Way back in the mists of time, the Medway boasted several hire bases and was relatively popular with pleasure boaters. Not so today, for its waters are relatively quiet for most of the year – although the Environment Agency has recently installed additional facilities for boaters in an attempt to promote greater use of the river. And it’s well worth making the effort to see something of this delightful river.
Allington Lock marks the beginning of the non-tidal section. Just upstream lies Maidstone – Kent’s bustling county town – but thereafter it’s a rural theme as the river threads its way through the Garden of England, with lovely scenery everywhere you look. There are a number of beautiful medieval bridges, attractive villages –notably East Farleigh – and timeless water meadows to enjoy before the head of navigation is reached at Tonbridge. It’s a pleasant town with good pubs and restaurants, and well worthy of exploration before returning downstream.