HMS Cavalier

HMS Cavalier, Chatham

HMS Cavalier
4.5
Military Museums • History Museums
Read more
Write a review
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
132 reviews
Excellent
98
Very good
30
Average
2
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Cherriesfan99
Cheltenham, UK531 contributions
HMS Cavalier is a survivor of the Second World War, this CA class destroyer is representative of the 142 destroyer sunk in that conflict. Known as the greyhounds of the sea destroyers sought out trouble and backed up many sea borne operations.
Built in the early years of WW2, the Cavalier now open to viewing is a bit more comfortable and better armed than the ship which left the East Cowes boatyard. Sea Dart missiles are one obvious addition, as well as a shipborne NAFFI, but significantly many features remained the same segregated heads (toilets) and washrooms, for NCO & Officers and ratings ( general naval personnel), but also the number of hammocks still in use - particularly so in the Mess rooms.
Great to go around and view what life was lick on board for wartime and National servicemen. Unmissable experience
Written November 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sandygranny
Sandy, UK947 contributions
Couples
We enjoyed walking round HMS Cavalier; we were able to explore all the nooks and crannies and even go up on the bridge. It must have been very hard for the men, living in such cramped conditions. There is a lot of history relating to this old warship. She was launched in 1944 and is the Royal Navy's last operational Second World War destroyer, now preserved at Chatham Dockyard as a memorial to the 142 Royal Navy destroyers and over 11,000 men killed on those ships.

In 1970 a race was arranged between HMS Cavalier and HMS Rapid to see which ship was faster. Although both ships were quite old, they were two of the fastest ships in the Royal Navy.

In July 1971 the two ships met off the Firth of Forth in perfect weather conditions. After two hours they were level pegging but HMS Cavalier was declared the winner by just 30 yards, over a distance of 64 miles. Her average speed was 31.8 knots, a speed very few modern ships could hope to match. Since then HMS Cavalier has been known as ‘the fastest of the greyhounds’. After 27 years of Royal Navy service, she was returned to Chatham on 5th July 1972.

In 1977 Earl Mountbatten of Burma set up the first HMS Cavalier Trust to save her from being scrapped. She was bought for £65,000 and towed to Portsmouth in October 1977. On Trafalgar Day, 21st October, she was handed over to the Trust and was towed to Southampton, the intention being for her to become a floating museum dedicated to the destroyers and men lost in battle during World War II. She was opened to the public in August 1982 but was later sold to become the centre piece of Brighton’s new marina. Then she was offered a new home with South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council. In 1987 she was moved to Hebburn, where the plan was for her to be part of a new museum celebrating Tyneside’s long ship building history and the area’s strong naval association. Unfortunately, the plan did not come to fruition and HMS Cavalier was left in a dry-dock in a rusting condition.

After the reforming of the Cavalier Trust, in 1998 Cavalier was bought by Chatham Historic Dockyard for display as a museum ship. Arriving on 23 May 1998, she was placed in the famous No. 2 dry-dock, the site where HMS Victory was built. A dedicated team of volunteers, including ex-HMS Cavalier crewmen, took almost two years to restore the forward compartments of the ship.

On 14 November 2007, Cavalier was officially designated as a war memorial to the 142 Royal Navy destroyers sunk during World War II and the 11,000 men killed on those ships. The unveiling of a bronze monument created by the artist Kenneth Potts was conducted by the Duke of Edinburgh. The monument is adjacent to the ship at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham.

In the summer of 2009 Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust made accommodation available for youth groups wishing to stay on board the ship and experience life on a Royal Navy Destroyer.

In September 2010, Cavalier fired the first full broadside from a ship flying the White Ensign since a firing by the destroyer HMS London in December 1981. This was due to the work of the heritage naval gun crew who restored all three guns back to working condition in conjunction with the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.

On 5th April 2014, the 70th anniversary of the launch of HMS Cavalier was celebrated at the Historic Dockyard, organised by the HMS Cavalier Association. The ship is still on display there today and open to the public.
Written March 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sandygranny
Sandy, UK947 contributions
Couples
After having first visited this World War II destroyer last year, we had another look round while at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham. HMS Cavalier has a fascinating history and we walked round again at our own pace. There are a lot of ladders to climb up and down so this is not really a suitable attraction for people with walking difficulties.

There are friendly and helpful staff on hand to answer any questions you may have.

HMS Cavalier is definitely worth a visit while at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.
Written June 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andrew M
London, England, United Kingdom18 contributions
Family
This is one of the many attractions included in the price of admission to The Historic Dockyard at Chatham. This is a WW2 destroyer with a fascinating history. Be aware the steps on board are steep. Either wonder around freely on board or use the audio guided tour.
Written May 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

70ish
Worcester, UK2,230 contributions
Friends
Took this self guided tour on a visit to the dockyard and it is really interesting and informative. There are a few steep narrow stairs to negotiate but it is well worth it. Seeing the very cramped living and working spaces and being able to go almost everywhere on the ship makes this a must visit
Written May 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

peter w
Rochester, UK14 contributions
Family
Fantastic experience on real greyhound of the seas makes you appreciate wartime service imagine on artic convoys ,no wonder they awarded special medals
Written April 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

stevied0186
Penrith, UK22 contributions
Friends
Gun boat diplomacy with style! After a tour around the submarine I definitely know which vessel I would rather be representing HMG on.
Part of a really good day out at Chatham Dockyard.
Written March 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

linda r
Bradford, UK14 contributions
Couples
Went to the historic dockyard this week and went around this ship the members of staff on board had plenty of knowledgeable information to give to all visitors it was a very good day out
Written March 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paul S
Basildon, UK224 contributions
Couples
Throughly enjoyed our visit aboard HMS Cavalier. We went on a chilly Saturday so not very busy and was able to look round virtually on our own. Very interesting insight on life aboard. Definitely worth a visit. I'll be going back
Written March 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

crusher2013
Chatham Kent UK34 contributions
Friends
Having served in the Royal Navy for 22 years I served on the sister ship HMS Cavendish of which I have some happy memories, some good some not so good (sea sickness). This was back in the early 1960's, so this will give visitors an insight into what the cramped conditions were in life at sea in a Warship.
Written January 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 128
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about HMS Cavalier