One day in Medway
Start your day visiting the two towns of Chatham and Gillingham that have strong military and maritime connections.
Morning: Relive the fascinating story of Britain’s military engineers through the centuries at the Royal Engineers Museum. Get an insight into the life of the modernday sapper through the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, discover the art of the bridge builder and view the many exciting galleries and exhibits.
Within a short distance of the Royal Engineers Museum is Fort Amherst. Built in 1756 to protect the naval dockyard from landward attack, the fort is an ideal place to stop for a rest at its terraced café, offering spectacular views across the River Medway. The fort houses a fascinating network of underground chambers and tunnels, shelters, barracks, gun batteries and guardrooms. Daily tours of the tunnels are available throughout the year.
Lunch option: Take a light lunch at the fort’s own onsite café or venture onto The Historic Dockyard’s Wheelwrights licensed restaurant.
Afternoon: Discover more than 400 years of maritime history at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, one of Britain’s leading maritime heritage destinations.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham is the only place in the world that lets you explore a complete dockyard from the heyday of the age of sail and beyond. It’s a unique destination that celebrates Great Britain’s magnificent maritime past and its command of the oceans. It offers unrivalled access to ships that helped shaped the world, and the stories of the people who made them. It’s a place of fun and fascination. Of surprising discoveries. Of stirring tales of boldness and daring. A place like no other.
Learn the skills of rope making on the Victorian Ropery Tour and be gripped by stories of life aboard three historic warships and visit the Hearts of Oak Gallery where new technology and interpretation techniques bring the story of people, ships and processes to life in a vivid, engaging and exciting way.
Why not take the wet and wild rapid Jetstream boat tour and view our maritime heritage sites from the river including forts and wildlife along the estuary. Tours operate from Sun Pier, Chatham on weekends only. For details visit www.jetstreamtours.com
Three days in Medway
Morning: Start your day by following in the footsteps of Dickens on a walking tour with a local guide from either Footsteps in Time (costumed guided walks) fourth Sunday each month (February to November) or the City of Rochester Society on selected days at 2.15pm (April to October). Tours last about 90-minutes and are very informative on the subject of Dickens and his works.
Lunch option: There are so many places to eat and drink in Rochester. You will find an excellent selection of restaurants offering cuisines from around the world, cafés, tearooms and pubs offering daily lunchtime specials.
Afternoon: Spend the afternoon visiting the many heritage visitor attractions in Rochester. These include the Guildhall Museum, which is free to visit and home to over 2,000 years of Medway history, Restoration House and Gardens, the home of Miss Havisham and Estella in Great Expectations, and Six Poor Travellers House, immortalised by Dickens’ Christmas short story The Seven Poor Travellers.
Further along the road is Eastgate House, a delightful Grade I listed Elizabethan House where Dickens’ chalet can be seen in the gardens.
Why not discover Medway’s fascinating military and maritime connections.
See the itinerary for one day in Medway.
Morning: Catch the Explore Medway Open Top Bus from the coach bays at the rear of the Medway Visitor Information Centre in Rochester. Join Medways own explorer Dr Jack Hunter as he uncovers Medways movie locations and accompanies you throughout the tour regaling tales of his ancestors tracing them all the way back to 1215 and the Magna Carta and the infamous ‘Siege of Rochester Castle’. Find out fun and interesting facts along the way. Hop on and off where you please and buy tickets onboard.
Lunch option: Hop off the bus at Chatham Maritime (Dickens World stop) where you will find several restaurants or the Ship & Trades pub where you can enjoy lunch on the waterside edge overlooking an attractive marina.
Afternoon: If you fancy some retail therapy, pop in to Dockside Outlet Centre and browse around the many major leading brand stores offering great discounts. Alternately, you many fancy watching the latest film at the Odeon Cinema at Chatham Maritime - www.odeon.co.uk/chatham
For more information please visit www.visitmedway.org