Stage 01: Gravesend to Cooling — Saxon Shore Way
Includes ferry crossings
Check ferry timetable.
Includes a segment that goes up or down a series of steps
You may need to carry your bike.
Dan Hobson planned a hike.
January 24, 2020
Taking you to a 12th-century castle, a 16th-century fort, and a nature reserve that is a haven for birdlife, this first stage is a wonderful introduction to the Saxon Shore Way.To make the itinerary work, this stage is short at 9.1 miles (14.6 km). With almost no ascent or descent, it is a leisurely start.If you fancy an extension, consider catching a ferry from Gravesend Pier across the Thames to Tilbury Fort, which was built in the 16th century to protect London from seaward attackers.From the pier, follow the south bank of the Thames until Cliffe Fort, which was built in the 1860s. Here, you head inland to explore RSPB Cliffe Pools Nature Reserve, a great place for spotting birds.The trail continues through the village of Cliffe and cuts through farmland to Cooling, where this stage finishes.On the outskirts of the village you find Cooling Castle, which was built in the 1380s to guard against French raids.There is not much in Cooling. However, the village pub has rooms available and serves food. For ferry timetables and prices, visit: thurrock.gov.uk/ferry-services/tilbury-to-gravesend-ferry-service.
February 3, 2020