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 meander along the picturesque Rochester High Street, lined with period architecture and boutique shops and also visit the magnificent Rochester Castle, an imposing medieval fortress offering panoramic views of the River Medway. You can also visit Restoration House, rumoured to have inspired Charles Dickens’ Miss Havisham’s home in Great Expectations.
Chatham is a vibrant maritime town with a rich naval past. The main attraction is the historic Chatham 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.