Gillingham Marina, Medway Campus and Maritime Chatham, Kent

JUN 12,2013 - JUN 12,2013 (1 DAYS)

Sightseeing

1-day walk: from Gillingham Marina to Chatham Dockyards and back:

Attractions: Gillingham Pier and Marina, Medway Campus, Chatham Maritime Marina, St. Mary Island, Chatham Dockyards. 

All in all a great day out!

Start: Gillingham Marina.

End:   Gillingham Marina.

We start at Liberty Quays Students Residences (see Tip below). To the north of the Students Residences complex lies wonderful Gillingham Marina. The Marina lies below the Chatham Historic Dockyard in Gillingham Reach, which makes it a great location for berth holders and visitors who can enjoy the marina’s berths and unique facilities. The marina is only 7-8 km. downstream of Rochester Bridge. Gillingham Marina is considered to be in a very optimal location as it lies in a sheltered position from winter winds. As Gillingham marina has been awarded the Marina Five Gold Anchors - it is ranked among the best in the country. A few stunning housing projects have been built around:

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From the Marina return to the busy Pier Road and walk westward along this noisy street for about 2 km. On your left you'll see the Medway Campus: a unique partnership of the University of Kent, University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church University - known collectively as Universities at Medway. The three institutions share the specially developed Medway campus, adjacent to the Historic Dockyard at Chatham Maritime. The site was built originally as a naval base, HMS Pembroke, at the start of the 20th century. The 3 universities moved onto the Medway campus in 2005, and most of our buildings are new or have been completely renovated:

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Walk westward along the whole campus (from east to west) until you exit near the Ramada Encore hotel. Cross the maritime Way. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Western Ave. Cross the Main gate Rd. Cross again the Pier Road. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Leviathan Way. Go through 2 roundabouts. Turn right to stay on Leviathan Way. The Chatham Maritime Marina complex is on your right: Odeon Cinema, Charles Dickens World Centre and Chatham Dockyards Outlet Centre.  Worthwhile taking a glance. It is technically impressive but it looks half-empty and fading away. Take the Dock Head Rd. to your right or stroll along the Medway river into the Chatham Quays and jetties. In a bright day it should be a wonderful experience. The Chatham Quays / Marina and St. Mary Island are outstanding !!!

Chatham Marina - the Pump House:

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Chatham Marina:

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We recommend taking the path along the Medway river on the northmost side of the Marina. Watch the river, the boats piers, the huge crane and the outstanding housing towers popping-up from the water.

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This path continues into St. Mary Island:

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St. Mary's Island has the unique distinction of being Britain's first and only strategically planned island community. The regeneration of the Island is more than just a building project. It looks like a new way of life for people who value: tranquility, harmony and community. A magical, inspiring and gorgeous place:

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After exploring St. Mary Island cross the Medway river along the Maritime way or the Barrack Rd. Depending on the specific bridge - note the Coop Supermarket and the Quays Tower project on your right or left:

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With 116,00 GBP you can buy a small unit, 32 sqm, 348 sqft. of accommodation (3rd floor) in their project (thequayschtham.com): 

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Take the Maritime way and continue southward (it changes its name to the Dock Rd.) until you arrive to the Chatham Historic Dockyards. Open daily 10.00 - 18.00 (until 16.00 in the winter). Pricey entrance (17.50 for adults, 15.00 - concessions. The ticket holds for 1 year). Believe me: 5 hours won't suffice. You need, at least 6-7 hours to cover all the attractions. Firstly there are a number of "guided" tours that you have to pre-book when you get there such as the submarines. Take into account time for lunch:

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Start in the entrance gate and enter the 3D presentation. Continue with the Big Store:

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Continue to the Big Space. The biggest construction in the world made of wood. A huge hall for building ships and boats:

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HMS Gannet - restored as it was in year 1886:

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HMS Ocelot - A British submarine, built in Chatham Dockyards, that started its service in 5 May 1962 and ended in year 2012. Played its role, mainly, in the "cold war" in russian territories:

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HMS Cavalier - in Service from 1944 until 1972:

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View from HMS Cavalier to the Dockyards grounds:

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Admirality Offices - "Loyal and True":

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You can easily spend 2-3 more hours exploring many other attractions (like the Ropemakers or  "The Ropery" - a great guided tour full of humour and plenty of "learns" for old and young. A must go on tour which is about 30-40 minutes.).

Your way back to the Gillingham Marina:

Head southwest on Church Ln toward Main Gate Rd. Turn left onto Dock Rd. Go through 1 roundabout.  Slight left onto Wood St. Turn left onto Prince Arthur Rd. Continue onto Medway Rd and sharp left onto Pier Rd. Walk approximately 30 minutes along the bustling Pier Rd (The Medway Campus on your right). Make a U-turn at Pier Approach Rd and the Liberty Quays (and Gillingham Marina) will be on the left.

Alternative way back:

Head southwest on Church Ln toward Main Gate Rd. Turn left onto Dock Rd. Continue to follow Dock Rd. Cross the first roundabout.  At the next roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Maritime Way. Continue in Maritime Way until you turn to the right to Pier Rd. Walk 30 minutes in Pier Rd until you see the red colors of Liberty Quay or Gillingham Marina on your left.

Accommodations

Liberty Quays - University of Kent Accommodation, Gillingham, Medway:

Wonderful and budget place to be based for a short or long periods of staying in Kent. I stayed there 2 months. It was my base for exploring London and whole of Kent and I enjoyed it very much. During the summer - most of the students' units are vacant. Make a contact with Liberty Quays, fairly in advance, to reserve your en-suite unit or studio (single or double occupancy) in ridiculous prices. I paid around 17 GBP/night for a luxurious studio. You have a Tesco supermarket in the residences complex and attached ATM. It is 2 minutes walk to the adjacent Marina and 15-17 minutes walk to Gillingham National Rail Station. Buy a weekly Travelcard (including London zones 1-6) and make your stay in this part of the UK - a bargain. Be prepared to share your stay with hundreds of Italian youngsters who occupy the residences during July-August. My offer: reserve a unit for yourself - mainly in June. Otherwise - ask for a unit (en-suite room or studio) in the highest floor of one of their buildings. Never in a ground floor during the busy vacation months...

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