The Improbable Blog

No. 13: Rochester

This was not one of the highlights of the year so far.

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I’d love it if there was a great story to back this up, but between the drizzling weather and the MASSIVE crowds (yes, really) this wasn’t the rich cultural trip I was hoping for.

It was nice to have some company from Mary Poppins though…

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Rochester sits beside the Medway, around 30 miles from London and was a favourite haunt of Charles Dickens who owned a house nearby and featured the town in some of his novels – including Great Expectations (you and me both, Charles!).

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I’ve got to point out that Rochester isn’t to blame for this trip not being great – the town is pretty and offers lovely little shops and winding medieval alleyways as well as castle ruins, a cathedral and a couple of museums.

Rochester, on this occasion, just happened to be closed, crowded and rainy. Which meant that we were soggy, unable to do much and for some reason it was like everyone had made the same mistake and travelled here for an uneventful day trip.

Despite all of this, the music scene was thriving…

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It’s actually pretty nice walking around a small town (city, it reckons) with the bagpipes humming away like your own personal theme tune.

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I also thoroughly enjoyed this tree – you’ve got be pretty important to have your own fence and stirrups – so hats off to this old fella.

Despite all of the above, I still believe that Rochester would be a lovely place to visit in better circumstances and recommend taking the short 30 minute journey out there from London to have a nosy around (just not on a bank holiday in the rain!)

Anyway, that’s that – although check out this gate:

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