The Thames at Tilbury

18-Nov-06 • JonCombe on Flickr

essex coast thurrock thames coastwalk164 swcwalks swcwalk357

The Worlds End Pub at Tilbury

18-Nov-06 • JonCombe on Flickr

essex coast thurrock thames coastwalk164 swcwalks swcwalk357

The Thames at Tilbury

18-Nov-06 • JonCombe on Flickr

essex coast thurrock thames coastwalk164 swcwalks swcwalk357

Tilbury Fort

18-Nov-06 • JonCombe on Flickr

essex coast thurrock thames coastwalk164 swcwalks swcwalk357

Tilbury Fort

18-Nov-06 • JonCombe on Flickr

essex coast thurrock thames coastwalk164 swcwalks swcwalk357

Tilbury Fort

18-Nov-06 • JonCombe on Flickr

essex coast thurrock thames coastwalk164 swcwalks swcwalk357

Tilbury Fort

18-Nov-06 • JonCombe on Flickr

essex coast thurrock thames coastwalk164 swcwalks swcwalk357

Tilbury to East Tilbury via the 2 Forts Way walk

The 2 Forts Way along the Thames Estuary coast path, passing Tilbury and Coalhouse Artillery Forts

Length 8.1 miles (13 km), no ascent.
Toughness 2/10 The path is unpaved in places, and there's broken glass (from the river) in places - you'll need walking shoes.
Map OS Explorer 163 - Gravesend and Rochester
Walk Notes

This is walk is along the north bank of the Thames Estuary passes Tilbury Fort (English Heritage) and Coalhouse Fort (currently closed), and heads towards the site of a new coastal park on a former landfill site, before it heads inland to East Tilbury.

This section of the England Coast Path is promoted as the Two Forts Way, as is passes 2 historic forts.

The start of the walk, about 1.5km, from Tilbury Town station south to the "Thames Cruise Terminal" on the river along a walk/cycle path is currently a bit grim. There is no alternative (see below), although it will be improved when a new port opens as traffic will be diverted. Don't worry, the rest of the walk more than makes up for it.

The main part of the the walk follows the riverside path passing 2 former coast defence artillery forts, each with its own pub.

The walk then continues along a peaceful part of the estuary before the coast path ahead is blocked by the Mucking Marshes former landfill site. Here, the walk detours inland to East Tilbury station, which has a station pub to await your train.

Notes:

  • Parts of the path are blocked for an hour or so at rare very hide tides
  • A section of the sea wall collapsed in late 2019, just before Coalhouse Fort. There is a short inland diversion, about 200m longer.
  • The England Coast Path follows the Essex coast towards London along the shoreline of the Thames Estuary, and finishes at the Tilbury Ferry Terminal, where it "crosses the river", and heads back out to sea again on the Kent side.
Walk Option

From the Cruise terminal, there are regular ferries (Mon-Sat, £5 return, senior bus pass free) to Gravesend. If you life in Kent, you could start the walk from Gravesend, and catch the ferry.

Tilbury 2 Updated: Feb-20. A large new port area, "Tilbury 2", is being developed on the site of the old coastal coal power stations. It won't affect the coast path - there's a bridge over it to a river pier. However, a footpath (Thurrock FP144) crossing the rail line south of Tilbury (from Hume Avenue to Fort Road) has recently been closed. It seems permanent. This would have been a much nicer route from Tilbury to the coast.

Hopefully, the current 'grim' route to the coast will become more pleasant as HGV's will be diverted away from the current route to a new link road, making it less grim. In theory :) Another option is a new footpath (not yet constructed) along the south side of the rail line to join up with the closed rail crossing path. [Existing public footpaths]

Mucking Marshes

Updated Feb-20. It is hoped the walk will be extended further along the Thames Estuary, past the former landfill site to Thurrock Thameside Nature Park (TTNP) and Standford Warren Nature Reserve, and then inland to Stanford-le-Hope station.

The coast path is currently blocked by the now closed Mucking Marshes landfill site, which is being transformed / reclaimed into the TTNP. As of 2020, a working pier blocks the onward route. It is being used to bring in material to transform the site. Hopefully, as the TTNP expands in to the former landfill site, a new stretch of coast path will eventually be be created.

The England Coast Path plan (status: route proposed) is an inland diversion around the site until it is finished. See England Coast Path Proposal. Once the TTNP is fully open, the path route may be reconsidered.

TTNP

Updated: Feb-20. Thurrock Thameside Nature Park (TTNP) is still under construction, but is now partly open. Its being created on the site of the former Mucking Marches landfill site. It has a designer cafe / visitor centre (in an architectural sense, it has a spiral wheelchair ramp that wraps around the outside of the circular building to the roof terrace/viewpoint. The coast wall has been breached to create mudflats, so its for the benefit of birds as much as people. Its not (yet) reachable from the main walk without an inland detour around the under-construction area. Free parking. SS17 0RN.

Breakfast Tilbury has several cafes by the station
Lunch
  • Tilbury Fort: The World's End. Old school pub (no website), easily the best on the walk, good value, take your drink outside, and sit on the sea wall.
  • Coalhouse Fort: The Ship. OK 1950's pub, but a little overpriced.
Tea
Forts

Tilbury Fort

An artillery fort (not a castle), originally built by Henry VIII to defend against the Spanish Armarda, and later against the Dutch. It was rebuilt in the 17thC with distictive angular shaped walls, and is very well preserved. Now run by English Heritage.

Entrance £6.90, Open Wed-Sun (summer), Sat-Sun (winter). [2020]

Wikipedia, English Heritage

Coalhouse Fort

1860's artillery fort (not a castle) built on the site of former fortifications to defend against the French.

Fell into disuse after WW2. Neglected by the local council who purchased it. Saved by a local charity who restored it with grants, and a filming fee from a Batman film. Its future is once again in doubt as, in Jan-20, the council have split with the charity which ran it. Because of this, its no longer open to the public.

Nearby is a picturesque rusty radar tower on the river (East Tilbury Radar Tower)

[Wikipedia]

Profile
Help Us!

After the walk, we would love to get your feedback

You can upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr, and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

swcwalks
swcwalk357
By Train

Out (not a train station)

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start RM18 7BJ Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish RM18 8SB Map Directions Travel to the start:

Amazon
Help

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

May-20

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml