Silk River

Day 4 – 18th Sept Barking & Dagenham

Mon 18th Sept – The Hidden River, Barking Creek & Riverside

Walk Route

Walk Description

Stories of the river and the connections between old and new meet during this walk, from the lives of fishing families revealed at St.Margaret’s Church, to our modern day river community which is bringing new life to the water, and Barking Riverside who are creating 10,800 new homes.

Barking Creek was once a busy industrial port while today Barking Riverside is on track to be the biggest new housing development in London in effect creating a new town.

Local residents and Cultural Connectors have developed this walk drawing on stories from the borough’s past and demonstrating their vision and partnership working to create positive change for its future.

Technical difficulty of walk: Moderate

Distance: 3.78 miles


9.30 Start at St Margaret’s Church. The Broadway, Barking, Essex IG11 8AW. Welcome and Introduction to the day.

13.00 Lunch. Please bring a pic ‘n’ mix picnic to share on the day, along with some samosas and Indian inspired snacks that will be provided. There are limited options to buying food along the route.

17.00 Finish at Barking Riverside.

The ten community walks (as above) are part of a series of longer ‘link’ walks that will see the flags carried from Kew to Southend using only boots or boats. These longer walks range from six miles to 23 miles. They have been planned with the London branch of the Long Distance Walkers Association, a Silk River partner, and are designed for experienced walkers only. For more information visit

Please read the Disclaimer covering the walks HERE

Special thanks go to Creative Barking and Dagenham, their staff and partners for the planning and facilitation of today’s walk.

Creative Barking and Dagenham have worked with the following organisations for Silk River:



Dagenham is famous for the relocation of the Ford Motor factory in 1931 creating 40,000 jobs locally and becoming an industrial hub on the river. In 1866 Barking became the site for what grew into the UK’s large jute mill. The mill couldn’t compete with the cheaper labour that was found in West Bengal and shut in 1886.

Creative Barking and Dagenham (CBD) is a project for people living, working and socialising in Barking and Dagenham. CBD enable local people to create, commission and curate outstanding arts and creative activities in their areas, and to promote the borough as a place where exciting art – of all forms – is made and shown.

The creation of the Barking and Dagenham scroll uncovered many rich stories, old and new; from the past lives of fishing families, revealed in the carvings and stain glass windows at St. Margaret’s Church, to our modern-day river community who are bringing new life to the water through projects that explore the environment and how we interact with it.

The team at CBD have created a unique festival called Thamesfest which, for Silk River, will feature a colourful art walk through Barking and Dagenham marking the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence. Inspired by stories of the river and the local connections between old and new, the trail will come alive showcasing giant silk scrolls designed by local artists

Photos from the Silk River walk in Barking and Dagenham, 18th Sept, by Mike Johnston.