The Final Frontier – The Thames at Gravesend

 For those of you interested in another walk, there’s an exploration of the River Brent, starting at Brentford and walking to East Finchley. More here>

The London Spiral is a walk around the whole of London. The final stage of this epic circumnavigation began at Longfield (trains from London Victoria station), walking across chalky farmland into the riverside town of Gravesend.

This stage brings to a conclusion the whole walk conceived over four years ago by Tim Ingram-Smith, Charlie Fox and Gail Astbury, and now becoming a recognised trail. If you’re looking for your next challenge, this could be it.

My purpose in the walk is to get to know London, encapsulating it, cutting tangentially across its arterial road and rail ways, exploring the well known and local. In that I’ve succeeded. I’ve not just walked it once, but due to reconnaissance, I’ve walked or cycled it at least once more; that turns 250 miles or so into 500 miles, and a song by the Proclaimers.

This last stage concludes with a celebration of achievement for all those who’ve taken part, and a chance to look back on all the stages of the London Spiral.

Meadow at Longfield, Kent

Harvesting lambs lettuce, Southfleet Kent

Hook Green farm house

Southfleet village, Kent

By Broadditch Pond, Southfleet, click for larger size

Wheat field by New Barn Lane

Polytunnels growing blackberry plants, Kent

Dogrose bushes above A2 in Kent

Hogs Lane field with Watling Street (A2 motorway) beyond the green hedge

Pocahontas statue, who came to this town 400 years ago. Now Gravesend has many newcomers from all across the world (Map of population across London)

Statue commemorating Mahinder Singh Pujji who came to the UK and Gravesend from India to participate in the second world war; lighthouse boat behind.

View from the north bank back across to Gravesend, whose buildings are dwarfed by the scale of the supertankers carrying freight up the Thames.

Thanks to RIVA restaurant for hosting our arrival celebration.

Meeting place: Longfield station (trains from Victoria)
Date & time: Sunday July 14th 2019, 1 pm
Distance: the walk is approximately 6 miles, across open farm land, then through the suburbs of Gravesend
End point:
At Gravesend Pier, in sight of the ferry across the Thames, and the continuation of the spiral, then celebration at Riva. Trains to Victoria
: free
Contact: email:   mobile: 077932 00932

Pictures by Jane:

Pictures by Colin:

3 thoughts on “The Final Frontier – The Thames at Gravesend

  1. greatreformact June 22, 2019 / 4:28 pm

    It’s in the diary. Greatly looking forward to it.

    Very best,

    Jane and Trevor

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. artificialconstructs June 8, 2020 / 11:01 am

    Tim, are you going to publish this walk? Looks like something my friends and I would be interested in once we finish the LOOP


    • timingramsmith June 21, 2020 / 8:08 pm

      It’s a great walk and there was some mention of making it a metropolitan trail. The blog describes each stage but I guess you’d be looking for more detail?


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