19-28 August 2022

Voyage of the Ancient Beasts

← August 21st 2022 events
  • Date: 21/08/2022 - 22/08/2022
  • Time: 11:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Venue: The Edith May, Sun Pier, Medway Street, Chatham, ME4 4HF
  • Get Tickets

Set sail for an augmented reality trip on board the Edith May, as you collect medieval creatures.

Uri needs your help completing his medieval bestiary!

Join him on the Edith May barge as you embark on a time-bending journey down the River Medway, inspired by the illustrated bestiary manuscripts at Rochester Cathedral. Discover and catalogue creatures from times past, from the simple foraging hedgehog to the mystical fire-spitting Bonnacon.

Augmented reality is used in this prototype experience to place 3D models on historical landmarks along the riverfront. Enjoy a cruise down the River Medway on the heritage barge while learning about the history of the river…and spotting its AR beasts.


How to book

Spaces are limited and advance booking is required.

Sail times:
Sunday 22 August 2022
Voyage one – 11am-12.30pm
Voyage two -1pm-2.30pm
Voyage three – 3pm-4.30pm

Monday 23 August 2022
Voyage four – 11am-12.30pm
Voyage five -1pm-2.30pm
Voyage six – 3pm-4.30pm – invite only

Use the ‘Get tickets’ link at the top of this page.


Important information

Family-friendly experience. Children are very welcome, but we request they are supervised at all times, ideally one adult to each child.
Toilets are available onboard, below deck. 

Disabled access:
Boarding the Edith May is via a sturdy, wide stepped boarding ladder (4 steps). Aboard the barge, the decks are wide and getting about is relatively easy, but there are around 8 steps to get below. The crew are very willing to assist anyone who may find getting on/off/around difficult, and they have welcomed people of all abilities aboard the barge in the past.

Your feedback:
This is a prototype boat ride, testing experimental technology with audiences for the first time! You can read more about the project here. Once you come back on land we may ask you for some feedback at the nearby Sun Pier House with a free refreshment. We will use this to develop the experience for future years. Being the first voyagers, you will play a historic (and vital) role!

Voyage of the Ancient Beasts has been created by Livi Wilmore and Adam Glen, under the direction of Kevin Grist and with support from the Hi3 Network, Edith May and Ideas Test. The project has been funded by Medway Council, Arts Council England and Kent County Council.


Health and safety

The barge is fully compliant with all safety regulations and carries a life raft, life jackets, flares and other associated equipment. Whilst recommended, choosing to wear a life jacket is at the discretion of passengers. The barge will be sailed, as opposed to being underway using the engine, as much as possible and as such, there will be numerous trip hazards and working machinery around the decks. A full safety briefing will be provided at the start of the trip, so please listen carefully to all instructions.

It can be cold on the water, even when warm on land, so we recommend bringing a couple of layers. Sensible footwear is important, flat soled shoes – no stilettos! We advise wearing clothes you do not mind getting a smudge of grease on – there are plenty of wires and blocks that you may come into contact with. You will be outside in the elements in the daytime in August, so a sun hat and sun cream is advisable.

Smoking is strictly prohibited aboard the barge. Vaping is permitted on deck, but we ask you to be mindful of other guests and stand downwind.

The decision to sail is entirely at the discretion of the skipper. Should a severe weather event be forecast, your trip may be postponed. These decisions, although rare, will be taken within 24hrs of your sailing date and you will be notified via email or telephone.

The length of your trip may vary depending on the conditions on the day, so please allow plenty of time after the estimated time of arrival if you are making plans for after the sail. You can find out more about the Edith May here


How to get there

There is pay parking available at nearby Sun Pier House, with additional parking at the nearby Pentagon Shopping Centre. Chatham Waterfront Bus Station is a 5-minute walk. Chatham station is 10 minutes.