The Historic Dockyard Chatham occupies a massive 80-acre site in Kent and is a living museum offering the family an enthralling day out and chance to experience 400 years of naval history. With three great ships to explore - HMS Cavalier, which served in the Second World War, the Victorian HMS Gannet and HM Submarine Ocelot - you can visit the dock where Admiral Lord Nelson's fighting ship HMS Victory was built and also see an amazing working ropery in action. Rope is still made here and visitors can also indulge in some hands-on learning.
There is also a fascinating museum, which tracks the dockyard's history from the reign of Henry VIII through to the 1982 Falklands War with animated and interactive exhibits, and you shouldn't miss the massive covered slips which house the RNLI's lifeboat collection.
There is too much to see in one day, which is why a family ticket offers great value in allowing you to return. There is also a new exhibition centre opening in the summer, No 1 Smithery, which will be a trove of maritime treasures.
Over in Gosport in Hampshire there are more maritime riches at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, where five submarines, including the midget HMS X24, which saw action in the Second World War, are on display. …