Region: South East

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: The Historic Dockyard Church Lane Chatham Kent, , ME4 4TE

Contact: 01634 823 800



The Historic Dockyard Chatham is an award winning maritime heritage attraction which has a remarkable range of museum galleries, iconic buildings and three historic warships to explore – A Victorian Sloop, A Second World War Destroyer and a Cold War Submarine. Students can imagine what life was like as a rope maker and make their own piece of rope on the authentic Victorian Ropery Tour.

Do you have a video on YouTube or anywhere else that you would like to link to?

Are you on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media?

Exactly what does your venue offer to educational visits?
The Historic Dockyard Chatham is the most complete dockyard of the Age of Sail. We provide guided tours, bespoke days and unique activities aboard iconic warships, in historic buildings and throughout world class galleries and exhibitions.

Why you are you a great place for educational visits?
We have a Second World War destroyer, a cold war submarine and a Victorian sloop, all accessible to school groups and venues for our learning activities. We have a working Victorian rope factory that is over a quarter of a mile long and more unique buildings than it is possible to visit in a day. We have been the backdrop for many iconic movies and TV programs including ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Call the Midwife’ and ‘The Man from uncle’

Do you have the LOtC Quality Badge or any other accreditation such as AALA?
LOtC current

What does a typical educational visit include?
Our experienced team will work with you to plan and deliver a bespoke learning experience tailored to the curriculum needs of your group. We are with you for every step of the planning journey from the original enquiry, through the personal itinerary to the successful conclusion of your visit and beyond.

A typical visit would include:
Welcome and health and safety briefing.
Dedicated guide for the group throughout the day.
Up to three taught sessions e.g. Pirates Ahoy, What’s in the Bag (materials) and Ship Building Challenge.
Tours of the Victorian Ropery and Submarine Ocelot

What group sizes do you cater for?
We can accommodate small specialized groups or large year cohorts for project days or recreational visits approaching the summer holidays. We work right through the year and can offer exclusive access to the site during the winter.

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information?
We do not provide worksheets or teachers packs but we are happy to work with teachers before the visit and provide free preview visits and copies of our activity plans.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?
We are very happy for the use of cameras, smartphones, tablets, etc. throughout the site. There are restrictions in some of the galleries and temporary exhibitions due to copyright and light level restrictions.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?
Our website contains a generic risk assessment and copies are sent electronically with itineraries. We encourage the take up of free teacher preview visits.

Does your venue have an education officer?
Learning Programme Coordinator is Stephen Billington 01634 823810.

What is the cost of the visit?
Prices range from £6.00 per pupil for a self-guided day with a pre-booked submarine tour to £10 per pupil for a guided day with submarine and rope factory tours plus up to 3 taught sessions. We offer one free teacher place for every 6 students year r – lower KS2 and one free teacher place for upper KS2 and older.

Is specific clothing required for the trip?
We are an 80 acre site and a day with us will include a lot of climbing and walking and time in the open air. We suggest sensible shoes and trousers for all students with outer clothing for the prevailing weather conditions and water, snacks and sun block as necessary.

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?
We have First Aid at Work qualified staff within the learning and visitor operations team together with first aid kits, a small first aid room and defibrillators on site.

Please list facilities available.
Coach and car parking is free in a large car park adjacent to the site. The site has plentiful toilet facilities, a dedicated indoor lunch area for schools and outdoor picnic areas.
The Mess Deck restaurant serves everything from cold drinks to hot meals. The Wagon Stop Café has a choice of cakes, pies and sandwiches. The Mess Deck shop serves a wide selection of gifts and can also supply £3.00 red or blue themed goodie bags.

What are your disabled facilities?
The site is fully accessible to disabled guests with the exception of:

HMS Ocelot – The submarine is in its original configuration with steep ladders and hatches to negotiate. A virtual tour is available on:,0.5266715,3a,90y,269.81h,69.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1so-ATnN1ZcE0AAAQJOMm46g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

HMS Cavalier- There is wheelchair access to the main deck and aft end crew accommodation but upper decks are accessible only by steep ladders. A virtual tour is available on:,0.5271689,3a,90y,258.77h,75.5t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s651dy5clzykAAAGuxVTXTg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

What are your opening days and hours?
February 11 – March 25 2017 - open 10 – 4
March 26 – October 28 2017 - open 10 – 6
October 29 – November 26 2017 - open 10 – 4
November 27 – February 2018 - closed to the public but school days both onsite and as outreach activities are available.

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?
“I know I filled out the evaluation form on the day but I just wanted to send an email to thank you and your wonderful team for our trip on Friday 17th March. The children had a fantastic time and learnt a lot ... I think you will be seeing many of them again in the Easter Holidays! I have already had some lovely feedback via our Year 2 learning platform from parents and children. All the staff that came along also commented on what a great trip it was.

Tracy was brilliant and the rocket workshop was great too - the children learnt a lot and had a lot of fun! Lisa was also very helpful in getting us to the right places and arranging our lunch crates being dropped off. Thank you.

Thanks again and we look forward to next year! Best wishes, Lauren Harvey ... and the staff and children of Year 2 at King Pre-Prep”

“I just wanted to drop you a line to say what an amazing day we had with you on Tuesday. The students thoroughly enjoyed the trip and both myself and the other members of staff thought our guides, Debbie & Kerry were fantastic, their knowledge is incredible.

Many thanks for making it such a fun and interesting visit. Best regards, Claire Burden, Westcliff High School for Boys”

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?
Crash Out on Cavalier - HMS Cavalier is a popular destination for overnight sleepovers. Groups spend the night aboard our Second World War destroyer having been briefed and drilled by the local Sea Cadets. In the morning they come ashore to a full sailor’s breakfast. This can be combined with a day of activities at The Dockyard before and/or after the sleepover. Contact 01634 823815 or

Outreach to schools - In the closed season, outreach sessions are available ranging from STEM science to Pirates! Contact 01634 823810 0r


Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Adventure Playgrounds Arts & Galleries Heritage Railways Historic Buildings Historical Heritage Indoor Activity & Soft Play Centres Maritime Museums Parks and Gardens Picnic Areas Team Building

Curriculum Topics Covered: Art and Design Business Studies Design and Technology English Engineering Geography History Leisure & Tourism Science

Months Open: February March April May June July August September October November December

SiGN UP For LATEST Events, Discounts & Special Offers 

Once your are signed up you will receive regularly into your inbox.