Visiting Kent and Medway Towns

Maidstone United Kingdom Seasons HouseThe geographical location of Kent, positioned in the south-east corner of England, between the English Channel and London, has led to the vast array of alternative architecture that is observed across the country. From Roman forts and Norman castles along with Anglo-Saxon burial chambers, the county is a haven of historical interest.

The original Roman road linking Dover to London was known as Watling Street, with the same approximate route now replaced with the A2 and the A28, with offshoots via A257 & B2068. The A2 runs through Dartford and picks up the Medway town of Rochester via Gravesend and on past Canterbury to Dover.

Many people think that Canterbury is the County town because of its links dating back to the 5th century and the birth of Christianity in England by St Augustus. However, the County town is Maidstone which is situated near Royal Tunbridge Wells. Another important town in Kent is Ashford with its central rail links connecting to the channel tunnel and France.

The infrastructure and road layout of the county make it easy to access all the places of interest that Kent has to offer. Whether you are interested in history or just want to sit on the beach in the sun, this county has too much to list individually in this post. Below I hi-light a broad range of venues and hope you will visit and explore and find what interests you.

Coastal Resorts in Kent

A recent beach guide survey produced a list of the top ten beaches in Kent with some surprising results. The beaches listed were not the most sandy or itemised under a specific category, so this shows the diversity of the Kent coastline. Beaches listed ranged from Dungeness to St Mary’s Bay, taking in Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Sandwich Bay and Hythe Beach.

The Cinque Ports

The origins of The Cinque ports are of trading communities based along the south coast, and these were originally used to trade between villages and then across the channel with France. The name Cinque is early French for five, as there were originally five ports, later increased to seven and included Sandwich, Dover Hythe and New Romney.

The Medway Towns

The main towns known traditionally as Medway towns are Strood, Rochester, Chatham, and Gillingham & Rainham. The Medway area has a long history and Rochester with its imposing castle originally dominating the area. Later Chatham & Gillingham were prominent as Navy and Military bases.

The dockyard at Chatham was opened in the reign of Henry VIII but closed in 1984 with the loss of many thousands of jobs. Over its lifetime The Royal Navy expanded the dockyard and was the birthplace of many famous ships, among them being HMS Victory, the flagship of Admiral Nelson.

Rochester, with its well-protected keep and strategically placed position guarding the narrowest stretch of The Medway, should be on every sightseer’s list, but many other notaries’ have resided here. Rochester was for a few years the home of Charles Dickens and reputedly based many of his novels on the everyday life of the town.

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