Chatham - Rochester Coast Guide
Chatham has been building ships for the Royal Navy for over 400 years and this activity only stopped in the 1980's. Now Chatham has a new life as a maritime heritage destination. The nearby town of Rochester is also associated with Britain's military past. There are no resort facilities or beaches in these locations but they are well worth a visit for their maritime heritage.
Rochester Castle Kent
For details of Chatham Hotels and Holidays, Guest Houses, Cottages and to visit Attractions. Go to Chatham Hotels, Guest Houses and Cottages
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham is Europeís most important maritime heritage destination. The 80-acre site dates back over 400 years and was once one of Britainís most important naval bases. Among its displays are warships, exhibitions and some of the countryís best naval architecture.
There are three war ships on display: a destroyer, a submarine and a Victorian era sloop. There are also various displays charting the history of the yard. Surprisingly you can watch men making rope in the traditional way in the Ropery.
Rochester is situated on the main route to London from the Channel ports and on the banks of the River Medway. This give the town strategic importance and the first to recognise this were the Romans who built a fort here 2000 years ago. William the Conqueror recognised the importance of the town and had the present castle built shortly after his victory at Hastings. The castle was strengthened and improved over the next 100 years resulting in the imposing structure seen today.
Rochester Castle is known as one of the best preserved and finest examples of Norman architecture in England. Its great keep, square, massive and one of the tallest in the country, measures 113 feet high, 70 feet square and has walls 12 feet thick in places.
Nearby Rochester Cathedral is Englandís second oldest cathedral. It was established in 604AD and has become a place of pilgrimage for 1,400 years.
Rochester is also well known as the home of Charles Dickens who lived in the town for 12 years. He was born in Chatham in 1817. There is a exhibition of his works in the town.
Places to visit in Chatham
The Historic Dockyard - 80 acre museum of naval history, exhibits include a Victorian era sloop, WWII destroyer and a submarine - Chatham Main Gate Rd, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TZ Tel: 01634 823807
Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle - A steam driven paddle steamer - now you don't see many of those around! The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, ME4 4TQ Tel: 01634 827648
Rochester Cathedral - Intiated by Bishop Gundulf in 1080 and built over succeeding centuries - The Precinct, Rochester, ME1 1SX Tel: 01634 401301
Rochester Castle - Impressive Norman era fort ruins - Rochester Address: The Keep, Rochester, ME1 1SX Tel: 01634 402276
Diggerland Adventure Park/Playground - Roman Way, Medway Valley Park, Strood, Rochester, ME2 2NU Tel: 0870 034 4437
Map of the Chatham area
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Other sections of the guide you might also enjoy - see below.
Whether your idea of an ideal activity is sunbathing or you prefer something more strenuous, the chances are that you will be able to pursue this at the coast. There is a wide selection of activities that can be found on our coastline - these range from a gentle stroll to the next bay, to swimming and snorkelling, to more energetic activities such as sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kite sailing. See Activities section.
Attractions - see listings pages
A huge selection of attractions are available within the coastal area and this section will have details of many of them. From piers and harbours to fun fairs and roller coasters, the listings will have details of what's available in your chosen area. For details of attractions look in the resort pages.
The National Lobster Hatchery - Padstow
Pubs, restaurants and shopping guide
The listings section will also have details of pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and shops available in the locality. Restaurants and shops coming soon.....
The Beach Pub - Exmouth
We will bring you feature articles about the coastline and news items about life in the coastal area. contributions to this section are welcome.