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Open for pre-booked visits only

We are delighted to have the Dockyard gates open once again and be welcoming visitors back through our doors. If you have visited us before, please be aware things will be different from your last visit and there will be a few changes to how you’ll explore our 80-acre site.

You must book a visit date and arrival time in advance
(even if you have an annual ticket holders)

Please take a few moments to read our ‘know before you go’ information below and our frequently asked questions.  As we adjust our sails and adapt to our new ways of working, we ask for your patience – this is as new to us as it is to you.

You can help us ensure safe voyages for all Dockyard users, we ask that you:

  • Respect the rules and guidance
  • Protect yourself and each other
  • Enjoy your visit

Charting new waters

... learn the ropes

The Dockyard was once the country’s largest and most important industrial site. Today its surviving Slips, big enough to protect mighty warships; and magnificent Mast Houses, long enough to store ships masts as tall as 90ft, mean there is no shortage of space and fresh air around our 80-acre heritage estate.

In line with the latest government guidelines, we’ve introduced a number of changes to help facilitate your visit and ensure we protect you, your family and our staff. Please familiarise yourself with these before your visit.

As always, our friendly staff will be on hand to help during your visit.

 

 

Always seaworthy

Advance online bookings with allocated arrival times only.
Limited number of tickets each day.

Chart your course

Download our map onto your mobile device before your visit.

Keeping things shipshape

Hand sanitiser stations across the site.
Enhanced & regular cleaning regimes.

Toe the line

Abide by social distancing rules.

Go with the current

One-way systems through galleries.

Hands 'off' deck

Contactless or card payments only.

Take Cover

We ask that face coverings are worn within all covered spaces to ensure your own safety and that of others. 

We've battened down the hatches

Some experiences will be closed.
Interactive displays will be disabled.

Abandon Ship

You should not visit if you, or anyone in your party, is feeling unwell or if you should be in isolation.

Always seaworthy

... Ticketing & Entry

Advance / pre-paid visits & arrival times only.

It is essential for everyone to purchase a ticket (where required), book a date and an arrival time prior to a visit.

Our entrance and ticket desk is often one of the busiest parts of the Dockyard, that’s why we’ve introduced advance tickets with allocated arrival times. This helps us stagger the number of visitors arriving at any one time and minimise queues.

The number of tickets available each day is limited to allow us to control the number of visitors within The Historic Dockyard site.

Pre-booked tickets, with an arrival time are required for every visitor, for every visit – even if you are an existing annual ticket holder.

Once inside the Dockyard, you are free to explore and there is no time limit on your visit – you are welcome to stay until we close. Please follow our site rules, they are in place to ensure a safe visit for everyone.

For regular visitors, our entrance will look slightly different to what you have come to expect, this is to allow adequate space for queuing and to implement a one-way system.

We ask that face coverings are worn within all covered spaces to ensure your own safety and that of others (children under 11 are exempt).

Please note:

  • Entry is via the main visitor entrance only (next to our main car park). Pedestrian access is NOT permitted via Dock Road. Please do not alight from public transport at this point, instead continue to the stop adjacent to St Georges Centre. Please be aware, if you are walking from Chatham Station, your walk time will be considerably longer because of this.
  • Try to avoid arriving earlier than your pre-booked time. If you arrive early, please wait in your car. You are also welcome to use the outdoor play and toilet facilities located to the left of the entrance ramp.
  • You may be required to queue for a short period. A marked queuing system will be in place.
  • Our staff at the Ticket Desk will be behind a Perspex screen
  • Our main shop is accessible via the exit and accepts contactless or card payments only.
  • Car parking is outdoors at the Mast Pond. Signage will direct you on arrival.

Change of plan?

If you pre-book a ticket but become unwell or think you won’t be able to visit, please send a message to info@chdt.org.uk, we can release your arrival time and free up a place for someone else.

Annual ticket holders

Once you’ve purchased a ticket for The Historic Dockyard Chatham you can enjoy unlimited access for a year. We have been closed to visitors since February 2021 and, whilst this has been beyond our control, we value our regular visitors and appreciate your patience during this challenging period.

For this reason, all annual tickets will be automatically extended to reflect the time that we have been closed in 2021, during the period of your membership (recognising our original date for opening was 13th February 2021). For example, if your membership expired on 29th July 2020, you will receive a 92 day extension on your ticket giving you a revised expiry date of 29th October 2021. All extensions will commence on 17 May 2021 (not from the date of your visit).

Please note:

  • If you have an annual ticket, you still need to book your visit and arrival time in advance.
  • Your ticket will be updated with a new expiry date at our ticket desk on your next visit.
  • If you have purchased an annual ticket but have not yet activated it, your 12 month visitor period will begin from the date of your first visit.
  • Freedom Pass Holders should follow the same instructions as an annual ticket holder. You will be required to show your pass at the ticket desk to validate your ticket.

NHS Test and Trace

We are legally required to request the contact details of our visitors. We will record and retain these details for 21 days, and provide them to NHS Test and Trace without delay if required. We need to record the name(s) and telephone number(s) of all members of your party, along with the date of your visit and your arrival time.  These details will be collected via our secure booking system when you book your visit.

In addition, the NHS Test and Trace QR code is displayed at our main visitor entrance and in our catering outlets. If you have the NHS COVID-19 app, please scan the QR code using your smartphone to check-in on arrival.

Eat, drink & shop

We are pleased to have The Mess Deck restaurant open for the season, serving a variety of menu options including our famous fish and chips. Food and drink, including Kentish pies and sausage rolls, is also available from the Wagon Stop Canteen.

There is a queuing system in place in both Mess Deck and Wagon Stop and we encourage you to use your time in the queue to make your menu choices. This will help our staff serve you quickly and keep the queue moving as efficiently as possible.

We accept contactless and card payments only at our till points.

We are required by law to ask for your name and telephone number, as well as all members of your party for NHS Track and Trace at our catering outlets.

Seating is available inside and outside at both the Wagon Stop and The Mess Deck. Cleaning of these areas takes place throughout the day.

You are welcome to bring your own food. Additional seating is available outside and we encourage you to use our picnic spaces and enjoy Commissioner’s Garden.

Shopping opportunities are available within the Ropery Shop and main Visitor Entrance, selling unique hand-made rope gifts and Call the Midwife merchandise.

We've battened down the hatches

... tours, attractions & galleries

A one-way system will be in operation through our gallery spaces. This includes Command of the Oceans; Hearts of Oak; RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection; 3 Slip: The Big Space; Steam, Steel and Submarines; and No.1 Smithery.

During busy periods you may have to queue for a short time to enter our galleries. This enables us to control the number of visitors within the spaces and ensure everyone is able to maintain a safe social distance.

Most of our galleries use natural ventilation and we will be making the most of windows and doors to improve ventilation. No. 1 Smithery has air-conditioned galleries which have been adapted to prevent the recycling of air within the spaces.

Three Historic Warships

HMS Gannet is be open with one-way access to the main deck and poop deck.

HMS Cavalier is open for visits to the main decks only (inside spaces are restricted until further notice).

Due to the confined spaces and touch points, HM Submarine Ocelot will be closed for visits until further notice. However, you can experience HM Submarine Ocelot virtually via a new audio tour which can be accessed via your mobile device onsite.

The Victorian Ropery

Tours of The Victorian Ropery can be booked on arrival. The Ropery is operating on a new one-way, free flow circuit.

Rope demonstrations will take place when commercial rope making is underway.

Our interactive facilities have been temporarily withdrawn.

Hidden Heroines: the untold stories of the women of the Dockyard

We’re pleased to be able to open the doors to our new, temporary exhibition, Hidden Heroines: the untold stories of the women of the Dockyard.

Access to the exhibition is free as part of your entry ticket to the Dockyard. The gallery will operate as a one-way system. You may be asked to queue and wait a short time before you enter the gallery as we will be limited the number of people inside at any one time.

Please note:

  • There will be hand sanitising stations at the entrance to galleries. Please use these before entering.
  • Please be patient as some galleries and areas may need to close briefly throughout the day for sanitising
  • Some experiences, such as HM Submarine Ocelot will be closed until further notice.

Keeping things shipshape

... enhanced cleaning

We will still be providing the warm welcome you have come to expect with a visit to the Dockyard. In all cases, this will now be done from a safe distance.

All staff will have their temperature checked on arrival at the Dockyard. Any staff with a high reading or experiencing signs of illness will not be allowed to report to work.

In areas where staff cannot maintain a 2m distance, such as at our ticket desk, Mess Deck, Wagon Stop Canteen and inside our galleries, they will be behind protective Perspex screens or wearing face protection.

Our staff will continuously clean toilets and high touch point areas throughout the day, enhancing our already stringent cleaning standards. Electrostatic cleaning will take place once per day in all public areas.

Some areas will close briefly during the day for sanitisation and some areas and exhibits will be temporarily unavailable.

There will be a number of sanitisation stations across the site and we request that you use these frequently, especially at our entrance and prior to visiting any of our gallery spaces.

Most of our galleries use natural ventilation and we will be making the most of windows and doors to improve ventilation. No. 1 Smithery has air-conditioned galleries which have been adapted to prevent the recycling of air within the spaces.

HELP US WEATHER THE STORM

The COVID-19 crisis and the forced closure of our visitor attraction has inevitably had a huge financial impact on Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.

As an independent charity we receive very little funding from government, meaning we are solely reliant on generating our own sources of income. Revenue from ticket sales, tours, corporate hire and weddings all contribute towards a substantial percentage of our annual income and help us meet the considerable expenditure required for preserving a 400-year old historic site, its scheduled ancient monuments, working Victorian ropery and three historic warships.

Your support through the purchase and renewal of tickets is one of the best ways to help us weather this storm. It is always very much appreciated. The presence of visitors in the ‘Yard’ helps keep the site alive and the Dockyard spirit strong.

We need your help now more than ever and there are some further ways you can support our work:

Frequently asked questions

... know before you go

What is timed ticketing?

We’ve introduced a pre-book, pre-pay, timed arrival procedure. This applies to everyone who wishes to visit The Historic Dockyard. This helps us stagger the number of visitors arriving at any one time, minimise queues and control the number of visitors on site.

To book your advance ticket:

  1. If you would like to buy a new ticket click here / If you have an annual ticket click here
  2. Select the date
  3. Select the entry time
  4. Select the number of visitors in your party

What if I miss my time slot?

Time slots have been put in place to help stagger the number of visitors arriving at any one time. If you miss your time slot, please arrive as soon as you are able and join the back of the queue. Your tickets will be included in the daily capacity and you will still be able to visit.

I have an annual ticket, do I still need to book a ticket in advance?

Yes, all visitors to The Historic Dockyard need to book a ticket and arrival time in advance, regardless of whether you have an annual ticket or buying a new one.

What happens if I turn up without a ticket/arrival time?

All visitors need to pre-book an arrival time in advance. This allows us to control the number of visitors at our ticket desks and on site each day. If you have not pre-booked an arrival time, you will not be able to visit the Dockyard.

We recommend you visit our website and book the next available arrival time, unless we have reached our capacity for the day.

Will my annual ticket be extended to cover the period that you’ve been closed?

All annual tickets will be extended to reflect the time that we have been closed in 2021, during the period of your membership (recognising our original date for opening was 13th February 2021). For example, if your membership expired on 29th July, you will receive a 92 day extension on your ticket giving you a revised expiry date of 29th October 2021. The extension period will commence on 17 May 2021 (not from the date of your visit). You expiry date will be automatically updated and your ticket will be reprinted on your next visit.

Is everything open? What is closed?

Due to the latest government restrictions and with safety our priority, sadly we are not able to operate all our facilities as normal.

 The following facilities will be temporarily closed:

  • HM Submarine Ocelot
  • Wagon Stop Indoor Play

 What are you doing to keep me safe during my visit?

 We will:

  • Restrict our visitor numbers
  • Minimise queues at our ticket desks through pre-booked, staggered arrival times
  • Give a warm welcome Dockyard welcome, from a distance and behind a Perspex screen at our ticket desks, catering and retail facilities
  • Train our staff on working within a Covid-safe environment
  • Use one-way systems through our gallery spaces
  • Operate contactless payment in our catering and retail spaces
  • Increase our already stringent cleaning regimes, including electrostatic cleaning of all public spaces daily
  • Install hand sanitiser stations across the site

In return we ask you to: 

  • Not visit if you, or anyone in your party, is unwell
  • Respect that our staff are learning new ways of working
  • Keep your distance from other visitors, staff and site users
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds after using facilities 
  • Use our hand sanitiser stations at every opportunity, especially before entering our gallery spaces 
  • Follow the one-way systems and abide by our queuing systems
  • Be patient when areas are closed for cleaning
  • Enjoy your visit and come again

Are Call the Midwife Official Location tours running?

Yes, Call the Midwife Official Location Tours run on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to the end of October.

If you have an existing booking or would like to redeem a gift voucher please contact groupsales@chdt.org.uk with your preferred date.

If you would like to make a new booking please click here.

Please note Call the Midwife Official Location Tours are not included in a general entry ticket to The Historic Dockyard.

 Is Salute to the 40’s still going ahead?

Subject to Government guidance around major events, we intend to run Salute to the ’40s on 18 and 19 September 2021. 

Find out more

 

I have a valid/Medical reason for NOT wearing a face covering

Please speak with our Front of House team on arrival, explaining your position on this, and we will provide you (or a member of your party) with a discreet paper wristband to indicate your exemption from this. This will help our staff during your visit and stop them approaching about a face covering you each time you enter an enclosed space. 

The date I want to visit isn’t listed on your website?

We are currently releasing session dates 2 weeks in advance.

How do I book a carer ticket?

Carers receive a complimentary ticket when accompanying a disabled visitor. Please book via our “I have an annual ticket” page to reserve your arrival time. On arrival, you will be asked to show a form of ID to validate your ticket.  

I have an English Heritage discount card – how can I use it?

Please book via our “I have an annual ticket” page to reserve your visit date and arrival time. On arrival, you will be asked to show your English Heritage pass and we will take payment for your ticket(s). 

I have an Art Fund pass – how can I use it?

Please book via our “I have an annual ticket” page to reserve your arrival time. On arrival, you will be asked to show your Art Fun pass to validate your ticket.  

More Frequently Asked Questions.