Picture Dan Bloom
Thousands of flag-waving people thronged through Rochester around the Vines Gardens, Rochester Castle and Rochester Cathedral.
Carrying the flame past the iconic landmarks were Jessica Cheesman, who was overcome with emotion when she saw her severely disabled son Stephen came out as a surprise to watch her, and multi-marathon runner Sarah-Anne Mooney from Halling.
The cathedral bells rang, planes and a helicopter buzzed overhead, the crowds cheered and whooped and entertainers on stilts built up to the big moment.
Loud shouts erupted from Howard School pupils in Corporation Street as one of their classmates - Year 7 pupil Nathan Mitchell - took the torch over Rochester Bridge.
Residents sat with cups of tea outside their houses and pubs and cafes put on special breakfast stalls for the early start.
Sharon Edwards, 59, of St Williams Way, Rochester, said: "I arrived at 5.40am.
"I went to the royal wedding and the jubilee and camped out but this is especially important because the torch bearers have achieved so much."