Silk River

Day 8 – 22nd Sept Tilbury

Fri 22nd Sept – “By Thames to all people of the world” – Tilbury.

Walk Route

Walk Description

Gateway to the world, Tilbury is still a very busy port and we will hear stories of how it used to be before the age of shipping containers, when tea arrived from India in chests, cargo was unloaded in wheelbarrows and rum came in barrels.

Dashing young dockers would catch the ferry over to Gravesend to meet their future wives at local dances. More recently, Tilbury is famous for the arrival of Windrush, and today is a growing Cruise Terminal welcoming international visitors to see the revolutionary Tudor Fort, the design that was replicated at Fort William in Calcutta. The walk continues along the river to Coalhouse Fort, a significant wartime defence for the Thames and reputed to be the most haunted place in Thurrock.

Technical difficulty of walk:  Moderate. Distance: 5.24 miles


10.00 Meet at the Garden/open space North of Tilbury Town C2C Station RM18 7BJ, leading on to a schools performance at the Civic Centre.

12.30 – 13.30 London International Cruise Terminal.

14.00 – 14.15 Tilbury Fort: scrolls depart for Coalhouse Fort.

16.15 Scrolls depart from Coalhouse Fort

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
Please read the Disclaimer covering the walks HERE

Special thanks go to the Tilbury Riverside Project , their staff and partners for the planning and facilitation of today’s walk.

The Tilbury Riverside Project worked with the following people and organisations for Silk River:

  • Port of London Authority
  • London International Cruise Terminal
  • Tilbury Fort – English Heritage
  • Tilbury Hub

In 1909 Tilbury became part of the newly established Port of London Authority with extensive facilities for handling the importation of paper, cars, grain and other bulk cargoes. Tilbury Fort was completed in 1682 as a vital defense against the river trade route and is identical to the later built Fort William, Kolkata.

Tilbury Riverside Project was started in 1992 by a Tilbury man named Peter Hewitt who wanted to help create civic pride for Tilbury. The past twenty years has seen the project grow into a well known and respected charity.

The Tilbury Riverside Project are involved in the Silk River project as it has connections that are important to the people of Tilbury. With the Port of Tilbury and the Bata factory there are many of the community that would be interested in the Silk River and the ‘twinning’ of the towns.

We hope that the project will educate people both here in the UK and India about each other and their cultures. By working together and learning about different ways of life will bring some tolerance and understanding.

Walkers will have the opportunity to experience the Gravesend/Tilbury Ferry which links Tilbury with Kent and is the first passenger crossing upstream from the Thames Estuary.


Photos from the Tilbury Silk River walk 22nd Sept by Mike Johnston.