Marina Information (use the icons to find out more)

Medway 3, Rochester Bridge to Allington Lock

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


None Given


Admiralty 1835, SC5606

Rules & Regulations

6 Knts Speed Limit.


Low Bridges, Much Dries

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Dover + 0140 at Chatham MHWS 3.7m, MHWN 2.5m, MLWN 0.2m, MLWS 0.2m at Allington Lock   (links)

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General Description

This section deals with the River Medway from Rochester Bridge as far as Allington Lock. Due to height restrictions underneath Rochester Bridge it is only suitable for motor cruisers and small sailing craft that can lower their masts.

There are however many useful facilites for the boater in this area, including four marinas.

The scenery ranges from beautiful countryside to run down grotty industrial areas, but the intrepid Mariner who makes it is far as Allington can pass via the lock into the non tidal Medway and get as far as Maidstone. ... read more


Approach from the sea to this area has already been covered in two previous articles, Medway 1, and Medway 2.

Once you arrive at Rochester Bridge you will find it has an air draft of 5.4 m at high water springs, with obviously a bit more available at lower states of the tide...... the problem being at lower states of the tide there is very little water under your keel as the River shallows dramatically once past the bridge.

The motorway bridge carrying the M2 has over 16 m of clearance with another footbridge near Hakwoodstone having 10.7 m. The problems comes in the Aylesford area where two separate bridges cross the river with less than 2.8 m clearance at high water. At low water there is little more than a gutway in this area.

The lock at Allington is owned by the environment agency and works a couple of hours either side of high water, but only during the working day. It can take quite large vessels being over 53 m long and over 6 m wide, while the maximum draught for vessels attempting to get to Maidstone is 2 m. Consequently if you own a shallow draught barge like vessel with low air draft you could make this trip. ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

After passing under Rochester Bridge you will find small craft moorings on either side of the river. Those on your port side belong to Rochester Cruising Club, while those starboard side belong to Pelican YC and Strood YC.

The visiting motorboater will be spoilt for choice with the Beacon Boatyard, Medway Bridge Marina, Port Medway Marina, Cuxton Marina and Elmhaven Marina all coming up one after another. These are covered now including prices:

Beacon Boatyard. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 22nd Mar 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2016. Prices have increased at all the marinas but not by ,much
Update April 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 14th Apr 2014
These notes were reviewed in April 2014. Very little has changed and most of the moorings have kept their prices for the 2014 season
Allington to Tonbridge
Written by tony_lavelle | 17th Dec 2011
At Allington Lock the EA has moorings for about £5 a night, some with electricity and there are toilets and showers. The huge Malta Inn is opposite with tables on the river bank.

Two miles further on, Maidstone has free riverbank moorings for visitors at Fairmeadow with depth about 1.1m.

A vessel with 1.2m (4ft) draught can get to Yalding with some difficulty. The delightful river is navigable as far as Tonbridge for shallower draught vessels. Note that the depths given by the EA are over optimistic by about 0.5m but otherwise their free guide book is excellent.
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