Welcome to the Medway! If you’re new to the area take a look at some ideas below on some of our ideas of places you can visit and activities you can do.
Medway is made up of five towns – Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham and Strood- so there’s plenty to explore.
Day out in Rochester
As well as the beautiful Rochester Cathedral and Castle, there is also the High Street, home to boutiques, independent shops, and trendy café culture. The Medway Visitor Information Centre is a good first stop to pick up a map of the area. On the first floor, there is also an art gallery and a museum.
Explore the city, have a wander, and admire the many historical buildings in the area that featured in Charles Dickens’ novels! Some of these include Restoration House (which has a stunning garden), from ‘Great Expectations’ and the extra Christmas number, the Six Poor Travellers House, located just by the train station. You can pick up a self-guided walking tour at the Information Centre which takes you around all the buildings he wrote about.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham
This is Chatham’s holy grail and steeped in history. The Crown and Call the Midwife have been filmed here along with many films. A visit here will ensure you return to the ‘Age of Sail’ when the Dockyard built mighty ships that mastered the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; take charge on the bridge of HMS Cavalier, a Second World War Destroyer; and ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet, our Victorian Sloop. Watch our Master Ropemakers at work using centuries-old techniques in our Victorian Ropery. It’s a beautiful day out and a must-see if you’re at Medway – plus, it’s free for Kent students!
Medway offers a range of pubs and bars that are perfect for every student looking for a night out. Head down Rochester high street to find plenty of fun options, or take a campus shuttle to our Canterbury campus for a night out in our very own club, Venue.
There’s also lots of fun to be had at the Hub’s social nights, or you can even head into London if you’re looking to go further afield.
Bluewater Shopping Centre
If you’re looking to do some shopping, look no further! Bluewater is home to 300 shops and 50 bars, restaurants and cafés. Different sections of the shopping centre are dedicated to different themes, from classic and high fashion retail in ‘The Guildhall’ to ‘The Plaza’ where there is a cinema and a trampoline park. You can get there easily by public transport.
Medway is also very close to London, meaning that a fun day-trip is super easy! You can get a high-speed train to London St. Pancras International from Chatham or Gillingham, and can also change at St Pancras and Ebbsfleet to connect to the Eurostar if you’re looking to go further afield!
Dating back to 1756, its purpose was defending the Naval Dockyard from attack. A site full of history, it’s free to visit and family-friendly. There are over 20 acres of land to explore, fortifications to navigate, cannons to spot, and bridges to cross. Take a tunnel tour to explore the underground maze which provided shelter from bombardment, storage of ammunition, and secret access to the Fort. Some say they can even feel a ghostly presence of those from the past…
Riverside Country Park
If you’re looking for a scenic countryside walk, run or cycle this park is perfect. It runs alongside the Medway Estuary and includes the Berengrave Local Nature Reserve. Boasting 247 acres of land it’s full of wildlife and is a protected site, being an especially important area for birds. There’s something for everyone, with picnic facilities, a children’s play area and cycle paths, trails, and a café. If you like the outdoors, check out The Strand, St Mary’s Island, and the Great Lines Heritage Park.
For something a little bit different there is a theme park where those of all ages can drive and operate full-size real diggers, dumper, and other construction machinery. It has over 20 different rides and activities including Go-Karts and Dodgems so it’s definitely a unique day out! There are also restaurants and a cinema in the area so there’s something for everyone. Diggerland is great for small groups so why not go along with your new housemates?