns, where you will find family-run pubs specialising in local dishes and Kentish produce.

Beer lovers should particularly look out for local ales in the pubs produced by The Historic Dockyard’s Nelson Brewery. Up to 100 barrels a week are produced by the brewery. All the ales have nautical-themed names that pay tribute to the surroundings in which they are brewed. If you would like to take home some local produce direct from the supplier to savour or try out in a recipe, then visit Rochester Farmers’ Market on the third Sunday of every month. Alternatively, pop into one of the many farm shops that can be found in Medway ■

Find online and dine The food and drink section of Medway Council’s tourism website features a search option to help you find the best places to eat and drink in Medway. Visit www.visitmedway.org

Rochester Farmers’ Market Every third Sunday each month For fresh local produce at affordable prices direct from the farmers visit Rochester Farmers’ Market. For dates and more information visit www.visitmedway.org

Rochester High Street Traders’ Association Places to eat and drink can be found on the association’s website www.cometorochester.co.uk

Porters Restaurant and Bar Dickens World, Chatham Maritime The perfect dining location for informal lunches and relaxed evening dining. Check the website for evening themed dinners, cabaret and Jongleurs comedy club nights. Visit www.dickensworld.co.uk or phone 01634 890421.


Festivals and events

Under Siege

Medieval Merriment

Heritage Open Days

21 July

7 - 8 September

12 - 15 September

Rochester Castle Gardens

Rochester Castle Gardens

Various heritage sites and attractions

Witness Medway’s finest young musical talent on the Castle Concerts stage on a Sunday afternoon. A fantastic free afternoon event for family and friends to soak up the atmosphere and give their support to the Medway’s homegrown talent. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Step back in time with a weekend of medieval merriment. Come and see the castle in all its medieval glory, with a weekend of historic activities, including a medieval fashion show, re-enactors, cooking displays, have-a-go archery, period stalls and traders and living history. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

A number of heritage sites in Medway will open to the public for free this special weekend. Organised by English Heritage, City of Rochester Society, Medway Council and participating sites. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Medway Festival of Steam & Transport

English Festival

Will Adams Festival

Salute to the ‘40s

20 April

14 September

21 - 22 September

31 March - 1 April

Riverside Country Park, Gillingham

Gillingham Park

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Celebrate things that make England at this wonderful family festival; from Punch & Judy and donkey rides at The Seaside, archery and storytelling at The Medieval Village to farm animals at The Countryside Experience. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Experience a mix of Japanese culture and traditions. This one-day festival celebrates the life and work of Gillingham-born Will Adams – England’s first Samurai. Activities include face painting, martial arts demonstrations, workshops, tudor activities and authentic cuisine. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Be transported back in time. Around every corner period vehicles, evacuees and people dressed in their best 1940’s attire bring the site alive creating a truly vintage atmosphere. With dance troops and the best of 1940’s entertainers, this is one of the best events of its kind in the country Phone 01634 823807 or visit www.thedockyard.co.uk

Enjoy the spectacular sights, sounds and smell of steam, live music and hundreds of other amazing vehicles. Plus the unique opportunity to walk around the special 1950s set-dressed location for the TV drama series Call the Midwife. Phone 01634 823807 or visit www.thedockyard.co.uk

38

39 Rochester Sweeps Festival

Dickens Festival

Fuse Medway Festival

31 May - 2 June

4 - 6 May

Rochester

Rochester

Dickens Christmas

14 - 16 June

Bonfire and fireworks night

Various venues throughout Medway

2 November

Rochester

Celebrating arts and creativity in Medway. Different, diverse and daring - from cutting-edge performances to outdoor community events. 2013 promises to bring even more colourful sights and sounds to Medway’s open spaces. Phone 01634 338319 or visit www.fusefestival.org.uk

Great Lines Heritage Park

Recreating the chimney sweeps’ fun on their traditional holiday. Jack-inthe-Green ceremony, folk bands, parades, stalls and Morris dancing. BBC Radio 2’s Folk Musician of the Year, guitarist Tim Edey performs Sun, 5 at 8pm (£10), Corn Exchange. For tickets phone 01634 338338 or visit www.medwaylivetickets.co.uk

Celebrating the life, work and times of one of England’s greatest novelists, Charles Dickens. Step back in time to the Victorian era and enjoy street entertainment, parades, song and dance, competitions, traditional funfair and much more. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Step back in time and start the festive shopping season in Dickensian style. Some of the author’s favourite characters come to life as they wander around Rochester’s historic high street. Highlights include Seven Poor Travellers Procession, Grand Parade, and a candlelit procession with carols. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

The Dutch are Coming!

Medway River Festival

Castle Concerts

15 - 16 June

6 July

17 - 20 July

Upnor Castle

Chatham Waterfront and River Medway

Rochester Castle Gardens

Relive the Dutch Raid of 1667 during this weekend event at Upnor Castle. See the troops gather to protect the Royal Dockyard from attack by the Dutch. Hear the stories and learn about the tactics. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Spectacular family event with activities on the river including races and floating processions; plus activities on the waterfront such as local clubs and associations, children’s entertainment, live music and food stalls. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Four fantastic evenings of music at Rochester Castle. Status Quo has already been confirmed to return, and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will close the concert series. Check the website for further details on other acts and to purchase tickets. Phone 01634 338338 or visit www.medwaylivetickets.co.uk

A spectacular free bonfire and fireworks display at the Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

7 - 8 December

Rochester Christmas Market 30 November - 1 December, 7 - 8 and 14 - 15 December Rochester Castle Gardens

The Christmas market is held in the iconic setting of the castle gardens. Stalls of festive gifts, souvenirs and stocking fillers, against a backdrop of festive lighting, Christmas tree and entertainment and music. Phone 01634 338141 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Disclaimer: Please note that circumstances can and do change and the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any subsequent amendment. As a charge will apply to some events featured on these pages or the dates shown may change it is advisable to phone or visit websites for further information. Some events at The Historic Dockyard may not be included for return visits with the 12-month ticket but have separate ticketing and pricing arrangements.


Talks, exhibitions and special weekend events hroughout the year many visitor attractions in Medway have exhibitions, workshops, talks and special weekend events. Some of these are featured on this page but for up-to-date information check

T

websites or contact the attractions direct. A full schedule of regular evening entertainment takes place at The Brook and Central theatres in Chatham - to find out more visit www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

The Historic Dockyard Chatham A full programme of activities, events and exhibitions will be taking place at The Historic Dockyard Chatham during 2013. For further details call 01634 823807 or visit www.thedockyard.co.uk

40

Art in the Dockyard 16 February-6 May The Historic Dockyard’s bi-annual community art exhibition, displaying stunning works of art, all relating to and inspired by various elements of the dockyard. Picture This! 16 - 24 February Produce your own work of art and add it to a huge art project. Forget Me Knots 29 March - 14 April Learn the age-old skill of knot tying and take a handmade piece away as a souvenir. Hearts of Oak Gallery Opening Easter 2013 Witness revolutionary digital theatre in the new Hearts of Oak Gallery. Building on the most loved elements of the former Wooden Walls Gallery, new technology and interpretation techniques will bring the story of people, ships and processes to life in a vivid, engaging and exciting way. Exploring Antarctica The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton 24 May - 30 August Historic photography and exciting artefacts are used to tell the unforgettable stories of the legendary expeditions made by iconic British explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

Shipwrecks and Rescues with the RNLI 25 May - 2 June Heroic tales of shipwreck rescues are brought to life with storytelling and activities. Green Man Trail and Mask Making 25 May - 2 June Find the Green Man masks in the Commissioner’s Green and make your own. Pirates Were Explorers Too 27 July-1 September Our swashbuckling summer fun returns! Find your way through our pirate maze, meet Captain Flint and search for treasures. Do you dare claim your reward? From Shore to Sea Paintings by Sir John Lavery RA, 1914-1918 15 September – 1 December The First World War is seen from a naval perspective in 31 paintings by Sir John Lavery as part of a major loan from The Imperial War Museum. Bats and Broomsticks 25 October - 3 November Follow the bat trail, hear spooky stories and carve your own pumpkin.

Eastgate House, Rochester Eastgate House is an exceptional Grade I listed building in the heart of historic Rochester that featured in the works of Charles Dickens. A series of exhibitions and talks will be taking place throughout the year. For details visit www.visitmedway.org

Fort Amherst, Chatham There are plenty of activities taking place at the fort throughout the year. Charges for tours will apply, as will age restriction in certain cases. Phone 01634 847747 or visit www.fortamherst.com Tunnel Tours Daily 11am and 2pm. Come and discover how the tunnels were used during Napoleonic times for shelter, storage and defence. Ghost Tours First Friday of every month. Enjoy a lantern-lit ghost tour around Kent’s most paranormally active locations. Not suitable for children under 8-years-old. Easter fayre 30 and 31 March Craft fayre and family activities, including a bunny hunt. Paranormal Investigations Spend a night in one of the most paranormally active areas in Kent with resident medium Richard Ware. Pre-booking essential, over-18s only. 16 February, 20 April, 22 June, 31 August and 19 October. Halloween Horrors October Enjoy the Halloween experience in the labyrinth of caves and old fort.

Guildhall Museum, Rochester Gadgets and Gizmos 31 May - 28 February 2014 A collection of unique and quirky inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries. From the everyday to the extraordinary. For details phone 01634 332680 or visit www.visitmedway.org

Dickens World, Chatham Maritime Special events, theatre and opera performances, craft fayres and regular Jongleurs comedy nights take place throughout the year at Dickens World. For more information and bookings phone 01634 890421 or visit www.dickensworld.co.uk. Jongleurs Comedy Club For dates visit website. Laugh the night away with some of the top comedians in the land. Strictly over-18s. Tickets phone/door £15, online £14 and groups (10-20) £13.50. Happy birthday Charles Dickens 16-24 February Fun for the children during half term week. Dickens-related arts and crafts. Free entry for children who dress up in Victorian costume (age 5 -15 years). Competition for best Victorian costume.

Easter trail at Dickens World 29 March-14 April Easter Trail – find the Easter eggs around the attraction with the letters that make up a well-known Dickens character name. Easter related arts and crafts. Father’s Day 16 June Dads go FREE – One dad free when one full price child ticket is purchased (age 5-15 years). Complimentary glass of wine for dad in Porters Restaurant when a main meal is purchased. Halloween Half term week. 26 October-3 November Halloween arts and crafts, Pumpkin Trail and fancy dress competition. Free entry for children dressed in Halloween costume. Winter Wonderland and Aladdin Christmas pantomime Throughout December.

41 Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archives, Gillingham A series of exciting talks, exhibitions, weekend events and family friendly holiday events are taking place at the museum during 2013. For details phone 01634 822839 or visit www.re-museum.co.uk

Hidden Histories of Exploration Exhibition 19 January - 1 April An exhibition from the Royal Geographical Society highlighting the role of local inhabitants and intermediaries in the history of exploration. Hidden Histories of Exploration reveals the contribution of people such as Juan Tepano, Mohammed Jen Jamain, Sidi Mubarak Bombay, Nain Singh and Pedro Caripoco. Entry included with admission ticket.

The 8th Corridor Stores: Unrestricted 22 April - 30 September Join the Royal Engineers Museum in

discovering what lies behind the 8th Corridor. From 22 April visit our exhibition to see what we have discovered, learn about conservation of museum artefacts. This is a great opportunity to see some of the objects from our stores that are never normally on display.

Capturing Cultures Exhibition 21 October 2013 - 28 February 2014 An exhibition of the Museum's recently digitised ethnographic photograph collection.

Following the footsteps of Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Napier Thursday 7 February, 7pm. Tickets £6 call 01634 822839 for bookings A talk by Dr John Macfarlane on the Royal Engineers involvement in the Abysinnian campaign of 1868. The British 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia was a quite extraordinary and high

risk military enterprise carried out by the British Army against the emperor.

EOD - The Art of Bomb Disposal 15 - 16 June Join the Royal Engineers Museum on the 15 -16 June for a weekend on the history and art of bomb disposal. Lectures, displays and live shows. For more information please call 01634 822312.

Big History Showcase 3 - 4 August This weekend will be filled with living history displays showcasing the fascinating and entertaining history of the British Army.


Hotels, inns, guesthouses, bed and breakfast

42

Medway Visitor Information Centre If you need advice or assistance with seeking a suitable place to stay in

Star ratings made easy ★ ★★

★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

Simple, practical, no frills Well presented and well run Good level of quality and comfort Excellent standard throughout

Quality assured All the accommodation in this guide and on our website has been inspected either by the Automobile Association (AA), VisitBritain or has applied for a rating and is awaiting assessment. Hotels and guest accommodation (including B&Bs) are assessed using the same one to five stars criteria. The star rating reflects the overall quality of the experience.

Key to symbols French spoken Dutch spoken German spoken ^ No smoking establishment o Evening meal by arrangement ˙ Dogs accepted ± Tea/coffee making facilities m Restaurant No smoking rooms available ; Central heating } Alcohol licence - Cot available

Accessibility Much of the accommodation featured in this guide is able to cater for a range of disabilities. A number have ground floor bedrooms. To ensure that your needs can be catered for, contact the accommodation provider to discuss your requirements before booking.

Chatham ★★★★ Hotel HOLIDAY INN ROCHESTER-CHATHAM Maidstone Road, Chatham ME5 9SF Tel: 0871 9429069 Fax: 01634 673673 Email: reservations-rochester@ihg.com Web: www.holidayinn.co.uk Modern and friendly 24hr service hotel. Health Club/indoor pool. Restaurant, bar and lounge.Families welcome. Accessible rooms and conference facilities. Ideally located for historic areas of Kent. S Chatham 3 1/2 miles 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin/double and family rooms from £60 (subject to availability) Single £65-£75 Rooms: en-suite and air conditioned ± mat Acorn ; Wharf } - pCoach > ÒPark t nearby s9◊Ω 1/4 MILE149, FROM CHATHAM Coach parking: free 3 1/2 MILES FROM ROCHESTER MAP REF C5

Gillingham ★★★ B&B ABIGAILS 17 The Maltings, Rainham, Gillingham ME8 8JL Tel: 01634 365427 Email: davidjpenfold@talktalk.net Contact: Pamela Penfold Welcoming family establishment, quiet cul-de-sac rural views to rear. Near motorways, station, shops, pubs and restaurants. WiFi, private bathrooms, 4 poster. Off-road parking. S Rainham 1/3 mile 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin £55, Single £30, Family £55

Chatham ★★★ Hotel RAMADA ENCORE CHATHAM Western Avenue, Chatham Historic Dockyard, Chatham ME4 4NT Tel: 01634 891677 Fax: 01634 895152 Email: reservations@encorechatham.co.uk Web: www.encorechatham.co.uk Ramada Encore Chatham is a fantastic hotel located in the S Chatham 1 mile heart of Chatham Maritime. We offer excellent food and drink and free WiFi in the Hub. All rooms are vibrant, fresh and modern with Wet Rooms, wooden floors, flat screen TVs and tea and coffee making facilities. Come and experience our welcoming hospitality and friendly service.

Gillingham ★★★ Hotel KING CHARLES HOTEL Brompton Road, Gillingham ME7 5QT Tel: 01634 830303 Fax: 01634 829430 Email: reservations@kingcharleshotel.co.uk Web: www.kingcharleshotel.co.uk

!

How to book your accommodation In this guide the accommodation is listed alphabetically by area. Prices given are for bed and breakfast (B&B) per room, per night, unless otherwise indicated. All prices include VAT (at the current rate of 20 per cent) and service charges. Once you have chosen where you would like to stay, you can book your room by phone, fax or email (where available) directly with the establishment of your choice.

Medway, this can be obtained from the Medway Information Centre in Rochester by calling 01634 338141. Further details on accommodation in the area with contact details and links to individual establishments own websites (where applicable) can be found at www.visitmedway.org

!

A place to stay… Whatever your taste or budget, you’ll find accommodation to suit.

Chatham ★★ Hotel ST GEORGE HOTEL 7/8 New Road Avenue, Chatham ME4 6BB Tel: 01634 841012 Fax: 01634 812109 Email: reception@george-hotel.co.uk Web: www.george-hotel.co.uk Family run hotel at the heart of Medway. Close to Rochester and Chatham town centres and all local S Chatham 1/4 mile attractions. Within easy reach of all motorways. 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin/double £70, Single £49,Family room £77 Rooms: 45, all en-suite ^ ± m ; } - > Ò t s 9Ω

!

Accommodation

Chatham ★★★★ Hotel BRIDGEWOOD MANOR HOTEL Bridgewood Roundabout, Walderslade Woods, Chatham ME5 9AX Tel: 01634 201333 Fax: 01634 201330 Email: bridgewoodmanor@qhotels.co.uk Web: www.qhotels.co.uk Situated at the edge of historic Rochester with links to the M2 (J3) and the M20 (J6). Modern conference hotel -100 well appointed bedrooms, restaurant, 2 bars, leisure/spa/pool. S Chatham 3 miles 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin/double from £75-£135, Single from £125 Rooms: 100, all en-suite Free ± m ;}-p>Òts9Ω 4 MILES SOUTH OF ROCHESTER MAP REF C5

1/4 MILE FROM CHATHAM

Rooms: 3, all with en-suite 4 MILES EAST OF CHATHAM

MAP REF B5

^±;>t◊Ω MAP REF B5

General advice If you experience a problem with accommodation, you should tell the proprietor/manager immediately. He/she should be keen to address your situation. If the problem remains unresolved please write to Quality in Tourism, Security House, Alexandra Way, Ashchurch, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 8NB Phone: 0845 3006996 Email: qualityintourism@uk.g4s.com Web: www.qualityintourism.com

p > 3 Ò t s 9 ◊ Ω S

43

The King Charles Hotel is a privately owned modern hotel, with a cosy restaurant and first class conference and banqueting facilities. We have 98 bedrooms, all with en-suite S Gillingham 1 mile bathrooms, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, telephone, wireless internet and satellite television. We are ideal as a base for exploring south east England and London, and we offer extremely competitive group rates. Please phone for details. We have a civil wedding licence, with three bridal suites available. 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin/double from £30, Family room from £65

Indoor/outdoor swimming pool Children welcome (minimum age) Building of literary or architectural interest Credit cards accepted TV Phone in bedrooms Ground floor bedroom available Garden Parking Closest rail station WiFi The VisitEngland Breakfast Award

Key to additional symbols - self-catering Exceptional with degree of luxury

All self-catering accommodation and hostels have been quality assessed and they are also rated from one to five stars.

t s ` D a œ ‡ T

Linen hire service Linen provided free Laundry facilities Washing machine and drying facilities Dishwasher Microwave in each unit Gas/electricity by meter Games room

Ç † Í = ‚ ∑ d w

Showers Public payphone Shop on site Chemical waste disposal Entertainment/recreation on park On working farm Fresh water Toilets

1 Jan-31 Dec Room rate at weekends from £49.95, Mid-week from £79.95 Rooms: 90 all with en-suite 1 MILE FROM CHATHAM

Free

±m^}->ÒtsΩ MAP REF B5

Rooms: 98, all en-suite 1 MILE SOUTH OF GILLINGHAM

˙±m;}->Òts9◊Ω MAP REF B5


Gravesend ★★★ Hotel INN ON THE LAKE A2, Shorne, Gravesend DA12 3HB Tel: 01474 823333 Fax: 01474 823175 Email: reservations@innonlake.co.uk Web: www.innonlake.co.uk Set in 12 acres of woodland, the Inn on the Lake Hotel offers a friendly and comfortable stay in a modern, family S Gravesend 3 miles run establishment. With excellent transport links to London, the Channel Ports and the Medway towns, as well as the M2, M20 and M25 motorways, the stunning views across the two lakes are surprisingly tranquil and relaxing, with many of 1/4rooms MILE FROM parking: free at Acorn Wharf Coach Park nearby our having CHATHAM direct access toCoach the lakes. 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin/double from £59.50. Family room from £99

Rochester ★★★★Silver Award B&B CEDAR HOUSE 66 Priestfields, Rochester, Kent ME1 3AB Tel: 01634 324175 Contact: Joe and Alison Blair Email: info@cedarhouserochester.co.uk Web: www.cedarhouserochester.co.uk Our Edwardian detached house offers exceptional comfort, style and wide choice of breakfasts. All rooms en-suite with TV/Wi-Fi and beverage tray. Off-road parking. S Rochester 1 mile 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin/double from £70, Single from £45 Rooms: en-suite ^±; >(12) tΩ 1/4 MILE2,FROM CHATHAM Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf Coach Park nearby 1 MILE FROM ROCHESTER MAP REF B4

Rochester ★★ Silver Award B&B CHURCHFIELDS 6 Churchfields Terrace, St Margaret’s Street, Rochester ME1 1TQ Tel: 01634 400679 Email: sian-smiles@supanet.com Web: www.churchfieldsbandb.co.uk Contact: Siân Fowler Comfortable town-house within five minute walk from historic Rochester. River views. Not suitable for children S Rochester 1/2 mile under 12. Welsh spoken. Wireless internet. 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin £58-£60, Single £28-£30 Rooms: ^±; >(12) tΩ 1/4 MILE2FROM CHATHAM Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf Coach Park nearby 1/4 MILE FROM CENTRE OF ROCHESTER MAP REF B4

Hotels, inns, guesthouses, bed and breakfast ★★★★Silver Award B&B Rochester SALISBURY HOUSE 29 Watts Avenue, Rochester ME1 1RX Tel: 01634 400182 Contact: Roger and Janet Reader Victorian family house within easy walking distance of castle, cathedral, historic High Street and station. Large comfortable well-appointed rooms. S Rochester 1/2 mile 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin/double £75, Single £45, Family room £90 Rooms: both CHATHAM en-suite ± ;Park - >nearby t◊Ω 1/4 MILE2,FROM Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf^Coach 1/2 MILE FROM CITY CENTRE

MAP REF B4/5

Self-catering accommodation

˙±m;}->Òts◊Ω MAP REF B3

★★★ Silver Award B&B Rochester THE COTTAGE 66 Borstal Road, Rochester ME1 3BD Tel: 01634 403888 Contact: Beryl Dover Email: pinkhousecottage@gmail.com Web: www.thecottagerochesterbandb.weebly.com Victorian cottage in quiet location.10 minutes walk to historic centre and restaurants. Easy street parking. S Rochester 1 mile Garden room en-suite available. Wireless internet. 2 Jan-15 Dec Double from £45, Single from £30 Rooms: with private bathrooms ^ ˙ Coach ± ; >(12) t◊Ω 1/4 MILE2,FROM CHATHAM Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf Park nearby 1/2 MILE SOUTH OF ROCHESTER MAP REF B4/5

Cliffe Woods, nr Rochester ★★★★ Silver Award B&B ORCHARD B&B 11 View Road, Cliffe Woods, Rochester ME3 8JQ Email: enquiries@orchardcottagekent.co.uk Web: www.orchardcottagekent.co.uk Tel:01634 222780 Self contained accommodation overlooking orchards. All rooms TV/WiFi, en-suite. Easy access to motorways. Ideal for business, families, wedding guests and S Higham 1 3/4 miles exploring the Kent countryside. 1 Jan-31 Dec Double/Twin £65-£75, Single £45-£50, Family Room £90 Rooms: 5 all with en-suite ^±;->◊Ω 3 MILES FROM ROCHESTER MAP REF A4

Rochester ★★ Hotel GORDON HOUSE HOTEL 91 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX Tel: 01634 831000 Fax: 01634 847034 Email: info@gordonhousehotel.net Web: www.gordonhousehotel.net Contact: Mei Shome Historic building in central Rochester and ideal for exploring this lovely city. All rooms en-suite and ample parking. Opposite cathedral and close to castle. Full restaurant facilities. S Rochester 1/2 mile 1 Jan-31 Dec Double from £60, Single from £50, Family room from £85 Rooms: 11 en-suite, privateparking: bathroom ± Acorn ^m; }> 3Park Òt s◊Ω 1/4 MILE14, FROM CHATHAM3 withCoach free at Wharf Coach nearby CENTRE OF ROCHESTER MAP REF B4

★★★★ Self-catering High Halstow DECOY FARM COTTAGES Decoy Hill Road, High Halstow, Rochester, Kent ME3 8SR Tel/Fax: 01634 256185 / 07946 088646 Email: decoyfarmcottages@jkm-international.co.uk Contact: Kim Myatt Three cottages in converted barn on a working farm. Views across Northward RSPB nature reserve to Thames Estuary. Quiet rural location yet close to Rochester and motorways. S Strood 8 miles 1 Jan-31 Dec 3 nights £175-£520, 7 nights £225-£695 Rooms: cottages accommodating to 6 people s `nearby tœÇ 1/4 MILE3FROM CHATHAM Coach2parking: free at Acorn Wharf Coach^Park

Rochester Inspection applied for B&B CHESTNUTS B&B North Leigh, Gravesend Rd, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7DX Tel: 01474 822716 Web: www.bandbchestnuts.co.uk Email: bandbchestnuts@btinternet.com Two luxury ground floor rooms in separate annexe. En-suite, power shower, warm comfortable and quiet. King-size/ Twin beds, 40 inch TV, WiFi, garden, off-road parking. S Higham 1 1/2 miles Ideal location for visiting Medway. 1 Jan-31 Dec Double/Twin £65, Single £45 Rooms: 2 ^±t9;-◊Ω 3 1/2 MILES FROM ROCHESTER MAP REF B4

Rochester ★★★★ B&B GREYSTONES 25 Watts Avenue, Rochester ME1 1RX Tel: 01634 409565 Email: greystonesrochester@gmail.com Web: www.greystonesbandb.org.uk Contact: Bill Lang Comfortable quiet Victorian family run B&B within easy walking distance of Rochester Castle, cathedral and High St. Beautifully appointed rooms, wireless internet available in each. S Rochester 1/2 mile 1 Jan-31 Dec Twin/double £60- £70, Single from £38, Family from £85 Rooms: 3 en-suite ± ;Coach Ò -Park >t 9◊Ω 1/4 MILE6,FROM CHATHAM Coach parking: free at Acorn^Wharf nearby 1/2 MILE FROM ROCHESTER MAP REF B4

Bredhurst Camping & Caravan Club DUDLEY FARM CAMPSITE Dudley Farm, Matt’s Hill Road, Bredhurst, Kent ME9 7XA Tel: 07774 888920 Contact: Mike Presneill Email: info@dudleyfarmcamping.com Web: www.dudleyfarmcampaing.com Dudley Farm is ideally situated for those looking for a base to explore Kent and London. Family run campsite set in 15 acres of grassland accommodating caravans and motorhomes. S Rainham 2 1/2 miles Pre-booking essential. 1 Jan-31 Dec Rates available upon request. dhÇ Accommodates: up to 5 motorhomes or 5 campervans 1/4 MILE FROM CHATHAM Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf Coach Parkwnearby 6 MILES FROM ROCHESTER MAP REF C5

44

Rooms: 80, all en-suite 3 MILES FROM GRAVESEND

Rochester ★★ B&B THE SUNDIAL 18 Ranscombe Close, Strood, Rochester ME2 2PB Tel: 01634 721831 Email: sean@company8234.freeserve.co.uk Very comfortable quality accommodation with attractive courtyard. Friendly atmosphere. TV with freeview channels. Close to M2/20 motorways. Local restaurants and S Strood 2 miles entertainment centre close by. 1 Jan-31 Dec Double from £50, Single from £25 Rooms: 1 withCHATHAM en-suite ± Park > -nearby t◊Ω 1/4 MILE3,FROM Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf Coach 2 MILES FROM ROCHESTER MAP REF B4 !

Hotels, inns, guesthouses, bed and breakfast

Rochester ★★★ Self-catering THE CHIMES 6 Hawkwood Close, Rochester ME1 1HW Tel: 01634 842923 Contact: Norma Chambers Email: normachambers@hotmail.co.uk The Chimes is a modern non-smoking mews cottage, moments away from Rochester High Street and 3 minutes from Rochester Station. Off-street parking is provided. Sleeps 2. S Rochester 100 yards 1 Jan-31 Dec £70 per night. 3 nights £200, 7nights £420 11/4 cottage for 2 people MILE FROM CHATHAM CENTRE OF ROCHESTER

ROCHESTER

s D Park > tnearby œÇΩ Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf^Coach MAP REF B4

Allhallows ★★★★ Caravan holiday park ALLHALLOWS LEISURE PARK Avery Way, Allhallows, Allhallows is Medway's bestRochester Kent ME3 9QD kept secret. A picturesque Tel: 01634 270385 park with stunning views Fax: 01634 270081 over the Thames Estuary, Email: gareth.harvey@ easy to get to from London, bourne-leisure.co.uk this park has a real ‘let's get Web: www.haven.com/ away and relax’ feel. allhallows Allhallows is the perfect way Low season to spend time with (exc. school and bank holidays) family/friends– there really is 3/4 nights from only £89, something for everyone 7 nights from only £179 young and old alike. Historic Peak season Rochester and Canterbury 3/4 nights from only £279 are tempting day trips nearby 7 nights from only £399 although with so much to do The above prices are based on a on the park you may struggle S Strood 9 miles Standard 2 bedroom caravan (for up to fit it all in! to 6 people sharing). Offers can be withdrawn at any time and without prior notice.

MAP REF A4

170 Caravans sleeping 6-8 people 10 MILES FROM ROCHESTER

-˙pts`DœtT͆‚}^ MAP REF A6

45


Hotels, inns, guesthouses, bed and breakfast

Self-catering accommodation Doddington ★★★★ Hostel PALACE FARM HOSTEL Palace Farm, Down Court Road, Doddington, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 0AU Tel: 01795 886200 Contact: Liz and Graham Cuthbert Email: info@palacefarm.com Web: www.palacefarm.com Flexible comfortable accommodation with private ensuite rooms. Continental breakfast inc. Ideal for singles, families and groups. S Teynham 4 miles Situated in village with pub. Wi-Fi internet available. 1 Jan-31 Dec from £16 per night. Rooms: ^ > Park ± Ònearby -9∑ 1/4 MILE10 FROM CHATHAM Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf Coach

★★★★ Self-catering Snodland SANDHOLE BARN C/o South Cottage, 235 Sandy Lane, Sandhole, Snodland, ME6 5LG Email: me.scutt@hotmail.co.uk Tel: 01634 241988 Web: www.sandholebarnkent.co.uk Comfortable, well-equipped ground floor accommodation with private garden and parking. Quiet location near Leybourne Lakes, ideal for walkers and water sports. S Snodland 1 mile Rochester 7 miles. Excellent base for touring. Low season 3 nights £350, 7 nights £425 Peak season 7 nights £525 Accommodation: Unit sleeps 2-4 persons s `Park tœ DaÇ 1/4 MILE FROM CHATHAM Coach parking: free at Acorn Wharf ^ Coach nearby

14.5 MILES FROM CHATHAM

7 MILES FROM ROCHESTER

Rochester STABLE COTTAGES

46

MAP REF C7

MAP REF C4

★★★★ Self-catering cottages

Fenn Croft, Newlands Farm Road, St Mary Hoo, Rochester ME3 8RE Tel: 01634 272439 Email: info@stable-cottages.com Web: www.stable-cottages.com Contact: Debbie Symonds 1 Jan-31 Dec Small cottages 7 nights £300-£550, 3 nights £225-£350. Large cottages 7 nights £700-£1,000, 3 nights £375-£575.

These charming oak beamed cottages are fully central heated, luxuriously furnished idyllically set in twenty acres of secluded farmland on the Hoo Peninsula with panoramic views of the Thames. There is a heated indoor swimming pool, steam room, mini-gym and games room for the exclusive use of cottage occupants. Tucked away down a private lane this secure site with electric gates offers peace of mind rarely found. Conveniently located with easy access to all motorways and ports. Situated 15 minutes from historic Rochester. London, Canterbury and the coast are all 45 minutes away. We are close to a RSPB reserve and the Saxon Shore way making this the perfect base for walking, bird watching, sightseeing or just getting away from it all. Two four bedroom cottages with two en-suites sleeping eight people and four two bedroom cottages sleeping 5-6 people, fully equipped kitchen, lounge, dining table and chairs, bathroom with bath and shower. There are two fully equipped utility rooms on site, ample parking, a garden with barbeque, children’s toys etc. Guaranteed a warm welcome by Jason and Debbie Symonds who live on site.

OPEN SEASONALLY THROUGHOUT 2013 Please visit our website or call 01634 890421 for opening times.

Inside Dickens World, you can expect...

6 cottages for 5-8 people 6 MILES FROM ROCHESTER

S Strood 6 miles -˙ps`DœtTÇ MAP REF A5

Medway has a selection of hotels and accommodation providers who provide accessible rooms and services For more information about accessible rooms in Medway, please ring the Medway Visitor Information Centre on 01634 338141 or contact us by email visitor.centre@medway.gov.uk Please be advised that you may need to contact the accommodation establishment directly if you have specific requirements. A selection of places to stay can be found on www.visitmedway.org

• The ‘Great Expectations’ Indoor Tour • Dotheboy’s Hall Victorian School Room • Daily Street Theatre Performances • The Haunted Man • Fagin’s Den Soft Play Area • Peggotty’s Boathouse Cinema Show • Collard’s Grocers • Porters Bar and Restaurant • The Old Curiosity Gift Shop Dickens World, Leviathan Way, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4LL

For more information call 01634 890421 Visit our website www.dickensworld.co.uk

Take a Step Back in Time

Dick e life h t and ens World n o is w based disc orks of Ch a themed attraction journey of arle o a fam very as you s Dickens. Enjoy ’ most i ns by aliar and be meet some of Dicke ght to life ects. st-l ff rou host of capt oved characters all b -of-the-art e ivating shows and state


YOUR PASSPORT TO DISCOVERY... WITH UNLIMITED RETURN VISITS

 .0/5)450&91-03& .0/5)450 0&&91-03& t063 t063NEW)&"3540'0",("--&3: )&"3540'0",("--&3: 01&/*/(413*/( 01&/*/(413*/(

Discover the wonders of ‘digital theatre’ as you learn about shipbuilding during the Age of Sail.

tt*/41*3*/(5&.103"3:&9)*#*5*0/4 */41*3*/(5&.103"3:&9)*#*5*0/4 Art in the Dockyard

'FC.BZ

'FC.BZ

Exploring Antarctica: 55IF'JOBM IF'JOBM Expeditions of Scott & Shackleton

.BZ"VH

.BZ"VH

'SPN4IPSFUP4FB  'SPN4IPSFUP4FB11BJOUJOHTCZ BJOUJOHTCZ 4JS+PIO-BWFSZ3"  4JS+PIO-BWFSZ3" 

4FQ%FD

4FQ%FD

tt063:&"3306/%'".*-:"$5*7*5&4 063:&"3306/%'".*-:"$5*7*5&4 t&9$*5*/(("--&3*&4"553"$5*0/4 t&9$*5*/(("--&3*&4"553"$5*0/4 t)*4503:#306()550-*'&#:(6*%&4 t)*4503:#306()550-*'&#:(6*%&4 t*/%003065%0031-":"3&"4 t*/%003065%0031-":"3&"4

thedockyard.co.uk

01634 823807


Medway Visitor Guide 2013