THOUGH somewhat smaller, Rochester in Kent, like Woking, has a fascinating blend of history and literary heritage, writes Avril Blagbrough

A group from The Arts Society Mayford made a day visit in which they explored the history of the town from Roman times at the Guildhall Museum and  followed the career of Charles Dickens, who lived locally. 

Dickens based his novel Great Expectations partly on the town of Rochester and on the bleak windswept marshes nearby.  

HG Wells in Woking, similarly, based his War of the Worlds on the landscape around Horsell.

The TASM group visited the house where Dickens wrote, a Swiss chalet received as a gift, which arrived as a flat pack and which was assembled in the grounds of his house in Rochester. 

He was working here on his novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood on the day of his death in 1870.