With travel outside the UK remaining ever uncertain this half term and summer, residents are being reminded that there’s so much to discover and enjoy on our own doorsteps.
Glamping in a church or driving an electric go kart round an indoor track are just some of the things on offer to add to the range of fabulous activities and events to enjoy through the summer months.
Our #WhoKnew campaign is highlighting Medway’s hidden gems, unique attractions, independent shops, fantastic restaurants and stunning landscapes to encourage residents, and visitors, to rediscover Medway and invite friends and family to enjoy the best that Medway has to offer.
By encouraging people to stay local this summer, the aim is also to encourage people to become local heroes and show their support to local businesses that have suffered so badly through the pandemic. With the rich variety of shops and independent retailers and the superb range of cafes, bars, restaurants and pubs across Medway, there is plenty to tempt people out.
The campaign puts the spotlight on all the attractions which make Medway a unique and exciting destination to visit for both residents and tourists, whether it’s a wide range of family attractions, our thriving cultural scene, stunning natural landscapes, or the adventures on offer both on and off the water.
Medway has a rich cultural heritage and boasts historic gems including Rochester Castle, the finest and tallest Norman castle keep in the country, Rochester Cathedral, the second oldest cathedral in England, Chatham’s Historic Dockyard and Fort Amherst. Our wonderful range of museums and galleries are also places to explore and enjoy. Children and adults can even ride, drive and operate real diggers and dumpers at Diggerland as well as enjoy many play areas, and for the more adventurous, the wonderful BMX pump track in Gillingham.
With the emphasis on enjoying the great outdoors this summer, Medway’s stunning riverside walks and eight award-winning green flag parks offer space to roam, picnic and meet up with others. For those wanting to be active on two wheels, there are 80 miles of cycle routes across Medway to explore and enjoy. Whether you’re a demon road cyclist or out for a family peddle around, there are routes to suit all abilities.
An exciting alternative festival and events programme for the summer in Medway is being developed, which can be COVID-19 safe if needed. The council is teaming up with local organisations to celebrate Medway’s culture and communities, past, present and future. From the River Medway to Fort Amherst, artists, drag queens, musicians, scientists and of course, Dickens will fill Medway’s high streets and parks with colour and noise creating a brilliant summer of live and online entertainment for residents and visitors.
As well as the Estuary Festival taking place at the moment across Medway and the Thames Estuary, some fantastic events have already been announced for this summer including the most unique gaming festival the UK has ever seen, Medway Rapture Gaming and Creative Festival, which is due to be held at the Historic Dockyard Chatham on Saturday, 3 and Sunday, 4 July. The weekend family-fun festival, which is being supported by a multitude of incredible show stakeholders, will have something for everyone – from gaming pros to novices. There will be plenty of gaming fun and interactive exhibitions for people of all ages to get involved in, including children, families and students.
The programme will shine a light on Medway’s creative spirit as it prepares to bid for UK City of Culture 2025. Becoming UK City of Culture 2025 would create a legacy of opportunities for local people and bring significant economic benefits to the area. The events also support Medway’s aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything it does.
More information about the events programme will be announced soon, so keep an eye out on our social media channels.
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “We are all looking forward to this summer and half term, and our new found freedoms. There’s so much to enjoy right here on our doorsteps this year and we want people to come out and try new and different things, as well as our much loved attractions and the fantastic hospitality venues and shops we have here. We want people to 'Do it for Medway' this summer – invite your friends and family to come and see what’s going on and to enjoy the best that Medway has to offer.”
Medway has fantastic connectivity with good motorway links and high-speed services to London.
If you’re planning on making lots of memories in Medway this summer, tag @VisitMedway in your pictures and use #WhoKnew.