Things started out well, with an easy enough bank holiday train journey down to Rochester (we’d been delaying due to works on the railway). We soon found ourselves in town and stopping off at the Deaf Cat as usual (the artwork which adorned the walls seems to have been replaced by a coffee pot collection, but the cakes are still good). After a bit of lunch we wandered down the High Street, resisting the pretty little shops (especially the bookshops) and headed around through the lovely Vines. There we found some interesting wooden sculptures including, to Heather’s delight, a hedgehog.
From there it was a short stroll down to the castle, where things went wrong. There was a little sign on the steps up to the castle keep—“Due to unforseen circumstances, the keep is closed”. The shop was still open, so we made our way up the steps hoping the sign was out of date. It wasn’t (not the first time I’ve been locked out). The staff in the shop were a little coy but it emerged that a bit of cornice had fallen, so now a structural assessment was needed before the public could be allowed back in.
We left, deflated like an airless balloon. We tried to enjoy the rest of Rochester but our hearts weren’t really in it, so our restaurant reservation was cancelled and we headed home. Now we just wait for the castle to reopen so we can return and have a photo on a bench.