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Summer @ The Dockyard

21 Jul 2017 - 3 Sep 2017

Kick start your Summer adventure with us!

Kent’s best attraction… 40 mins away from central London

Find out what to do this Summer at The Dockyard… from railway weekends, to meeting our mad scientist Doc.Yard….to climbing on board a submarine – there is so much to explore!

Remember to share your day with us this summer using the hashtag #dockyardfun


Fun for all the family!

 All of these activities are included in your ticket

Doc.Yard Summer fun!

This Summer we welcome back our famous mad scientist Doc.Yard! With hands on activities and an interactive show, its fun for all the family!

Railway weekends

Railway weekends are also on during the Summer holidays – get up close to our steam engines and talk to our volunteers!

Mission Explore

Don’t forget Mission Explore – part of our explorers programme. Pickup a free leaflet upon arrival in our Discovery Centre, and let the children show you the way!

Object Handling Sessions

Object handling sessions are back this Summer – Get hands on, and up close to real life artefacts!  This is held in our Steam, Steel and Submarines gallery.


From where to go for food and drink, to free parking to baby changing facilities – we have it all here at The Dockyard.

  • Enjoy a family lunch or dinner at The Mess Deck, with our delicious hot food
  • For a tasty snack pop into the Wagons Stop for a Kentish pie! (For those with food allergies or intolerance, please let our staff know and we can create a menu to cater your needs)
  •  We have 3 play areas on site – 2 outdoor and 1 indoor play area
  • This is a wheelchair friendly site, accessibility is available everywhere apart from the submarine & parts of HMS Cavalier. For an inside view, please click here 
  • Wheelchairs are available for hire – please call to book before you visit – 01634 823800
  • FREE car parking
  • There are baby changing facilities across the site

Where to go...

We are an 80 acre site, and as many people state ‘…lots to do, you need a whole day out… kids will love it!’ (Trip Advisor, June 2017)

Please see below some info, tips and advise on where to go – we do have maps on site to help you too!


We are accessible by a wide variety of routes whether you are arriving by car, boat or public transport. With just a 40 minute train journey from central London and 45 minute drive from Dover – we are right in the heart of Kent!

Ropery & HMS Ocelot Tours

Upon arrival, book your 2 tours – both of which are included in your ticket. Time slots are available in the Plan your Visit area, where a member of staff will add you. Choose from The Ropery or HMS Ocelot – or both! and discover the stories of The Dockyard.

Command of the Oceans & Hearts of Oak

Come across these two exhibitions upon arrival as you make your way down the ramp. Listen to why The Historic Dockyard Chatham became Command of the Oceans, and find out where it all began in our audio visual tour Hearts of Oak. These two exhibitions help to reveal the full dockyard story.

Historic warships

Visit our three Historic Warships to discover what life was really like onboard a Victorian sloop, a WW2 Destroyer and Cold War submarine.  Be prepared for a truly memorable experience! *Remember to book your tour of HMS Ocelot at ‘Plan your visit’ upon arrival.

Temporary Exhibitions at No.1 Smithery

No.1 Smithery is home to National Museums: Collection and Research, a state-of-the-art, environmentally controlled storage space for over 3,000 models and artefacts. It also holds our temporary exhibition space, where ‘Breaking the Chain’ is now being displayed. Discover the story of the Battle of Medway, bought to life by a variety of collections.

Steam Steel and Submarines

This gallery tells the Dockyard story through the industrial revolution and two World Wars  – The 19th and 20th century represented times of great change at Chatham Dockyard. Here you can explore this defining period of power, strength and adaption to new technology.

3 Slip: The Big Space

Climb the stairs (or take the lift!) to walk out onto the wonderful mezzanine floor, an architectures dream! The immense No.3 Covered Slip, was when built, the largest wide span timber structure in Europe! It is today home to a vast array of epic objects and vehicles from both the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive collections.


The UK’s largest collection of historic lifeboats, which together have saved hundreds of lives off the coasts of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Take a seat in a lifeboat, hear the stories of the sea, and travel through time on the lifeboat evolving journey!

Coming soon...

Salute to the '40s

One of Britain's Best Vintage Festivals is back! On 16th and 17th September 2017 become part of our 1940’s Family and be transported back in time for two full days of vintage spirit! With NEW and EXCITING additions for 2017 this event should NOT be missed.

Michael Foreman,Painting with Rainbows

Displaying on 29th September - 3rd December in the No.1 Smithery, this is our final temporary exhibition this year. This exhibition celebrates Michael's successful career and collaborations. An exhibition form Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books'


What's On