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This National Walking Month discover an epic Estuary trail tracing an adventurous tale

27th May 2021

If you love walking, as I do, you may have heard it’s National Walking Month and you may already be aware of the mental and physical benefits even a small amount of physical activity can have. Combine it with fresh air and you’ve got a fabulous recipe. Now how about adding in some art and literature?

107-mile Thames Estuary Trail

The 107-mile signposted Thames Estuary Trail will guide you round the along the North Kent and South Essex coast, giving you access to magnificent views of the Estuary’s green spaces.

The route was inspired by the adventures of author Tom King in his book Thames ‘Estuary Trail: A Walk round the End of the World.’ Much has changed since the book was first published 20 years ago – including an increase in good resting places which the author is keen to investigate fully, as he mentions in the video below, and I suggest you do too.

The book will be republished with new chapters on 30 May 2021 as part of the Estuary 2021 arts festival, which is a marvellous 23-day celebration of art, literature, music, film and people happening 22 May to 13 June 2021 across the Thames Estuary.

To accompany the book’s new edition, renowned artist and cartographer, Adam Dant has created a map that beautifully illustrates the great stories, histories, pubs and  landmarks to be found on the epic walk around the Thames Estuary coastline from Shoeburyness to Margate.

Artist Adam Dante's illustration of the Thames Estuary Trail as walked and written about by Tom King.

Artist Adam Dante’s illustration of the Thames Estuary Trail as described in Tom King’s book. Find out more about the illustrated map and book at

Europe’s biggest arts festival?

Estuary 2021 is bold, ambitious, and contemporary programme jointly led by by two brilliant locally-based arts groups Metal (South Essex) and Cement Fields (North Kent).

If Estuary 2021 is not the biggest arts festival in Europe this year, it is certainly a contender.

There are countless exhibits and events are taking place along the 107-mile Thames Estuary Trail within the Estuary landscape, historic sites and coastal towns. The Estuary is the gallery! You can browse the programme and find out more at / @estuaryfestival (on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram)

The Thames Estuary – A foodie’s paradise

Of course you may want to rest on your walk. The good news is that many local businesses, cafes and pubs along the Estuary are supporting the Estuary 2021 festival and hosting some of the events and exhibits. This is a real community effort. So why not stop for a pint and a painting, or flat white and a film, and support the lovely businesses and venues (safely) along the route?

Keep enjoying the Estuary

I am very proud that the Thames Estuary Growth Board is an Estuary 2021 partner, a co-funder of the 107-mile Thames Estuary Trail and illustrated map, and supporter of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor. We recognise the valuable role that culture, and creativity play in creating happy and successful places, and how as a sector, this can inspire economic growth.

I hope you will keep enjoying the Estuary long after Walking Month and after Estuary 2021. It’s magnificent for your mental and physical health, I hope it lifts your spirits too.


Film produced by Estuary 2021.