Festival of Chatham Reach

Thank you to all who came to the inaugural event – a great success!

Future dates TBC

Developed by Tiller & Wheel and Sun Pier House, in partnership with Medway Council.

The Festival of Chatham Reach creates a country fayre atmosphere, focusing on the heritage of the River and historic river vessels. With activities located on Sun Pier and alongside at Sun Pier House, in Chatham.

The event is a part of the national Heritage Open Days festival, with 3 National Historic Ships in attendance, free history walks, local history stalls and demonstrations.

There is something for everyone at the festival, with activities including:

  • Steam Tug Barking offering free ship tours,
  • Free sailing trips on board Sailing Barges Edith May and Repertor
  • Sailing Barge Blue Mermaid offering free tours and demonstrations,
  • A Whitstable Oyster Smack attending on display,
  • Jetstream Tours attending with ‘Jacob Marley’, running free short river excursions,
  • Free history walks, covering the wharfs and west end of Chatham High Street,
  • Live music throughout the day, including sea shanties and folk music
  • Have-a-go activities for all to try and learn about river vessels,
  • Demonstrations of traditional river skills,
  • Costumed characters
  • An arts market, local produce and food stalls,
  • Exhibitions inside The Riverside Gallery at Sun Pier House, inspired by local history
  • Drop in family friendly art workshops
  • Traditional carnival games for all ages,

Ticketed activities –

Chatham’s West End History Walk

On this walk you’ll learn about the Empire Theatre, Theatre Royal, the Great Fires of Chatham, Sun Pier and the river industries of Chatham Intra.

Taking place at 10:30am and 2:30pm each day, book your free place here – https://festivalofchathamreach.eventbrite.com

River Trips aboard Jacob Marley

Take a 1 hour cruise from Chatham (Sun Pier).

As part of the “Festival of Chatham Reach”, Jetstream Tours will be operating a special 1 hour cruise taking in the sights of the river Medway. Join us as we pass by some of Medway’s Historic landmarks including Rochester Castle, Chatham Dockyard and Upnor. 

Tours are fully commentated, with Toilets and refreshments available to buy onboard.

NOTE: Our vessel Jacob Marley, will be operating this service and so we can accept wheelchairs, mobility imparied and dogs for this service.

River trips on Sailing Barges Edith May and Repertor

Free 80 minute sailing experience on board a traditional Thames sailing barge.


Thank you to our funding partners Medway Council and Historic England.

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