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Riverside Country Park, Gillingham

#1 of 18 in Things to do in Gillingham
Nature / Park
Riverside Country Park is a large coastal public park, situated alongside the River Medway estuary between Gillingham and Rainham. The park covers about 100 hectares - approximately 247acre. There are a variety of natural habitats within the park, including mudflats and salt marsh, ponds and reed-beds, grassland and scrub, which provide a haven for wildlife.HistoryThe coastline of Gillingham has had a rich and varied past The park was established in the 1970s by Medway Council and takes in the various areas; of Motney Hill, Rainham Dock, Bloors Wharf, Horrid Hill, Sharp's Green Bay and Eastcourt Meadows.Rainham Docks and Motney HillThe earliest known occupation of the area was in the Neolithic times according to archaeological evidence found around the Rainham Docks area. This was later used by the Romans as a burial site.Like most of Medway, the fertile area was then a major site of hops, cherries, plums and apple orchards and wheat fields.In 1819, Motney Hill appears on maps as an island. Because of its large sand deposits it was also known as 'Gritty Island'. In 1901, the British Standard Cement Company started chalk extraction to London. The chalk came from a large pit, now known as Berengrave Local Nature ReserveA cement works was then established on Motney Hill island in 1912. During high tides, barges sailed into the river near the docks, then workers known as 'Muddies' collected mud from the riverbed and loaded it onto the barges. As the tide came back in, the barges would re-float and sail to Rainham Dock, where the mud would be mixed with chalk and fired at high temperatures to produce cement.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
303 reviews
  • Good place for a gentle riverside walk, with clear paths and signage. Nice views across the river and countryside and an opportunity to spot birds. No kids with us but the play area looked great for t...  more »
  • FREE and fabulous park for the kids! Limited food in cafĂ© - mostly burgers and chips but kids were happy with that. Lovely walks with leaflets to guide you.  more »
  • Spent a nice couple of hours walking from Riverside Country Park to Gillingham Strand. On the promise of an ice cream half way through, my kids (both 20+) agreed to join my wife & me. The walk is very...  more »
  • Its a good patch of public land, that i hope to god doesn't get sold off by conservatives (and co.) and slowly eroded into housing for rich people... Parking is free and reasonably timed, paths are well maintained, wheelchair users typically can get a good way around the place... For a free public asset, it does well
  • I hadn't been to the area for some 20 years and was quietly surprised by the improvements to the area but dismayed a little by a few of the properties now vacant and in a bad state of repair. Seeing the old wharf completely empty was a new experience. The area looked to be well maintained and was generally clean. Was a very pleasant walk along the front.
  • Lovely little walks along the river Medway. Can get a little busy at weekends and school holidays but with the very large children's play area, cafe, scenic walks, open fields and free parking it's easy to see why!
  • I spent many happy hours down here as a boy but never imagined that it could be regenerated to the quality educational and leisure environment that it is today. Check out the history of the Medway and the potential wildlife you could see before you go, there's information boards dotted around to help you too and a friendly visitor centre with good parking and a large picnic area.
  • Great kids park. Lots of facilities including cafe. Good walks along the medway too.

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