Picture two beautiful days in June, thirty-four years apart.
On the first, Charles Dickens’ characters in The Pickwick Papers are taking a jolly amble along what was their creator’s favourite walk.
On the second, we see Dickens himself, the day before his fatal brain haemorrhage, following the very same route through the woods and across the park at Cobham Hall for the very last time.
Just forty-eight hours later, on 9 June 1870, the most famous man of the Victorian age would be dead. No other walk, and no other location, can bring us closer, or reveal as much, about Charles Dickens. We will set out from the only house he ever owned, where he lived for 13 years, and where he died. Gad’s Hill Place(A) is set back behind majestic cedars on the old London to Dover Road at Higham, 7km (4 miles) east of Rochester.
You can see and download a GPX file of the route here. Once downloaded, it can be uploaded into the OS mapping app or any other GPX file reader and followed on your mobile phone as you walk.