A Medway Christmas list

Give the gift of local luxury this Christmas and enjoy what’s on your doorstep.

If you have started to think about your own, or a loved one’s, Christmas wish list, here are some present ideas to help you out. 

Our elves have been busy preparing some great ideas you might want to add to that list of yours! Or, if you are on the hunt for the perfect gift for family or a friend, we have some ideas not to be missed.  

Potential gift ideas everywhere

Dee O’Rourke, Assistant Director of Culture and Community at Medway Council, said: “Medway is home to fantastic bespoke shops, restaurants, bars and leisure facilities, with potential gift ideas everywhere you look. I would encourage residents to support local businesses. I’m glad the return of the Medway Christmas Market in Rochester has kickstarted the Christmas celebrations and will continue to help visitors cross off gifts from those Christmas lists.”

Medway experiences 

Why not give the gift of an experience this year? Fun memories are a great way to show the ones you love how much they mean to you.

If you find it hard to pick the perfect present, Medway is home to many picturesque locations which make for great days out including historic sights, beautiful country parks, houses of history, cultural hubs and more. Explore what’s on your doorstep with friends and family.

To help you get into the festive spirit, before the big day, the whole family is sure to enjoy The Lighthouse Cat’s Christmas Adventure showing at The Brook Theatre in Chatham until Saturday, 24 December. Designed for interactive fun, the show is guaranteed to get the younger ones up, joining in and having the best time. There are plenty of tickets still available, so grab yours now to gift an early Christmas treat.

Additionally, for the little ones, a trip to the pantomime is guaranteed to brighten their Christmas. The Snow White Pantomime is taking over The Central Theatre in Chatham until Saturday, 31 December and tickets are still available, so stay in the Christmas spirit and treat your loved ones with a trip through the enchanted forest with Snow White and the magnificent seven. 

The Central and Brook Theatres are also buzzing with entertainment all year round with comedy, big names and family friendly fun. Visit the Medway Tickets Live website for a full list of upcoming events. Both theatres have nearby transport links and car parking, with a host of restaurants and bars also close by, to make a full evening of your trip.

As a unique Medway alternative for an experience present, and still a fantastic way to create magical memories, the spark-tacular free Medway Light Nights will once again light up two February nights. On Friday, 10 and Saturday, 11 February 2023, Chatham will transform with an extravaganza of lights, works of art and performances – this free, family-friendly event is perfect to put in the diary to show those close to you that you care. Why not pop along to a nearby eatery to complete the night?

If you have got a foodie family member or friend who perhaps considers themselves a wine connoisseur, there are still tickets available for the Medway Food and Drink Festival. Reduced advanced day tickets are currently available, so check off your Christmas list whilst saving a few pennies and enjoy mouth-watering treats at Rochester Castle Gardens on Friday, 31 March, Saturday, 1 April and Sunday, 2 April 2023. Separate evening entertainment tickets are also available, to go one step further to show the ones you love how much they deserve a treat!

Did you know Medway is home to 15 community hubs and libraries which host fun events, workshops and activities all year round? Get involved and go along with family and friends and enjoy the best of what’s on offer at the community hubs including book clubs, author talks, arts and crafts and more.

Create lovely memories and gift a day out to one of Medway’s historic sights. Take a step back in time with Fort Amherst, have an insightful trip to Eastgate House or become an art expert in the Rochester Art Gallery. Medway is home to rich history and heritage, just waiting to be uncovered so give the gift of exploring this Christmas. Find key sites on the Visit Medway webpage and explore which ones have exciting Christmas related themes this winter.

Shop local, shop Medway

This year, tick off your Christmas list at town centres across Medway, ready to fill your stockings with unique gifts. Visit independent, bespoke shops to find that special something for the ones you love and support small businesses.

Don’t forget to look in charity shops when you’re shopping for presents – you might be able to bag a bargain and support charities. But if you’re buying toys for children, make sure they’re age appropriate and have all the right pieces.

Medway is also home to fantastic independent restaurants, why not find your favourite whilst out and about shopping and treat someone to a gift card? There are plenty of bespoke cafes and bars to visit this festive season.

Don’t miss Medway’s Christmas Market in Rochester this weekend, it closes on Sunday, 11 December. Browse the variety of stalls and enjoy the festive atmosphere while supporting small businesses and finding the perfect presents.

Unique gifts

This year, cross off socks and chocolate from the present lists and explore the best of what Medway has to offer, to find unique gift ideas.

Gift the ones your care for a new skill by signing them up to a one-of-a-kind Medway Adult Education course. There are a variety of fun courses and sessions to try including jewellery making, pottery and calligraphy – ideal for your creative friend or as something to do alongside a loved one.

If you know that someone you love is trying to get fit in the new year, why not lend them a helping hand and show your support by treating them to a premier gym membership? To help them kickstart their active journey, our premier gym memberships give unlimited access to our facilities across Medway and are designed to help residents achieve their fitness goals. One-month premier membership vouchers are now available to buy at the reception of any council-run gym – why not join your loved one and gift yourself, too? With no contract or joining fee, enjoy the best of fully equipped gyms, extensive list of classes, swimming pools and even a spa.

There are also plenty of climate-friendly gift possibilities across Medway, including our Medway tree fund. If you’re looking for an alternative to Christmas cards, you can donate towards planting a new generation of trees in Medway to help the local wildlife and send an e-card to your friends instead.


To assist with festive shopping, we will once again lift parking fees in all council-owned car parks from Thursday, 15 to Sunday, 18 December (inclusive).

To find more gift ideas, visit our Visit Medway website or take a stroll down to your local high street to see what you can find.

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