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Information about Rochester Kent UK
20 miles south east of London is the tiny city of Rochester which
is definately worth a visit. On the banks of the lovely River Medway,
Rochester is famous for its beautiful, medieval cathedral (the second
oldest in the country), 11th century Norman Rochester castle and links with
Charles Dickens. The High Street, with its
There are festivals and activities held in Rochester throughout the summer. In particular, the Sweeps Festival on the first weekend in May. This festival celebrates the old tradition of chimney sweeping and May 1st was their annual holiday. It is celebrated by a procession of chimney sweeps through the streets, Morris dancers and Jack-in-the-Green, a seven foot, tree-like character that represents the beginning of Spring. The festival has a wonderful lively atmosphere of music, colour, dancing, with a funfair and activities in the castle grounds. During the first week of June Rochester livens up again with the Dickens Festival. This is a celebration of the famous, local author and people join in the fun by dressing up in Victorian costume or as characters from Dickens' novels. Parades and readings of Dickens' works are held throughout the city and, as in the Sweeps Festival, activities, craft stalls and the funfair establish themselves on Castle Hill. At Christmas time a similar festival is held but this time celebrating Dickensian Christmas. If Rochester has not been blessed with the real thing, an artificial snow machine turns Rochester into the traditional white Christmas scene. There are roasted chestnuts to snack on and ice skating to be had in the castle gardens. The end of the festival is marked by a candle-lit procession and the singing of Christmas carols outside the Cathedral.
Pubs in Rochester: For Jazz lovers, if you are in Rochester on a Sunday lunchtime, go
to The Eagle Tavern, Rochester High Street. Here, at this time in
this unassuming pub, there is free jazz Fantastically lively, often
with performances by well-known Jazz musicians. The audience comprises
all ages and children are also welcome. The pub serves good local beer,
reasonable food and also has a nice beer garden. For a quieter drink,
The Two Brewers, across the road from the Eagle Tavern is a tiny, old
fashioned and traditional pub which was built in the 17th century from
building materials salvaged from Rochester castle. For excellent pub
food, The Coopers Arms, St Margaret's Street, cannot be beaten.
However, it does not serve food on Sundays and children are only
allowed in the pretty beer garden at the rear of the pub (where they
also do wonderful summer barbecues on Friday evenings). The Coopers
Arms is reputedly haunted by a Grey Monk who appears late at night,
usually around November time. Apparently, when this ancient building
was a priory, he was bricked up alive for a sin that is now lost in the
realms of time. He is said to emerge from a wall behind the bar.
Chatham Historic Dockyard a series of museums that includes the Royal Navy Lifeboat Institute's lifeboat collection, the Kent Police Museum a working ropery, a WWII destroyer, a submarine and a Victorian sloop.
|2007 travel guides|