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[AD] Our Visit To The Historical Dockyard Chatham

Historical Dockyard Chatham

Historical Dockyard Chatham

The Historical Dockyard Chatham is steeped in Maritime History; during the 17th & 18th centuries it was of one of the countries largest and most important industrial sites; building and repairing warships.  More than 400 warships were built at The Historical Dockyard Chatham; these ships allowed the British Navy to dominate the seas of Europe and beyond.  The Historical Dockyard Chatham is a large site; with over 100 buildings and structures and its home to 3 historic warships; the HM Submarine Ocelot, the sloop HMS Gannet and the destroyer HMS Cavalier.


The site itself is incredibly well laid out and is ideal for families with many toilets, baby change facilities and watering holes!  There is also a fantastic outdoor play area.  The ships themselves are a little tricky to navigate with a toddler as there are many steep staircases; however we got over this easily by leaving the pram dockside and taking it in turns to look around The sloop HMS Gannet and The destroyer HMS Cavalier.  The HM Submarine Ocelot would have proved trickier as it had small boltholes you needed to climb through; me and Miss H thought this was a perfect opportunity to give daddy half hour to himself and go and get some lunch!  It is worth noting that although The HM submarine Ocelot is included in the entry price you need to book a tour time to visit as they only allow 20 people on board due to the limited space.

The Historical Dockyard Chatham is also home to the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection; these lifeboats have saved hundreds of lives off the coasts of the UK & Republic of Ireland.  The collection really gives you a sense of how lifeboats have changed throughout history.


With a staggering  100 buildings on the site you would think it would be difficult for one to stand out; the architecturally beautiful Clocktower, with four stunning clock faces and a working belfy, built in 1723 manages to do just that.  The building is magnificent and an incredible backdrop for the warships.   Historical Dockyard Chatham

The Ropery is another one of the buildings worth a special mention, the buildings date from 1729 to 1812 and houses machinery and rope storage facilities.  There are regular Ropery tours, included in your entry price, throughout the day.  The tour guides are costumed giving you an incredible sense of history.

The WWII destroyer memorial, unveiled by the Duke of Edinburgh, is one of the most spectacular memorials I have ever seen.  It is a block of bronze, incredibly carved by Kenneth Potts to show a ship rescuing survivors from a ship sunk by enemy action.  On the rear of the carving is a roll of honour for the 142 Royal Naval Destroyers lost during the war.  I cannot think of a better home for this breathtaking sculpture than The Historic Dockyard Chatham.


The Historical Dockyard Chatham is incredible value for money; Adult tickets cost £24 and Child tickets cost £14.  Tickets are valid for a whole year!

  1. I’ve never been here but it looks brilliant..especially if you are into your maritime history. Good tips about navigating it with kids.I think the price is good if you are planning on visiting a few times during the year. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  2. This sounds so fun and great for kids – we’ve been on board a few historic ships, which she’s loved, and I’m always fascinated by the naval history I’ve seen at Portsmouth for example. We have good friends in Kent who we visit quite often, so I shall have to put that on our list for when we’re next down. #citytripping

  3. I just love Chatham Dockyard! We used to live close enough to visit every couple of months and my two boys adored it. My oldest, then about five or six, decided that HMS Gannet was HIS ship and he was Captain Chocolate. He used to write stories about his adventures with pirates and Queen Chocolate (a lady he met at a wedding). Chatham is such a brilliant place for kids. Thanks so much for reminding me of those lovely memories. #citytripping

  4. How odd that you just commented on my most recent blog post because we used to live in Chatham and were weekly visitors to the Dockyard…synchronicity! The valid all year tickets are pretty amazing if you live close, we used to go for the soft play, outdoor playgrounds and picnics. Loved the place! #fortheloveofBLOG

  5. Sounds like such an interesting place for a day out – I never realised there were so many buildings and so much to see. It’s on my list of places that I’d like to visit at some point – my dad’s family came from that area and many of my ancestors worked in the dockyards so the history of it is of particular interest to me. That WWII destroyer monument is amazing – what a stunning sculpture. Glad that you enjoyed your day out there.

  6. This looks like a lovely day out for the family, and weather looks great too! I love visiting nautical places and being by the sea too. Chatham is not a million miles from us (we are in SE London) and could make for a potential day out later this year. It’s always a bonus when the facilities are good for babies, and there are plenty of places to stop for a drink and cake. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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  12. I can’t wait to take my son to these types of days out when he’s a bit older. Plus I love a bit of shipyard and shipping myself! #picknmix

  13. This looks so cool. We have a historical dockyard near us and it’s great. Mine are a bit young for it at the mo but hoping that it won’t be long before we can take them! #KCACOLS

  14. pretty cool that the tickets are valid for a whole year 🙂 this looks like a beautiful day out 🙂 I remember going to the HMS Victory in Portsmouth as a child 🙂 #KCACOLS

  15. Thank you for showing us around the historical dockyard. We love history as a family so will have to consider a trip to Chatham if we are ever in the area. #KCACOLS

  16. I find this sort of thing fascinating but I’m not sure it would hold my 2 year olds attention for long. Personally I love it though and love it when the Tall Ships come to Dublin #KCACOLS

  17. Oh wow, this looks like such fun! I absolutely love history, and would really enjoy taking my son to places like this as he gets a little older. I live in the US, so I find foreign history even more interesting, as I don\’t know much about it. I think the prices are wonderful for an entire year worth of visits!! Thanks for sharing <3 #KCACOLS

  18. Not heard of that one before – been to Portsmouth historic dockyard a few times, so would definitely consider this! Thanks for the info! #KCACOLS

  19. Looks interesting, but £24 and £14 seems quite pricey! Especially if you have three kids! Maybe I’m just a cheapskate. 🙂 Good post though and it looks like there is lots to see! #fortheloveofBLOG

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