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“A surprisingly good day out.”

The Historic Dockyard Chatham
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Call the Midwife Location Tour in Chatham
Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Chatham
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Steeped in history, The Historic Dockyard Chatham is home to historic warships, a working Ropery, museum galleries and hundreds of compelling stories.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A surprisingly good day out.”
Reviewed 2 September 2009

It cost us (family of 4) £39.50 to get in and I consider that to be money well spent. There are 3 moored vessels to board (a destroyer, an old sail/steam vessel and a guided tour of a submarine) Entertaining fact . Because of water and space restrictions, early submariners usually wore the same pair of underpants all voyage - in various configurations - right way round, back to front, inside out, till finally there was no point in varying any more..all aspects were the same!)
There are various museums and other exhibits, but the highpoint for us was the ropery. What's the point of spending money to look at a load of old rope I hear you ask. Well, you'd be surprised (particularly if you get the eccentric - and highly amusing - guide that we had) Ropes are still made there, in the longest single building in Britain and the tour points up the ancient tradition of Chatham as a Naval base.
Of course, you have to be the types who would enjoy this sort of excursion. If you are, then put the yard on your itinerary. You won't be disappointed.
There is a nice little restaurant, which I found to be a trifle expensive.but I still hark back to 1960's prices (the wife says)

3 Thank biggles44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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north wales
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“A great day out for all the family”
Reviewed 24 June 2009

Got there just after 10 when they had just opened, and left just before 6 when they would be closing. What a great day out. Plenty do do and see. Steve in the rope room was something else. We never stopped laughing. Going in the submarine was a bit scary and not for anybody who had a fear of enclosed places. Everybody on the whole site were so very friendly and helpful. We will certainly go back and as your entrance ticket covered you for 12 months it will not cost us anything. superb day out not to be missed for either adults or children.

4 Thank waggalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
222 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 402 helpful votes
“Great Family Day Out - even in the rain”
Reviewed 12 November 2005

We visited in late August 2005 on a very rainy day. It was mainly to see the Second World War Destroyer HMS Cavalier. Rain can't spoil this day out.

The guided tour around Cavalier was led by an ex-matelot called Archie. His anecdotes of life on the ship were fantastic and he brought the whole experience to life. It was magic.

There's also a Victorian sloop, HMS Gannet which was one of the mainstays of gunboat diplomacy during the Empire. The audio tour helped with interpretation and there were some very interesting features including a lowerable propellor to allow the ship to be propelled by steam.

The final boat on display is HMS Ocelot, a 1960s submarine that was busy during the cold war. Not for those with claustrophobia or unable to crawl through hatches but a fascinating insight into underwater warfare.

There's also a static exhibition of lifeboats and an interesting multi-media tour called Wooden walls which documents life in the Royal Dockyard. It explains just how wooden ships of the line were designed and built and leaves you wondering about the ingenuity and skill of the builders.

Also remarkable were the wooden building of the covered dry docks which date from the early 1800s. many are scheduled ancient monuments.

One extra attraction when we visited was a trip down one of the many Second World War air raid shelters in the dockyard.

We didn't have time to visit the Ropery - you need to make sure you have a whole day free to cover everything. Theer was also a cafe for snacks and a pleasant restaurant for full meals.

Well worth a visit.

9 Thank adrianhobson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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