Medway (Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham)

Medway is a conurbation comprising Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham and, with a population of around 280,000, it is the largest urban area in Kent.

The different centres in Medway each have a unique character and Rochester has historically been the main centre of the area before being challenged by the growth of the naval presence in Chatham and Gillingham.

Rochester is the most charming and historically significant of the three Medway towns. Here, visitors can walk along Rochester High Street, lined with period architecture and boutique shops and also visit Rochester Castle, an imposing medieval fortress offering panoramic views of the River Medway, and Rochester Cathedral. You can also visit the Guildhall Museum and Eastgate House, which featured in several of Charles Dickens’ works.

Chatham is a vibrant maritime town with a rich naval past. The main attraction is the Chatham Historic Dockyard, a former Royal Navy shipyard now transformed into a fascinating maritime museum.

Gillingham also has a rich maritime history and just nudges Chatham out of the top spot as the largest of the Medway towns; however, it doesn’t offer as much of interest to the visitor in comparison to Chatham or Rochester.

Coming and going

The Medway area is served by frequent rail and bus services, connecting the region to London and to other destinations in Kent.

Most trains are operated by Southeastern and Thameslink and include regular high-speed services to London St Pancras as well as slower services to London Victoria.

Most rail services serve both Rochester and Chatham railway stations with two trains per hour to London St Pancras and three trains per hour to London Victoria. There are also direct rail services to destinations in Kent including two trains per hour to Faversham, Margate and Ramsgate and hourly trains to Canterbury and Dover.

Local bus services are a cheaper alternative when travelling elsewhere in Kent and include bus 101 from Chatham to Maidstone, bus 190 from Chatham and Rochester to Gravesend and bus route 700 from Chatham and Rochester to Bluewater shopping centre (between Dartford and Gravesend).

Sights and activities in Medway (Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham)

Places to stay in Medway (Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham)

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