All in a day: Chatham & Rochester

Date Posted: 05/02/2014

HMS Cavalier at Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Pictured: Have lunch on-board HMS Cavalier at Chatham Historic Dockyard.

From having lunch on-board a World War Two Destroyer to climbing one of the tallest keeps in the country; we discover what the Historic Dockyard Chatham and nearby city of Rochester has to offer a daylong group trip.

10am - Arrival at the Historic Dockyard for refreshment

Start the morning at the dockyard with Danish pastries and tea and coffee in the venue’s restaurant. Tables can be reserved and made ready for your arrival.

10:30am - Royal Dockyard tour

Group travel organisers have the option to do a tour of the dockyard by coach or on foot. The Royal Dockyard Tour, which gives your group a detailed introduction to the maritime history of the site, can be booked in advance.

11:30am - Free time to explore the dockyard

Take your time to explore all the galleries and attractions at Chatham.

There’s the opportunity to go on-board the Three Historic Warships; see the Steam, Steel and Submarines attraction; or visit maritime treasures from two national museums and a changing programme of temporary exhibitions in No.1 Smithery.

The dockyard’s latest element to open is Hearts of Oak, a digital theatre gallery which retells the story of Wooden Ship Building at Chatham.

Group members are able to upgrade their tickets to an annual pass should they wish to visit the dockyard individually during the following year. 

12:30pm - Lunch 

A selection of group lunch packages are available; from fish and chips on board the World War Two Destroyer HMS Cavalier to private dining in the Commissioners House. These must all be booked in advance.

Alternatively, let your group choose what and when they eat from the selection of drinks and homemade cakes and biscuits, snacks or hot or cold meals in Wheelwrights’ Restaurant.

The Victorian Ropery at Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Pictured: Groups can visit the Victorian Ropery at Chatham Historic Dockyard.

1.30pm - Guided tour of the Ropery

Experience life as a rope maker in Victorian times in the dockyard’s themed gallery and costumed guided tour.

An entertaining 45-minute tour gives visitors an insight into why rope was so important to the Navy in the Age of Sail and how it was made by the rope makers of Chatham.

Have a go at making your own rope before entering the quarter-mile long ropewalk – where rope is still made commercially today.

2.30pm - A visit to Historic Rochester

Make the short journey across the river to the cathedral city of Rochester, which boasts a Norman castle and has a history going back centuries.

Rochester was a place cherished by the Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens, who lived in the area as a child and returned in later life as a successful author.

Explore Rochester Cathedral, founded in 604 and the second oldest in England or enjoy the breath-taking views from the top of one of the tallest keeps in the country at the magnificent Rochester Castle.

4pm - Browse Rochester's Victorian streets and independent shops

Rochester has maintained much of its Victorian charm – and has wide pavements, ornate lamp posts and buildings of great architectural and historic interest.

Its shops are notable for the absence of the usual High Street names, and instead comprise a wide choice of independent specialty establishments.

5pm - Departure

For further group travel information contact:

Historic Dockyard Chatham:

Visit Kent:

These ideas were provided by the Historic Dockyard Chatham. Group travel organisers can visit the website for further advice on planning a group visit to any of the featured sites and attractions.

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