A truly fascinating marina that's located in an old canal basin that's so steeped in history that its become a listed site. The Thames and Medway Canal was built in the late 1700's as a means of transporting munitions from the Woolwich Arsenal to the naval docks at Chatham. This saved a journey of 50m by cutting across the peninsula that separates the Thames from the Medway. The railways soon put an end to the Canal and by the 1930s the canal was officially abandoned, however it was put to use again not long afterwards as a convenient in-fill site for London's bomb rubble during WW2. The start of the Canal is evident on the east wall of the basin.
The marina now claims itself to be newest marina facility on the Thames, where in 2009 it invested some £60,000 as part of a 10 year business plan to re-generate the Basin and provide an attractive and interesting new focus to this heritage quarter of Gravesend. One hundred metres of new pontoons runs along the western wing of the Basin. New fully serviced pontoons have also been installed along the North Quay where visitors are usually located. Generally craft up to 24mLOA with a draft of 2m can be accommodated on the pontoon berths, and up to 12mLOA on the moorings. The fuel berth is just inside the lock entrance, and so both access and service hours are during locking hours. The marina is a popular stop-over since its almost midway between the Thames Estuary and the Tower Bridge, and its possible to make either direction in one tide. The marina has excellent rail links to either London or Rochester, making London (St Pancras) in 20mins. The City of Rochester is famed for its fine Norman Castle and just beyond is the historic dockyard of Chatham with over 2000 years of naval heritage on public display. The town of Gravesend is a moments walk away from the marina where there's a comprehensive range of shopping facilities, pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes. The Gravesend SC resides right on the lock entrance, and generally welcomes visitors to use their bar and enjoy their hot food with splendid views over the Thames. The marina offices and the facilities are secured from the public by a high chain-link fence, and all visitors are provided with a key to entre the secure pound.