Silk River

Day 5 – 19th Sept Purfleet

Tues 19th Sept – Artists leave London and move to Purfleet. Why?

Walk Route

Walk Description

*Updated 12th Sept – lots of really exciting things to see – check out the new schedule below!*

We will parade the 8 giant silk banners through Rainham Marshes to enter Purfleet at the RSPB centre, followed by a historical walk that includes haunts from Dracula’s Thameside residence and leads us through new housing to High House Production Park.

Here we will meet members from the Royal Opera House, students of the National College for the Creative Industries and artists who’ve found a new buzz outside of East London. Come and find out what draws these creatives to Thurrock!

Technical difficulty of walk: Easy

Distance: 1.65 miles


10.30   Start at RSPB Rainham, New Tank Hill Road, Purfleet RM19 1SZ.   Welcome and introduction to the day

11.00  Walk via Purfleet Heritage & Military Centre and former gatehouse to St Stephen’s Church

12.00  Visit St Stephen’s Church, London Rd, Purfleet RM19 1QD

12.50  Arrive at High House Production Park, RM19 1RJ for lunch. Please bring a picnic or enjoy the on-site cafe offer.

13.30  Tour of the site to include:

  • Back Stage Centre,
  • ROH Production Workshop,
  • Costume Department South Essex College,
  • Artists’ Studios.
  • Plus screenings of the Silk River film by Steve Shaw, and the film ‘River’ by artist Hilary Powell.

16.00  Dovecot tour and walk.
Please read the Disclaimer covering the walks HERE

The ten community walks 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

Thanks go to Kinetika, their staff and partners for the planning and facilitation of today’s walk.

Special thanks go to Livett’s GroupBennett’s Barges who will be proving safe passage for our link-walkers across the Thames from Purfleet to Dartford.

Livett’s Group & Silk River

Experts in sustainable transportation and waste management services, Bennett’s Barges boast one of the largest fleets of tugs and barges on the River Thames, Medway and the South East’s waterways focused on the movement of aggregates, containers, bulky materials, waste, plant and specialist items into, out of or within London and the South East.

Livett’s Group are specialists in a wide variety of marine services on the River Thames – including logistics, civil engineering, film and television services and breathtaking PR stunts – and have developed an enviable reputation for operational excellence.

The Livett family have worked the tidal River Thames in London since 1710 and the Managing Director, Chris Livett, Watermen to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, is actively involved in encouraging the positive usage and development of our great river.

As such, we are delighted to be supporting and assisting Silk River both publicly and logistically with their performative walks along the River Thames, marking the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and their cultural relationship with the UK as part of September’s Totally Thames Festival.

Upon the group’s arrival in Purfleet with 10 decorative scrolls at the midway point of the walk on Tuesday 19 September, they will embark on to our luxury vessel Edwardian and travel across the river to Dartford, where their journey on foot to Southend Pier will continue.

Livett’s Group would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone involved with Silk River the very best of luck. We’re excited to welcome you and the fantastic scrolls on board!

For more information about Livett’s Group’s services, visit

For more information about Bennett’s Barges’ services, visit


Special thanks also go to Cobelfret and C.RO Ports London Ltd owners of both Purfleet and Dartford terminals, for their help in ensuring the crossing happens safely as planned.

Photos from the Silk River walk 19th Sept 2017
by Mike Johnston.