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“Excellent day out” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Historic Dockyard Chatham

The Historic Dockyard Chatham
Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TZ, England
44 (0)1634 823807
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Ranked #1 of 9 Attractions in Chatham
Type: Historic Sites, Specialty Museums, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Embark on a year-long voyage of exploration and discovery at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, the world’s most complete dockyard from the Age of Sail and one of Britain’s leading maritime heritage destinations. This unique, award winning attraction has a remarkable range of museum galleries, iconic buildings and historic warships to explore, together with a diverse programme of events, family activities and outstanding temporary exhibitions.
Surrey, UK
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Excellent day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

Before going I had thought the entrance fee was a bit pricey, but on reflection, I'd definitely underestimated how much there is to do and see in the dockyard. Now I'd say it's good value.

My wife & I spent a good 3-4 hours in total and we're definitely not the type of people that like to while away the hours in museums.

There are plenty of photo opportunities and the history is really interesting. I had no idea HMS Victory was built at Chatham.

Visited April 2012
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725 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Holyhead, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A great day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

Nothing to dislike, brilliant. Ticket costs around £17.00 but you get a discount if you have visited others in the area and it last 12 months

Visited April 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“very busy at all times”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

we qued up it was too long to stay for me and my old knee its better to have tickets before you go and when you book on line there's money off

Visited April 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Disappointing and not as "educational" as we were expecting. Fish and chips were good though!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

Compared with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, this was rather a disappointment. Expensive at £16.50 per adult, it's a vast site so be prepared for a lot of walking. There were very few places to sit in the museums, ships or ropewalk, although there were seats outside (in the rain when we were there). Access to the two ships and submarine is extremely limited and probably not suitable for wheelchair users, although there are ramps for wheelchairs in some areas. There was a lift in one area that barely accommodated one wheelchair and without space for any more people. If one wants to see the ropemaking in action, (which needs to be by timed ticket, obtained at the museum entrance) there is a lot of standing about waiting for it to begin, as there was for other ticketed tours.

The second world war Destroyer HMS Cavalier was fascinating but lacking in information boards. If you are in anyway disabled or claustrophobic, don't go in the submarine HMS Ocelot, as there are stairs and horizontal hatches to navigate; nevertheless it was a most interesting visit. The same cannot be said for HMS Gannet: the brochure states " Experience over 100 years of life at sea on board our three historic war ships" , however the ship itself was devoid of objects and furnishing which would have enhanced this and although there were hand-held audio devices, few of them were working and the information on these limited and aimed at children.

The RNLI lifeboat collection was fascinating - as sailors ourselves we appreciate all the work done by the RNLI over the years. This was next to "The Big Space", full of varied, seemingly unrelated big objects but many of them were mysteriously unlabelled and one could only guess at their use. A yellow submarine in front of this area looked like the one from the Beatle's " Yellow Submarine" but as there was no information we couldnt be sure. However there was another submarine made out of plastic which was used on one of the James Bond 007 films, apparently being able to dive to 100 feet. There was also a railway workshop near the children's play area but no information available as to what these little engines were used for.

A new museum has been started called " Wooden Walls" in which a young lady in costume guides the visitors around a visual experience seen through the eyes of one 15 year old carpenter's apprentice, in an ambient temperature much cooler than other parts of the same building (bring warm clothing!). Why this was necessary we don't know as we could have walked through this without her and wasted less time. As there was a large group of visitors on this particular tour, we could not hear what was being said and so we came away not much more informed than when we went in. We didnt have the time or energy to visit the main museum so cannot comment on that.

The restaurant was very badly organised and chaotic when it rains: we had fish and chips which were excellent as was the coffee but drinks and other meals were extremely limited and clearly there were not enough staff to cope with an influx of visitors coming in from the rain. The queues were reminiscent of school dinners as were the benched seating arrangements.

In conclusion the dockyard as a museum appears to be a "work in progress" and although we could recommend this museum for children and familes but we won't be going again.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Pricey tickets, valid for 12 months but will you want to go back?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

I visited at Easter thinking that everything would be open- but not everything was open and many of the attractions that were needed timed ticked to enter. When I suggested that you should be told that this is the case I was greeted by a very frosted response of "well you must of misheard you would have been told this and anyway your tickets are valid for 12 months so you can come back".
Like many other visitors though I visited for the day and have no intention of going back as I live so far away and even if I did not then I would not actually want to go back. It is one of those attractions that if you have seen it once that is enough.
It therefore turned out to be a very expensive experience of being talked to about ropes for about half an hour before a demonstration.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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