The River Medway

Type:Natural Feature

Maidstone, ME15 6JQ

Add The River Medway to your Itinerary

Two cyclists on path next to the River Medway

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About

The River Medway provides the perfect setting to unwind, relax and enjoy the Kent countryside. The River itself runs between East Grinstead and Forest Row in East Sussex, through the High Weald, around the Hartfield and Groombridge areas, on to Penshurst and Tonbridge, then to Yalding and Maidstone and finally joining the Thames Estuary between Sheerness and the Isle of Grain.

Throughout history it has been a major trading route for Maidstone and until the introduction of the bridges and locks, the horseway was also one of the few crossing points. This can still be found between the College of Priests and All Saints Church. 

The River Medway is more recreational now rather than a trading route, but nevertheless an interesting and magical place to explore. This can be done in a variety of ways:

Exploring by boat
The Kentish Lady runs from Maidstone to East Farleigh on their three hour trips, and to Allington on their shorter ones. Alternatively, if you want to explore the river aqt your own pace with your family or a group of friends, then a boat from Hire Cruisers Ltd day-hire can take up to eight people for a half or full day rental. Driving instruction is given prior to departure and these small boats can go as far as Tonbridge.

If you want to be closer to the water then why not try a canoe safari, with trips running from Tonbridge to Yalding. Get up close with the wildlife in their natural habitat and discover amazing flora and fauna whilst quietly paddling in your own canoe or kayak. 

Exploring on foot
If you don’t want to get on the water then some excellent footpaths run next to the River Medway and into the surrounding countryside, often making circular walks taking in tea rooms or pubs for that essential refreshment along the way. The valley which the River Medway runs through is scenic and changes the whole way along its route.

You can view a self-guided walking brochure here

Exploring by bike
The Medway Tow Path was opened in 2017, providing an excellent off road cylce route that runs along the River from Aylesford to East Farleigh. This is a particularly attractive route with lots of wildlife to view along the way and good refreshment stops. Another cycle route runs along the River from Groombridge through to Forest Row. Some small sections of the river are less accessible by bike but still run through beautiful countryside and there is plenty to do and see on the whole route.

Fishing
Fishing is permitted on certain stretches of the River Medway. A valid rod licence is needed, please visit your local Post Office to find out more.

Wildlife
An abundance of wildlife can be found along the banks of the river. For more information about nature conservation in the area visit the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership website or telephone 01622 683695.

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Map & Directions

Opening Times

opening 2022 (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)

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