What to do on a bank holiday? Go and see a castle of course (even if it is one I’ve seen before). So it was that Heather and I set off for Rochester on this last such Monday gone.
The trains were being silly buggers so we could only actually get as far as Strood, but as that’s just over the bridge it wasn’t much of a problem. It was walking from the station to the bridge that I discovered I rather foolishly brought a camera but without a memory card in it. Ooops. At least Heather had hers.
As we past over the Medway we could see the castle above us, with a big wheel and other rides visible in the grounds. It turned out that was all there because we’d happened upon the Sweeps Festival so—after a quick lunch in the wonderfully named Deaf Cat—we encountered a “traditional” parade down the high street (I’m not a huge fan of these things for one reason or another).
The parade went by, complete with children and Morris dancing, which Heather enjoyed while I just got a bit grumpy. We wandered round for a bit more, through The Vines and round the cathedral before heading for the sweetie shop (Rochester has at least two old style sweet shops) where we bought mainly things which aren’t sweets. From the it was on to the castle, where Heather had to have a go at the carousel which formed part of the fair, of course. And the Hook a Duck, from where the later named Sir Rochester Oakes Esquire, the dragon, came.
Wandering around the castle again, we had fun spending some time peering out the chapel windows matching the features of the castle model to the actual building, and complaining about the French tourists. The views from the top are still good and I finally noticed the rusting submarine in the Medway.
A couple of drinks in the King’s Head Hotel followed, sat next to a nice sturdy statue of a “king”. We decided it was too late for dinner in Rochester though so made it back to Sidcup to find the Jalsha Tandoori at least open. The food was reasonable and we weren’t entertained by the loud conversation of a nearby table to round off the evening.