Medway Tidal River

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Medway Tidal River.jpeg The tidal part of the Medway starts as an unpromising, muddy channel close to the M20, at Allington Lock. It winds North through flattish and semi-rural landscape, before passing through the industrial towns of Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham and their surrounding chalk downland.

This is a pleasant area to paddle, particularly in Winter when it is quiet, or on windy days when other more exposed outings are ruled out. Lying mostly North-South, it is well protected against prevailing Westerlies.

Access is a bit difficult everywhere except at Gillingham Strand and Allington Lock, the 2 endpoints of this section. Hence this tends to be a 25K "straight through" paddle. It can be done in either direction, but is most practical in the Downstream (Northbound) direction, as this gets the tide-critical access at Allington Lock out of the way at the start, and you have both the tide and the river flow on your side. HW at Allington lock is around 2 hours after HW Dover.

0k map Allington lock
HW +- 0.5h, landing on West side near the lock, Parking/food in nearby "Malta Inn" (tel 01622 717251) and large and popular waterfront pub.
10k map Wouldham
HW only, East bank, road access difficult. Also a club pontoon on West bank as stopping point.
16k map Rochester Bridge
Access via steps, no parking, best avoided.
18k map Chatham "Blue" pontoon
Just off A231 Medway St. Stopping point to rest/adjust kit, but no easy boat access or parking.
24hr slipway, parking, toilets, Cafe sometimes open. Excellent !