Take time to explore Gravesend riverside and its maritime heritage. You can also discover the variety of shipping entering and leaving the Port from a number of publicly accessible vantage points and enjoy river trips.

Gravesend Riverside

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The River Thames and other connecting transport routes between London and Europe and from Britain to the rest of the World have all played a significant role in shaping Gravesham and its heritage.

From discovering the riverside haunts of smugglers and Gravesend’s role at the gateway to the Port of London to viewing some of the unique places and fine architecture on the river, in the towns of Gravesend and Northfleet, you won’t be disappointed.

Gravesham has a fascinating cluster of historic defences that have been a feature of the Lower Thames and its estuary since the Iron Age and exhibit a range of historic defences from the 14th to the 20th centuries. Gravesend’s Tudor Blockhouse, New Tavern and Shornemead Forts constructed against the threat of foreign invasion and to protect the river route to London.

Take the Crossfire Trail between New Tarvern Fort and Tilbury Fort to appreciate the thinking that lay behind these defences and visit the Cold War bunker in Woodlands Park a 20th century response to the threat of nuclear bombardment. Each of these sites tell a story about a stage in Britain’s defence and the rise and fall of various defence technologies over the centuries.

The River is still of great importance to Gravesend today as an operational base for the Port of London Authority and other river-related services. To check Gravesend tide and ships activities please have a look at the tide tables published by Port of London Authority.

Gravesend Lifeboat is situated at the end of Royal Terrace Pier and is one of four Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat stations based on the River Thames and was established in January 2002.

Gravesend Riverside Cruises  

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May to June – enjoy a pleasure cruise on board the ‘MV Balmoral’. Various day and evening cruises are available including Tower Bridge, River Blackwater, River Medway and Rye.

April to July – Top Sails Charters will be berthing at the Town Pier Pontoon in Gravesend to offer visitors half day sailing trips on the Thames. 

May to September – Explore the lower reaches of the River Thames with a trip either upstream to Greenwich and London or out into the Thames Estuary and Southend.  The MV Princess Pocahontas, run by the Lower Thames and Medway Passenger Boat Co Ltd, operates from the West Street Pier, Gravesend. For more information, timetable and pricing visit the Princess Pocahontas website.

September to October – enjoy a pleasure cruise on board the ‘PS Waverley’. Various day and evening cruises are available including Tower Bridge, Southend, Clacton-on-Sea, Whitstable, River Medway, Margate, and White Cliffs of Dover.

Book at the Visitor Information Centre at the Gravesend Borough Market, High Street,  DA11 0AZ

Gravesend Town Pier

River Thames

The River Thames is the lifeblood of the towns of Gravesend and Northfleet

If you see an emergency on the River Thames dial 999 and ask for Coastguard.

Riverside Audio Tours  

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Take advantage of our Adult and Family Riverside audio tours to discover hidden gems and exciting history.

You can hire one of our handsets from Gravesend Visitor Information Centre, for £3.50 per adult, £2 per child, or £10 per family (2 adults and 2 children). To hire handsets from us you’ll need a form of ID and/or a debit/credit card. Groups will also be charged, please asked for  more details.

Audio Tours

Gravesend – Tilbury Ferry   

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Passengers in transit will be able to enjoy a visit to Gravesend as the town is only a five minutes by ferry from Tilbury. (The ferry runs every half hour Monday to Saturday, from 6am to 7pm). 

Click here for the Gravesend – Tilbury Ferry Timetable.

We also have cruise ships landing at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury or just passing by. Take a look at the schedule of cruise ship visits here.

PLA Ship Movements

Visit Gravesned WAVE longer

PLA Ship Movements

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