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ChathamUnited Kingdom

This scenic town on the River Medway is a place that launched a thousand ships. Its naval dockyard holds four centuries of exciting maritime history.

For centuries, Chatham’s crucial position on the River Medway halfway between London and the English Channel has made it a prized location. From the 16th to the 20th century, Chatham was a busy dockyard town, producing ships, submarines and sailing equipment in times of war and discovery. This strategic town is located in a picturesque valley along the line of a route used by the ancient Celts.

Defensive fortifications such as Fort Amherst were built to protect the town against the increasing threat of French invasion in the mid-1700s. Get spooked on a Friday night ghost tour of the historic fort’s dark and winding passageways or visit its rolling green Parkland Grounds open every day for free. Hear the mighty bang of cannon fire from the barracks on Sundays.

The Historic Dockyard of Chatham is located just north of the town center and showcases the rich maritime history of the town and the River Medway. Once the lifeblood of the town, the dockyard contains a fascinating selection of maritime artifacts and personal accounts of life in the Age of Sail. Climb aboard two preserved warships and go below the decks of a Cold War submarine.

Visit the Great Lines Heritage Park, a vast green area in the heart of the Medway, with its distinctive Naval Memorial tower easily visible from Chatham town. Follow one of the tree-lined cycling and walking tracks to meander around the park and see families flying kites in the open grassland.

Chatham is the hub of the towns in the Medway area, so it is easily accessible by car or bus. High-speed trains connect Chatham with London and local trains serve the wider Kent area. Chatham has a seaside climate with warmer summers and cool coastal winds and rain in the colder months. Be sure to have your appropriate “brolly and wellies” (umbrella and boots), just in case the weather turns at any time of year.

Top Hotels in Chatham

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Bridgewood Manor
Bridgewood Manor
4 out of 5

Situated in Chatham, this spa hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Rochester Castle, Rochester Cathedral and Kent Life. Historic Dockyard Chatham and Leeds Castle ...

4.2/5Very Good! (531 reviews)

"Pleasant stay for function, good meal & friendly staff."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 1, 2020

Bridgewood Manor
St George Hotel Rochester-Chatham
St George Hotel Rochester-Chatham
3.5 out of 5
7-8 New Road Av, Chatham, England
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
CA $99
per night
Apr 23 - Apr 24

Located in the heart of Chatham, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Brook Theatre and Historic Dockyard Chatham. Fort Amherst and Restoration House are also ...

3.7/5Good! (54 reviews)

"Convenient location, and nice view over the river Medway from our room."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 17, 2020

St George Hotel Rochester-Chatham
Ship & Trades
Ship & Trades
4 out of 5

Situated on the riverfront, this inn is within 1 mi (2 km) of Royal Engineers Museum and Historic Dockyard Chatham. Fort Amherst and Brook Theatre are also within ...

4.2/5Excellent! (381 reviews)

"We had a very nice time, the food was really nice and the atmosphere was very pleasant. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Shame about the weather! We are staying again this weekend."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 17, 2020

Ship & Trades

Popular things to do in Chatham

Historic Dockyard Chatham
Image for Historic Dockyard Chatham

Historic Dockyard Chatham

Climb aboard an English battleship and go back in time to the Age of Sail at Chatham’s informative and interactive dockyard time capsule.

Leeds Castle
Image for Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

5/5(9 reviews)

Visit this grand castle on an island in a lake to see rooms decorated in medieval style, picnic in serene grounds and enjoy entertainment for all the family.

Bluewater Shopping Centre
Image for Bluewater Shopping Centre

Bluewater Shopping Centre

5/5(1 review)

One of the largest shopping malls in Europe has seemingly endless options for entertainment, events and adventure for all the family.

Top activities in Chatham

Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover & Greenwich Full-Day Tour with River Cruise
Image for Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover & Greenwich Full-Day Tour with River Cruise

Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover & Greenwich Full-Day Tour with River Cruise

84% of travellers recommend
CA $157
Per adult
Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Greenwich & Dover with River Cruise & Lunch
Image for Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Greenwich & Dover with River Cruise & Lunch

Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Greenwich & Dover with River Cruise & Lunch

78% of travellers recommend
CA $159
Per adult
Exclusive Private English Wine Tour with Pub Lunch
Image for Exclusive Private English Wine Tour with Pub Lunch

Exclusive Private English Wine Tour with Pub Lunch

CA $124
Per adult
Electric Bike Self-Guided Tour in Kent
Image for Electric Bike Self-Guided Tour in Kent

Electric Bike Self-Guided Tour in Kent

CA $68
Per adult
City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of The UK
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of The UK

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of The UK

CA $14
Per adult
Tunbridge Wells Food and Drink Tour
Image for Tunbridge Wells Food and Drink Tour

Tunbridge Wells Food and Drink Tour

CA $48
Per adult

Reviews of Chatham

3

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5 - Excellent 0%
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1
4 - Good 50%
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4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Oct 24, 2019

The ship and trades is near an outlet mall, shopping centre and has many things to offer walking distance.