England’s Countryside: Historic Rochester
If you happen to travel to England, don’t limit yourself to only visiting London. London itself is an amazing city full of interesting things to do, but the English countryside is equally fascinating. On my two week winter holiday in England I happen to stay very close to the beautiful small town of Rochester.
I have never imagined myself living in a small town ever again (having lived in a small town the first 18 years of my life), but this beauty makes me want to buy a little cottage and spend my holidays there. Such an inspiring atmosphere that would appeal to writers, freelancers, photographers and artists. In the same time it is so calm and quiet like time has stopped and you have magically time traveled in the 19th century. Speaking of this precise historic time period, I want to mention that this was Dickens’ favorite place as well. It had inspired many of the locations and places in his novels. You can really enjoy the authentic atmosphere of let’s say Great Expectations and even see the prototype of Miss Havisham’s house.
And did I mention the beautiful Gothic cathedral? Dickens specifically asked to be buried in the cemetery of the cathedral but due to the public opinion as well as the clergy at that time, he was buried at the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. In other words the Westminster Abbey needed a famous writer to boost its popularity in the eyes of the brits. Today on the east wall of the Rochester cathedral there is a memorial of Dickens and his death wish.
The Gothic style in architecture has always been one of my favorites and Gothic cathedrals have a special place at my heart. This particular one is more than 1400 years old and the second oldest in England. Right across the cathedral you can visit the medieval castle of Rochester.
I visited it two times and even in the winter I walked from Gilligham through Chatham all the way to Rochester and back. This means walking through three small towns and observing the people and trying the bakeries on the way. I also really enjoyed the charity shops and all the little places where you can buy vintage decoration, furniture or post cards. Great for buying presents!
St. Pancras Intl.– about 40-45 minutes and 18-20 pounds.
London Victoria – about 45-50 minutes and 15-17 pounds.