A physical oceanographic, geophysical and marine geological survey of Edward VIII Gulf, Kemp Coast, collected data from conductivity–temperature–depth casts, multi-beam bathymetric swath mapping and 3.5 kHz sub-bottom surveying. Modified circumpolar deep water (mCDW) is observed in Edward VIII Gulf, as well as notable bathymetric features including mega-scale glacial lineations and a 1750 m-deep trough. Sedimentological, geochemical, rock-magnetic and micropalaeontological analysis of two kasten cores document regional palaeoclimate and palaeo-oceanographic conditions over the past 8000 years, with a warm period occurring from c. 8 to 4 ka and a shift to cooler conditions beginning at c. 4 ka and persisting until at least 0.9 ka. Sediment packages > 40 m thick within deep troughs in Edward VIII Gulf present potential targets for higher-resolution Holocene and deglacial climate studies. Despite the presence of mCDW on the shelf, inland bed topography consisting of highland terrain suggests the likelihood of relative stability of this sector of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.