Published: 12:33, 12 March 2020
| Updated: 08:57, 13 March 2020
HMS Kent returns to her home county this weekend with a three-day stay in Dover.
The Royal Navy's premier frigate will open her hatches to visitors after docking in Dover Western Docks today.
Free tickets to look around are open for registration now, with hour-long tours starting every 20 minutes from 9am until 4pm on Sunday.
Her crew will use the first two days of her visit to strengthen ties with Dover and the ship’s affiliated organisations within the county.
These include the county council, the Confederation of the Cinque Ports and the Association of Men of Kent and Kentish Men.
Commanding Officer of HMS Kent, Commander Matt Sykes, said: “I am delighted to be able to bring HMS Kent back to Dover for the first time in over a year.
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“Since the last visit the ship has had an extremely busy year, deploying overseas twice to protect the UK’s interests in the Baltic and then the Middle East."
He added: "We are very proud to bear the name of such a historic maritime county and I hope that the people of Kent are equally proud to have the best frigate in the Royal Navy representing them around the world.
“I am also very pleased that during this visit we have time to welcome onboard members of the public and groups from our affiliated organisations to hear more about HMS Kent, her people and our operations – these links are very important to us and we look forward to strengthening them this weekend.”
HMS Kent returned from a four-month stint in the Gulf before Christmas.
Since then she has been through some routine maintenance and is now back out to sea having won the Fleet Effectiveness Award for frigates during 2019.
She last visited Dover 12 months ago and took members of the county’s emergency services down to the Royal Navy’s disaster relief training facility at Devonport Naval Base for a joint exercise last February.
Sunday’s event is by ticket only.
To register for one of the free tours click here. eventbrite.co.uk/e/hms-kent-ship-open-to-visitors-tickets-98215074933.
About 4,000 people have already registered for their ticket and many of the 22 tours are fully subscribed.
Registration closes on Friday.
READ MORE: All the breaking news across Kent
More by this authorBeth Robson