This is a lovely, riverside walk along the River Medway. The hike relatively easy, as it is quite flat, but it is a very long one, and we will have to keep the pace if we do not want to get caught in the dark. (Bring your torches just in case, by the way! :))
The landscape is varied and includes woodland, orchards, meadows and farmland. We will also pass through a series of pretty riverside villages and towns which are steeped in history. For wildlife lovers look out for Kingfishers and listen out for the sweet song of the nightingale.
Train: We will be taking 8:30 train from London Bridge to Maidstone Barracks. We will be arriving there at 9:56. At the end of the hike we will be returning from Rochester.
Meeting point: We will be meeting in London Bridge Station, by the information stand (in the photo), on the way to platform one (our train is likely to leave from this platform, but this is subject to change). I will be waiting for you there from 8:10.
The tickets will be sorted, so we will not need much time. We will move to the platform at 8:20 sharp. If you are there any later than that you will have to get another ticket and catch up wit us at the platform. So please make sure that you arrive early enough to find the meeting spot and that you check for any planned engineering works and allow sufficient time to deal with transport emergencies. The trains are once per hour, so we will not wait for anyone.
Drivers: this is not a circular walk, so I would not recommend driving.
Distance: 12 miles (20 kilometres).
Walking time: 6 hours, but allow extra time for stops. You should consider yourself commited for the day.
Food: We will be stopping for a meal at The Ship in Rochester at the end of the walk. As it will be quite late, please make sure you bring some food to keep you going through the day. but not too much, as the food at the pub is well priced and delicious, so make sure you have space for it in your belly at the end of the walk as well! :) If you want to check out the details: www.facebook.com/shiprochester.
What to bring: Please make sure you bring packed lunch as we will not be stopping until the end of the hike. And just in case the walking speed of the group is slow please bring torches so that we can find out way safely if we are still walking when it gets dark.
Fee: £17.82 includes hike, train tickets and paypal charges.
Contact: If you have any problems please give me a call on [masked]. If you are trying to call and not getting through, this may be becasue 15 other people are also calling me to ask for the way, so please send me a text. I will do my best to get back to you, but this can not be guaranteed. I will be available on this line from 8:10am. As it gets quite hectic when everyone starts arriving and looking for the meeting point, please don't email me or leave a voice mail as I will not have time to check it until after the hike. If you realise last minute that you can not make it - please change your RSVP and text me.
Weather: Please make sure that you are dressed appropriately to the weather. We will not cancel the trip unless the conditions make it dangerous for us to make the walk. If the trip was cancelled you would of course be refunded.
Rochester Cathedral was consecrated in AD604 and the present building initiated by Bishop Gundulf in 1080. The architecture is Norman, Gothic and Early-English Perpendicular with a fine crypt, medieval wall paintings and a magnificent 15th century chapter room doorway.
Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest in England. As you wander around this beautiful and spiritual cathedral you will see a fine collection of medieval wall paintings and the first genuine fresco to be painted in an English cathedral for nearly 800 years.
Strategically placed astride the London Road, guarding an important crossing of the River Medway, this imposing fortress has a complex history of destruction and rebuilding. Today it stands as a proud reminder of the history of Rochester along with the cathedral and cobbled steets.
Its Norman tower-keep of Kentish ragstone was built about 1127 by William of Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury, with the encouragement of Henry I. Consisting of three floors above a basement, it still stands 113 feet high. Attached is a tall protruding forebuilding, with its own set of defences to pass through before the keep itself could be entered at first floor level.
In 1215, garrisoned by rebel barons, the castle endured an epic siege by King John. Having first undermined the outer wall, John used the fat of 40 pigs to fire a mine under the keep, bringing its southern corner crashing down. Even then the defenders held on, until they were eventually starved out after resisting for two months.
Rebuilt under Henry III and Edward I, the castle remained as a viable fortress until the sixteenth century.
Rochester Castle is managed by Medway Council.
Allington Castle is quite simply Kents best kept secret. The castle is nestled in 42 acres next to the Medway river it is surrounded by a moat and fronted by two lakes which are split by a causeway leading you the the castle gates. The extensive gardens are a photographic dream set out in a Medieval style with Italian gardens, Lavender walk, Parterre, Courtyard & formal ponds.
IMPORTANT: By taking part in this meet-up you agree to the following disclaimer: I acknowledge that hiking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. My decision to voluntarily participate in these activities is an informed decision and I am aware of and shall accept such risks. I agree to be responsible for my own actions and involvement in these activities. The organiser does not take any responsibility for my safety. Travel insurance is not included, it is recommended that you get your own one.