Charles John Huffam Dickens was born in Portsmouth on the 7th of Higham February 1812 to John and Elizabeth Dickens, the 2nd of 8 children. John was a pay clerk in the Royal Navy and the family moved with his job, coming to Chatham when Charles was 5 years old.
Dickens was so inspired by what he found in Kent that he returned here for the last years of his life. Many people and places in his novels have Kentish roots. The marshland around this area lent itself to the vivid opening of Great Expectations.
Dickens was a dedicated walker. 12 miles was an average daily walk. He would walk in all weathers, turning ideas over in his mind. This walk covers 6.6 miles and includes places & landmarks that Dickens would have known well.
This walk is located within easy distance of historic Rochester, which holds many connections to Charles Dickens. At the beginning of December is the annual Dickensian Christmas festival, drawing crowds from all over the county to celebrate the start of a traditional Dickens Christmas.