Thames Estuary Trail

Saturday 22nd May 2021 to
Sunday 13th June 2021

Thames Estuary Trail

The Thames Estuary coastline as a continuous walk was originally described by writer and avid walker, Tom King in his book Thames Estuary Trail: A Walk round the End of the World (published in 2001 by Desert Island Press) which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  

A search for unexplored, un-walked landscapes around the world, brought Tom right back to his doorstep in Essex, where he realised one of the greatest unwritten walks was right under his nose.   The original book maps the walk around "the unfashionable end of the Thames" and along the way captures the people, the histories, the frustrations and the magnetic beauty of the place that once you are introduced to, keeps you coming back. 

Much has changed over 20 years and much has remained just as compelling and enigmatic as when Tom first captured it.

Estuary 2021 has partnered with Tom and the Thames Estuary Growth Board to publish a second edition.  This specially designed, limited edition comes with a new introduction and additional chapters that extend the walk from Sheppey (where the original book ends) to walk the final part of the estuary coastline to Margate. 

The book is the first and to date, the only one that describes the entire estuary coastline as an epic 107 mile walk.  It will be launched on Sunday 30 May from the iconic Southend Pier, with readings and an accompanied walk led by Tom.  

We know that there are many walkers who already enjoy the estuary landscapes. We would love to hear about your experiences, see your photographs and hear your ideas on how signage, access or facilities along the trail might be improved over the coming years.  Please share using #ThamesEstuaryTrail.

Pre-order your copy
To express interest in hearing when copies are available to pre-order, please email [email protected] with Tom King in the subject line.  Every pre-ordered copy will receive a FREE festival publication on a little known estuary architectural gem, Sutton Manor.

Join Tom on a walk
Full details of the length and terrain of each walk, including access details will follow. 

Sunday 30 May:  3pm - 6pm
Southend Pier: Book launch and walk 
Tickets will open for booking once restrictions on numbers are confirmed, through government guidelines

Thursday 3 June:  Time TBC
Old Leigh to Hadleigh Castle
Tickets will open for booking once restrictions on numbers are confirmed, through government guidelines

Sunday 6 June: Time TBC
In My Steps: Radical Walks - from Wat Tyler Country Park to Fobbing Marshes
In partnership with Essex Book Festival
Booking details to follow

Thursday 10 June:  Time TBC
Hampton Pier (Herne Bay) to Reculver
Tickets will open for booking once restrictions on numbers are confirmed, through government guidelines

Two of our artist commissions accompany the book directly and are also supported through Thames Estuary Growth Board.  Visual artist Maria Amidu has been walking the route with Tom and has designed a series of eight Watermarks, artworks to be placed in the landscape which physically mark the Thames Estuary Trail.  Supported by the Thames Estuary Growth Board, these plaques will be hosted by small businesses and visitor centres along the route.  

An accompanying illustrated map by Adam Dant will highlight all the reasons why setting out for a walk along the Thames Estuary promises great adventure.  Conceived as an affordable ‘multiple’ artwork, it depicts the landmarks, great beauty spots, historic pubs, friendly restaurants, welcoming cafes and a myriad of stories to be discovered, along the route.   Details on how to obtain your copy to follow. 


Saturday 22nd May 2021 to
Sunday 13th June 2021
11:00 - 17:00


South Essex & North Kent



This special limited edition publication will be available to order online - and will launch, with a walk from Southend Pier on Sunday 30 May - more details to follow

Previous Red Sails Over The Estuary

Estuary 2021 is made possible by

Principal Partners

Creative_Estuary_New_1   ace

Major Partners

ecc uok thurrock thames_gateway selep medway  thames estuary   ebbsfleet    mayor locatekent kentcc gravesham uoe bas_coun   south_coun Here for Culture

Commissioning Partners

book_fest community_fund heritage_fund creative_coast bexleysalford fpg lesnes Essex2020Logo The Old Waterworks Logo UCA1

Festival Partners

arts_human uni_south uni_oxford uni_glas send_pier pla opp_se henley c2c roh southeastern Thamesmead2 Peabody2 BowArts3

Festival Supporters

essex_diversity   raddison   uber SouthEssex1 UniversityCentre1