Last year was definitely a birthday to remember, drinking wine and riding Vespas in the winter, Tuscan sunshine. This year I wanted to do something a bit closer to home. It’s not always easy to rally people to get excited for a birthday in chilly February but this year I managed to attract a small bunch together in the name of…history! Or maybe it was the pub lunch. Either way, this year saw me and eight friends hopping on a train for a Birthday Day Out to Rochester in Kent.
I really wanted to see a castle for my birthday this year so to inflict this educational experience on so many of my friends was a history nerd win! Rochester is a really lovely day out from London, just 45 minutes train and £10 from London Victoria. It was the one-time home and inspiration for Charles Dickens; hosts the second oldest cathedral in England and OF COURSE has a nice old medieval castle too.
We started our sightseeing along the cute high street in some light drizzle. There are many sweet shops and even the UKIP representative’s shop front if you want to stop and pull faces.
Then we stopped off to climb inside the 12th century castle, once battled over by King John. A proper medieval wonder.
Then we took a visit to Rochester Cathedral, the second oldest in England. We didn’t have the heart to ask the nice, old man at the door what was the oldest cathedral, so we Googled it after. Apparently it is Durham. One for the trivia night.
Lastly we stopped off at Rochester’s oldest pub, The Cooper’s Arms for a very decently priced pub lunch and couple of pints.
All in all a thoroughly happy day full of friends and history which made me feel very blessed and relaxed. No cats but…plenty of cat birthday cards!