Chatham

Image for Historic Dockyard Chatham showing a marina and boating

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
RM263
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

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! (509 reviews)

"The bar staff were exceptional and we’re very friendly! One was called Harley."…"

Reviewed on 12 Feb,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
RM177
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

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 ...

3.6/5Good! (39 reviews)

"Was all ok had a nice stay the buffet was not great"…"

Reviewed on 13 Feb,2020

St George Hotel Rochester-Chatham
Ship & Trades
Ship & Trades
4 out of 5
RM364
per night
Feb 18 - Feb 19

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! (371 reviews)

"Spacious and modern room, very nice location and lovely breakfast. I would recommend."…"

Reviewed on 2 Dec,2019

Ship & Trades

Popular things to do in Chatham

Historic Dockyard Chatham
Image for Historic Dockyard Chatham

Historic Dockyard Chatham

4/5(22 reviews)

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

4.5/5(57 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

4.5/5(28 reviews)

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

RM542

Take a culture-packed journey to famous sites outside the city limits with convenient transportation and an expert guide leading the way. Visit the picturesque Leeds Castle, marvel at the white cliffs of Dover, take a pilgrimage to Canterbury, and cruise down the River Thames to conclude your day.

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

RM497

Travel to the serene countryside around Leeds Castle, explore the medieval city of Canterbury, and continue to Dover for a peek over the famous white cliffs. Take a stroll in the pretty riverside district of Greenwich and end the day with a cruise along the River Thames back to central London.

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

RM385

Our private English Wine Tasting Tour takes you to 3 vineyards and includes a picnic lunch for up to 6 of your closest friends. This wine tour goes to Kent, “The Garden of England” where fruit farming (viticulture) is most prevalent in Great Britain.

Electric Bike Self-Guided Tour in Kent
Image for Electric Bike Self-Guided Tour in Kent

Electric Bike Self-Guided Tour in Kent

RM213

Kent, the Garden of England, is a beautiful part of England to explore and what better way to take in the countryside than by electric bike! The UK Electric Bike Centre is a fantastic base to start out on your adventure.

Private Arrival Transfer London Stansted Airport to Central London by Luxury Van
Image for Private Arrival Transfer London Stansted Airport to Central London by Luxury Van

Private Arrival Transfer London Stansted Airport to Central London by Luxury Van

RM158

Your private driver will be waiting for you and your group (up top 6 people) at the arrival lounge at London Stansted STN Airport. Meet your driver right after picking up your luggage upon arrival. Your driver will be holding a sign with the name of the lead passenger in your group.

Small Group 1 Day Tour: Canterbury, Dover and Leeds Castle
Image for Small Group 1 Day Tour: Canterbury, Dover and Leeds Castle

Small Group 1 Day Tour: Canterbury, Dover and Leeds Castle

RM345

Join our Cathedrals, Cliffs and Castles small-group tour and journey through history. You will have the chance to explore stunning countryside, dramatic coastal cliffs, and historic buildings.

Reviews of Chatham

3.7

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
11
5 - Excellent 18.0327868852459%
4 - Good
26
4 - Good 42.622950819672134%
3 - Okay
19
3 - Okay 31.147540983606557%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 6.557377049180328%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 1.639344262295082%

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Oct 25, 2019

I went to Chatham to visit the Historic Dock yard and Rochester Cathedral and Castle. These were all interesting, although it was raining on the second day.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Sep 29, 2019

All good thanks

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Sep 2, 2019

Chatham is very quiet and there were large supermarket near to where we were staying which was a bonus.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Aug 10, 2019

Rochester is a better alternative to Chatham, much more vibrant place with good transport links, cathedral and castle and some good bars and restaurants.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Aug 5, 2019

Chatham was ok but not half as nice as Rochester which was what we came for.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Jul 15, 2019

Chatham town is ok to visit but don't recommend the town centre to reside permanently in one or two areas.