It stands on the Great Lines between Chatham and Gillingham.
The dockyard was closed in 1984, with the loss of eight thousand jobs at the dockyard itself and many more in local supply industries, contributing to a mid-1980s Medway unemployment rate of twenty percent.
Other notable sea-faring and naval figures, such as William Adams, were raised on the Medway but apprenticed elsewhere.
The river was further protected by such fortifications as Upnor Castle which, in 1667 in varying accounts says it was partly successful in thwarting the Dutch raid on the dockyard, or the commanding officer fled without firing on the Dutch.
It was here that HMS Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, was built and launched in 1765.
Over half of the unitary authority area is rural in nature.
The Medway area has a long and varied history dominated originally by the city of Rochester and later by the naval and military establishments principally in Chatham and Gillingham.
Rochester was established on an Iron Age site by the Romans, who called it Durobrivae (meaning "stronghold by the bridge"), to control the point where Watling Street (now the A2) crossed the River Medway.
Hoo St Werburgh, Cliffe, High Halstow, St Mary Hoo, Allhallows, Stoke and Grain are on the Hoo Peninsula to the north. Medway includes parts of the North Kent Marshes, an environmentally significant wetlands region with several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).
Other similar areas of conservation include Ranscombe Farm on chalk grassland and woodland between Strood and Cuxton, with rare woodland flowers and orchids.
There have also been other naval disasters in Medway other than the Raid on the Medway.