Sunday, May 27, 2012

East Tilbury, Coalhouse Fort and Bata Factory walk

Off message but went on marvellous walk today along the Thames Estuary. Weather was hot and sunny but there was also a perfect breeze. This is not an entirely "pretty" country walk. There is a constant contrast between the industrial heritage and natural marsh land beauty. It is also very quiet and isolated despite being opposite to Gravesend and so close to London.

Stopped off for a visit and a guided tour of the 19th Century Coalhouse Fort.  One of the so called "Palmerston Follies" built to defend the UK against the French but never fired a shot in anger until being used by anti-aircraft batteries during the first and second world war.

Towards the end of the walk was the abandoned British Bata Shoe Company striking modernist building which was the basis of a model town built in the 1930's by Czech entrepreneur, Tomas Bata.

Hat tip to Essexwalks.com for the walk itself. This is a fantastic free site for downloading walks and maps. This walk was overgrown in parts due to the recent rain, sunshine and selfish farmers and in the "growing season" for fear of red and scratched legs I would not suggest shorts and open walking sandals (which of course I was wearing today).
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