The Historic Dockyard Chatham

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

The Historic Dockyard Chatham
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Step into the heart of Chatham’s legendary ship building heritage and return to the ‘Age of Sail’, when the Dockyard built mighty ships that won command of the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of a Cold War Submarine, command the bridge of a Second World War Destroyer and ring the ship’s bell aboard a Victorian Sloop. Delve into the award-winning Command of the Oceans interactive gallery and imagine the crash of the waves as you explore the UK’s largest collection of RNLI Historic Lifeboats before gaining first-hand experience of life as a Victorian ropemaker. And don’t forget to check out the exciting programme of events and seasonal activities throughout the year.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • alisdair t
    Workington, United Kingdom6,336 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great place to spend a few hours
    We visited when staying on a short break in the area. It was pretty quiet when we visited, on a Monday morning. The 2 ships and submarine are the highlights, make sure you do visit all. 3 We had the 30 minute tour on the Submarine as my wife has bad eyesight, and our guide was brilliant. Loved going through the hatches. The Command of the Ocean story at the start was brilliant. We did not do the Call the Midwife tour, it was expensive, and im not a fan, but my wife is. The monsters of the deep exhibition was very interesting , as was the amazing lifeboat museum and collection. Excellent collection of paintings and models. We did not have time to visit the ropery. Nice cafe on site, The Wagon Stop, and a restaurant.
    Thank you for taking the time to write to us about your recent visit, we are pleased to hear you enjoyed your day. We hope to welcome you back to the Dockyard again soon to experience the Ropery and the rest of our historic site.
    Written 2 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 28 April 2023
  • Dreamer797291
    South East England, United Kingdom18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome, Call the Midwife for wives and Ships and submarines for the men, best day out weve had
    My wife and I visited a part of a Virgin Red Letter Experience. Had an absolutely stunning day, started with a Call the Midwife tour that my wife really enjoyed as she is from Poplar,.and very authentic. We then had a quick lunch next we visited the ships and submarine. Followed by a cream tea in the main restaurant near entrance. A quick trip round the gift shop finished a great day. If you are staying local there is a Travelodge 5 minute walk away
    Thank you for taking the time to write to us about your recent visit, we are pleased to hear you enjoyed the Call the Midwife experience and enjoyed exploring the historic ships and the refreshments from our café. We hope that if you are staying down this way again, we can welcome you back to the Dockyard to explore the rest of the historic site.
    Written 1 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 May 2023
  • Robin S
    Sheffield, United Kingdom275 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Got to love the ships.
    What a cracking day out, what’s not to like. Theres is an abundant amount here to see from the more modern submarine right back to a Victorian sloop. The main attraction for me was HMS Cavalier a ww2 destroyer having read numerous sea novels I finally got to be where the section happened it was a great memory yo store away. The museum is well kept with lots more to see like the impressive array of RNLI lifeboats , REME collection and the ship models plus much much more. The 12 month ticket will be used again. Tea and coffee was readily available and there was also a restaurant you could use. This a great place to visit.
    Thank you for taking the time to write to us about your recent visit, we are pleased to hear you enjoyed your day. and look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
    Written 15 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 2 June 2023
  • Memo
    Chicago, Illinois55 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Britannia ruled the seas, the Chatham Dockyard made it happen
    Eighty acres of history on display: shipbuilding, rope making and related actives. A submarine, a warship for climbing around on. In 1808 the admiralty decided to cover part of the dockyard - too much wood rot going on while a “ship of line” was being repaired. The HMS Victory was built there and refurbished there at Dock 2. This enormous space now houses Royal National Lifeboat Institute’s collection of retired rescue craft. This collection is immaculately kept up. Even up close the watercraft seems ready to be dropped in the water and head out to perform heroics on the open sea. Yes, there’s too much to see and appreciate in a single visit but your entry ticket is good for a year. Two cafes serving food.
    Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visit. We're really pleased to hear that you enjoyed your day with us and it sounds like to managed to explore a lot of our galleries. As you say, your ticket is valid for 12 months so we hope to see you again soon.
    Written 24 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 June 2023
  • sovenna
    236 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent day out for all ages.
    Excellent day out. Lots to see, the rope making demonstration is absolutely brilliant. The cafe serves fresh delicious food at a very reasonable price. Will go back for a return visit.
    Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visit. We're really pleased to hear that you enjoyed visiting the Ropery and had a good experience in our restaurant. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
    Written 24 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 July 2023
  • W JAM
    Cambridge, United Kingdom104 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    a slice of history
    Enjoyed this place very much. It is my first visit and look forward to going again. The ticket lasts a year which is a bonus if live near. One of the highlights was certainly the Rope making demo, the staff really made this come alive and the buildings history is fascinating. The submarine tour was also a great experience but due to the ships design it is tricky to get through if larger/less mobile/bendy. Again the staffs passion adds to the enjoyment. The lifeboat exhibit was a hidden gem and we will be back to do the bits we missed the first time round.
    Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visit. We're really pleased to hear that you enjoyed exploring the Ropery and HM Submarine OCELOT. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
    Written 24 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 18 July 2023
  • KK48
    Gillingham, United Kingdom633 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great day out
    Visited with our children and grandchildren. We were thoroughly occupied for the whole day, even though it was windy and rainy. Thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the submarine Ocelot and the grandkids loved the soft play. The restaurant food was outstanding, so overall a fantastic day out!
    Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visit. We're really pleased to hear that you enjoyed HM Submarine OCELOT and our soft play - we're just sorry we couldn't arrange some sunshine for you. Your ticket is valid for 12 months so we hope to see you again soon.
    Written 24 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 July 2023
  • mum7723
    Leicester, United Kingdom22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So much to see
    So much to see you really do need an annual pass to go back to see it all. Too much to see in one day. Lovely play areas for the children too, Exciting tours on the sub and the ropery.
    Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visit. We're really pleased to hear that you have enjoyed our tours and play areas. We hope to see you again soon.
    Written 24 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 27 July 2023
  • KT
    11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Brilliant visit, several days required
    Excellent couple of days spent here with the kids. The Octonauts Trail, old warships and Historic Lifeboat Collection were very good as was Monsters of the Deep but the real stand outs were The Ropery and the Hearts of Oak tours. The kids loved helping make some rope and got a cool little souvenir they’d made themselves. Go early to book onto the Ocelot tour if you want to see the submarine as it seems to fill up with coach trips. Plenty of loos, seating and several nice play areas for kids both outside and inside the yard, including a soft play area near one of the cafes. Highly recommend.
    Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visits. We're really pleased to hear that you enjoyed the Octonauts Deep Sea Adventure and exploring our historic ships. Hearts of Oak is sometimes missed by our visitors so we're really pleased to read that this was one of your highlights. Don't forget your ticket is valid for 12 months so we hope to see you again soon.
    Written 24 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 August 2023
  • Alison H
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing place to visit
    Spent two days visiting the Historic Dockyard and still haven't seen everything so it is a good job the ticket is valid for twelve months. As a mobility scooter user, I did not find this visit at all difficult as such attention had been put into making as much of the site accessible, especially in the RNLI exhibition. The people who work at the dockyard are all so friendly and helpful and they were only too happy to answer questions or offer help. Every member of staff seemed to want to help you have the best possible visit and to help you find out about what you were seeing.
    Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your visit and it's wonderful to hear that you spent 2 whole days with us. Our staff will be thrilled to read this feedback. As you rightly say, your ticket is valid for 12 months so you have ample opportunity to come back and see us again soon.
    Written 24 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 13 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,710 reviews
Excellent
1,961
Very good
547
Average
114
Poor
52
Terrible
36

Alison H
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Second visit as we didn't manage to see everything in our last 2 day visit in 2023.

One of the members of staff remembered us from our previous visit which was nice. Speaking about staff, they are all so helpful.

Lots to see and do. Shame the Mezzanine level in Covered slip 3 was not open as my daughter really wanted to go up there.

Rope room staff were really helpful with their demonstrations, that is one thing not to miss.
Written 17 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter S
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Convinced by my recently retired friends that we would need three days to explore the dockyard I arrived sceptical but ready to embrace all the place had to offer!
I was not disappointed! Our year long ticket allowed us entry to all the displays and we had time to digest the history of the establishment and its vessels. The woodwork of the covered dock is spectacular and picking out the construction techniques, repairs etc kept us enthralled for ages. We could see traces of red paint on one of the knees supporting timbers in the snack bar (recovered from the gun deck of some long lost warship and reused in dock repairs or construction)!
Walking through the most complete Royal Navy dockyard left in the world you can be in awe of craftsmanship of our shipbuilding ancestors and also the reverence that they obviously treated the spaces to, trying to uphold the traditions of their trades and not obliterate its history, hiding ships timbers under the floor of one of the buildings. We absolutely loved the place and after a while I am sure we will all return for another dose of nostalgia!
Written 16 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katie
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Great day out with lots of stuff to do, lots of interactive aspects and activities. I highly recommend the tour of the HMS Ocelot (submarine) unless you are claustrophobic. Food is relatively well priced (£5 for a very tasty salad) but I would recommend also bringing some of your own snacks.
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to review your visit. It's great to hear you enjoyed your visit.
Written 16 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Angryannie
10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Being a naval family we thought this would be a great day out.

We saw a warship, a submarine and a tall ship which we got to explore. We were given a tour of the submarine by a tour guide who directed us through it but didn’t talk much and limited knowledge of the boat.

The warship was great, although there was no staff on board who could give us any information. But thankfully we had our own tour guide with us. And members of the public were listening to what he was saying about certain bits of the ship.

We had a tour of the ropery by a woman who was very entertaining and knowledgeable. She made jokes and put us all at ease at what could have been a dry topic. We got to walk the rope walk, which is very impressive and not for people who aren’t able bodied (are warned before you venture on the walk).

Kids got given a piece of rope by master rope makers. All who are very nice and friendly. Went into the rope shop where I got a handmade rope decoration and staff were lovely and again knowledgeable.

Had pie and mash at the museum restaurant. Food was reasonable but quite expensive and pie was on the salty side and liquor was a strange of shade of yellow and not green.

Overall has a great day and would go again if in the area.
Written 5 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to review your visit. We have passed on your comments to the Visitor Experience team, as they are constantly supporting the team to ensure that they are confident with the knowledge and stories of The Dockyard to ensure that our visitors have an enjoyable and consistent experience.
Written 16 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Marta
London, UK177 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
For some reason I did not expect much and a ticket price of £30 surprised me but was I wrong! This is an amazing museum, the walk within the submarine was priceless, without mentioning a very interesting HMS Cavalier and a variety of other boats and ships. You can spend a solid day just walking around. Definitely recommend!
Written 28 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your kind review. We're delighted to have defied your expectations and you enjoyed your visit. Hopefully, you will be back to visit us again soon.
Written 3 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Seaside37969104598
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
So much more than I expected, did the Call The Midwife Tour, very informative and such a lovely tour guide (Tracey)
Superb fish and chip lunch in the restaurant, quick and efficient service from a friendly team. I found the Ropery tour very interesting too, didn't get time to see everything so will have to return.
Highly recommend
Written 25 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wow, it sounds like you had an incredibly busy visit to The Dockyard. It's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your time and we look forward to welcoming you back.
Written 3 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sandra F
2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
really interesting especially the RNLI exhibition, we were lucky with the weather. Food and drink good although some long queues.
Written 21 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to review your visit to The Historic Dockyard Chatham and we are delighted that you enjoyed your visit, Hopefully, you will visit us again soon.
Written 22 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nnmercman
Camberley, UK13,831 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Took my 7yr old grandson here for the day and there’s so much to see and do that it’s really difficult to cover everything in one visit. Grandson was particular impressed with the submarine tour and checking out all the lifeboats at the RNLI historic collection (there must be one of each version through the ages on display). Fortunately the weather was fine on the day we visited but there’s plenty to see undercover if it’s not. The exhibition hall was closed for refurbishment but other than that everything was open. The impressive national destroyer memorial remembers the 142 destroyers lost (with over 11,000 lives) during WW2. There’s a cafe/restaurant just inside the entrance building and another cafe further into the dockyard. Plenty of parking, either undercover or on the outside overflow area. You can also book onto a “call the midwife” tour (I believe a lot of the show was filmed here). Overall, the museum is a great day out with something of interest to all ages.
Written 18 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are thrilled that you and your Grandson enjoyed visiting so much. HM Submarine OCELOT is a treat to visit. Your ticket lasts for a full year, so we hope you will be back to visit, as there are also activities during the school holidays.
Written 22 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Quest30838229257
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Wow! First visit to the dockyard and we’ll be back for sure, this place is sooo interesting, well run, clean and there’s a lot to see whether interested in maritime or not. The staff are amazing which made the visit even more enjoyable, good food on site. Well worth a day out, highly recommended!👍
Written 17 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your wonderful review. We are already looking forward to your return visit.
Written 22 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vixie84
York, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
Brilliant day out and I would definitely like to visit again. There is way more there than can be done in the day. The staff were excellent. On the ticket desk they were very friendly and helpful. The first guide when we went in was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. I was very nervous about going on the submarine but they took the time to explain the layout to me. The guide on the submarine was also excellent. She was very knowledgeable and made the 30 minute tour go very quickly.
The site is massive and I need to go back and explore more of it but there was plenty do undercover despite the rain. We also had a very nice lunch at the cafe.
Written 11 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to review your visit to The Historic Dockyard Chatham. It is a pleasure reading your kind comments and hearing that our staff are doing a wonderful job. Don't forget that your ticket lasts for a year, so plenty of time to visit again and see the bits that you might have missed.
Written 22 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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