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River Medway

The River Medway is navigable from Tonbridge (Barden Park – Lucifer Footbridge) to Sheerness (Garrison Point).

Things to do nearby

Facts & Stats

18 miles


The length of the River Medway that is navigable (non-tidal).

10 locks



The River Medway has been a busy transportation route since the 16th century.

From Tonbridge to Sheerness

The River Medway is navigable from Tonbridge (Barden Park – Lucifer Footbridge) to Sheerness (Garrison Point). It is tidal downstream of Allington Lock. 

The river has been a busy transport route since the sixteenth century. It was made navigable following Acts of Parliament in 1664, 1740, 1792, 1802 and 1824. The oast houses, which can still be seen along the route, are evidence of the area’s history of hop growing and brewing.

Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 80′ (24.3 metres)
  • Beam: 18′ 6″ (5.6 metres)
  • Height: 8′ 4″ (2.5 metres)
  • Draught: 4′ (1.2 metres)

Navigation authority

Environment Agency and Peel Ports Medway

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Sustainable Boating

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

Waterways Heritage at Risk

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk – from urban development, lack of protection, loss of skills and knowledge and climate change.

You can help Save Waterways Heritage.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.

Local activities