Celebrating 400 years of history with a year of adventures!
Delve into 400 years of history and explore the most complete dockyard from the age of sail in the world. This award-winning attraction is home to 10 galleries, three historic warships, a working Victorian ropery and so much more! To celebrate its 400th birthday, there is an exciting, fun-packed year ahead of temporary exhibitions and family activities throughout the year, all included in your ticket!*.
*Please note – Salute to the ’40s and the Festival of Steam and Transport are a separately ticketed events.
From June to September 2017 the 350th anniversary of the daring raid on the English fleet lying at anchor on the River Medway – the Battle of Medway, or in Dutch the ‘Tocht naar Chatham’ will be commemorated with a series of events, exhibitions and cultural activities at The Historic Dockyard Chatham and throughout Medway, including Upnor Castle.
Also, watch out for Doc.Yard – he’s back for the summer holidays! This time the Doc is talking Maths but it’s fun!! Their two big events – The Festival of Steam & Transport (Bank Holiday, Easter weekend Sunday & Monday) and Salute to the ‘40s (16th & 17th September) are back, bigger and better than ever! The ever popular object handling is also back, taking place in the holidays. Keep a train spotting eye out for their brilliant railway weekends!
See the website for all the details, dates and times.
What to do
Imagine what life was like as a Victorian rope maker; and make your own piece of rope on the authentic Victorian Ropery Tour. In the exciting ‘Hearts of Oak’ digital theatre, join retired Master Shipwright John North as he revisits the Dockyard of his youth and encourages his young grandson to follow in his footsteps. Discover Command of the Oceans, a new interactive gallery taking you on a voyage back to the ‘age of sail’ – a time when the people of Chatham Dockyard built ships like HMS Victory for the Royal Navy, helping to establish worldwide command of the oceans.
Discover two internationally significant maritime archaeological discoveries: The timbers of Namur (1756) intriguingly laid to rest ‘beneath the floor’ of the Wheelwrights’ shop and the Invincible (1758) collection of objects recovered from the sea bed are revealed, alongside the Dockyard’s previously untold astonishing story. Be gripped by stories of life aboard the Three Historic Warships: Step aboard HMS Gannet (1878) and be transported back to when the crew of this extraordinary vessel undertook anti-slavery operations in the Mediterranean Sea; swing through the hatches of Cold War HM Submarine Ocelot (1962), the last warship built at Chatham for the Royal Navy; and sit in the Captain’s chair of Royal Navy Second World War Destroyer
HMS Cavalier (1944).
Plus, become inspired by the creativity and innovation of those who worked at Chatham Dockyard during the 19th and 20th centuries in the powerful Steam Steel and Submarines gallery, and marvel at the collection of really BIG ‘things’ in 3 Slip The BIG Space you will be truly stunned at the incredible wooden roof. And it doesn’t stop there! Heroic stories are told in the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection and for those who would like a little peace and quiet, a visit to the tranquil Commissioner’s garden is a must!
The children can let off steam in the Railway Workshop Refuel and Play indoor soft play or one of the two outdoor adventure play areas. With so much on offer you will be pleased to know they have two café restaurants, including their wonderful new Mess Deck, where you can sit back and enjoy wonderful food and reviving drinks! A visit would not be complete without a journey through No. 1 Smithery – an all-round treasure house for the whole family, including world class maritime treasures from both the National Maritime Museum and Imperial War Museums.
An exciting programme
for the 400th birthday!
February 10 to 25 2018
Join Bunsen in his lab for some
science fun all about light!
Call the Midwife Tours and Tea
Throughout the year – please check
the website for more details
Be guided by your very own ‘Midwife’
around the set locations of the popular
TV show, Call the Midwife.
March 22 to June 17 2018
Exploring the creativity inspired by
the Dockyard, the ships that were
built here and the people that
worked here, alongside more recent
inspiration, celebrate our
400th birthday in a range of
Festival of Steam and Transport
April 1 and 2 2018
A family-filled festival celebrating
classic cars, steam-powered
transport, and equipped with
a traditional funfair!
Eggtastic Easter Hunt
April 3 to 17 2018
Join our Captain’s Cat this Easter for
some eggcellent family fun. Will you
be able to find all of the Easter eggs
and complete the trail?
May 26 to June 3 2018
Climb on board our pirate ship and
prepare for some swashbuckling
activities for the bravest of buccaneers!
July 5 to September 16 2018
Come and see famous scenes from
history recreated in Lego, including
the death of Nelson on board
Doc. Yard is Back!
July 28 to September 16 2018
A look back at the best experiments
and ideas over the 400 years of
science and technology at
Heritage Open Days
September 8 and 9 2018
Behind-the-scenes tours of
Commissioner’s House and Gardens
Salute to the ‘40s
September 15 and 16 2018
Be transported back to the
1940s with one of Britain’s
best vintage festivals as
claimed by the Daily Telegraph
Untold Stories: A Black History of Kent
October 4 to November 30 2018
In partnership with the Medway
African and Caribbean Association,
this exhibition will explore the lesserknown
history of black people in Kent.
And much more to be announced!