Tidal Thames: Gravesend to Hole Haven

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GravesendtoHoleHaven.jpeg

At Gravesend, crossing the river is perhaps a 5 minute paddle. By Hole Haven (15K further downstream) the crossing has become perhaps 30 minutes, and and by Southend (10K further still) more like 1 hour. This is still "the river" rather than "the Estuary", but faced with these distances, and large commercial vessels steaming past at 20 knots, it's no longer a simple hop from one bank to the other !


As elsewhere on the Thames, MUD is everywhere - so there are few places to stop other than near HW. Riverbank access by road also gets harder and harder, as much of the water's edge is either given over to the Oil Industry (an entire 10K stretch on the North bank approaching Canvey Island) or is so marshy and flood-prone that there's basically nothing there ! Not even a road !

So if you're bent on paddling beyond here, you'd better be happy to go the distance.

46k map Cliffe Fort
River South, HW only, touch down possibility. If you're going East of here, you need to be deciding which bank to follow !
55k map Hole Haven Slipway
River North, 24hr Slipway, with approach road and parking just over the sea wall ! Even a pub ! A rarity in an otherwise impregnable area. Whether you'd want to linger here is another matter...
61k map Allhallows YC Slipway
River South, Slipway belonging to Allhallows Yacht Club,access unknown.

to be continued...