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Pocket Guide: Chatham

Kent is a county exceptionally rich in heritage, and Chatham is famous for its historic dockyards. This is one of the premier maritime attractions in a country hardly short on seafaring associations, and a visit here is the ideal way to explore Britain's unsurpassed maritime heritage. There are plenty of excellent hotels close by, as well as a range of guesthouses and B&Bs to suit every kind of budget and personal preference.

Explore Maritime History at Chatham

The Chatham Dockyard are the most perfectly preserved ones still in existence from the great Age of Sail. You can explore this world in great detail through the dockyards' unique hands-on approach. The Three Historic Warships represent over a century of seafaring life and traditions, and you're welcome to step on board each one and find your way around with the help of a guide. The group comprise HMS Gannet, a Victorian naval sloop; HMS Cavalier, a famous World War Two destroyer; and Ocelot, a Cold War submarine. The Dockyard also runs various programmes of activities and events throughout the year, so from your Kent hotel or B&B base you'll always have something new to see here.

Be Close Chatham's Attractions

Chatham's amazingly rich shipbuilding heritage in on display in all its glory at the 'Steam, Steel and Submarines' exhibition on the site. This concentrates on the dockyards' history during the 19th and 20th Centuries, when they were at their most active. Here, you can really get close and personal, and imagine for example what life must have been like for a Victorian rope maker. The Ropery is a quarter of a mile long and started making roped for the navy in 1618. The Hearts of Oak digital theatre gallery is also fascinating and provides invaluable insights into the living history of Chatham through the eyes of Master Shipwright John North, who used to work here.

Visit Chatham and stay at a nearby hotel like Holiday Inn Rochester Chatham or Ship & Trades to really explore one of England's premier historic shipbuilding sites.