Lying some 50km from London, Rochester overlooks the River Medway. It is a historic town which gained importance from its strategic position on the London to Dover road. A short wander around the town immediately makes apparent why Dickens was so fond of the place. It's a lively and friendly town with old, lopsided, half-timbered buildings. Most date to the 18th century while others are some 600 years old. The long high street with its medieval city walls is lined by Victorian lamps and flower baskets which hang outside the little boutiques, cafés and interesting souvenir shops, all leading to the main tourist attractions; Rochester Cathedral and the Norman Rochester Castle.