Should the Thames Path start in Kent?

The Thames Path national trail starts at the Thames Barrier but there is now a viable and mainly riverside path which starts downstream at Erith.

However, Chris Smith is suggesting pushing further east into Kent and through Gravesend. His route, called Kentish Thames Walk, would start next the Isle of Grain where the lonely London Stone can be seen near the riverbank.

The significance of the London Stone is that it is the end of the old Corporation of London river jurisdiction which started here and ended at Staines where there is another London Stone.

If a bridge can be installed over the River Darent there could be an almost continuous path which avoids Dartford.

Where should the Thames Path start?

The London Stone is a reasonable suggestion since going further east would be very difficult. The wide confluence with the Medway is a barrier.

Looking across the Thames from the Isle of Grain there is Leigh-on-Sea so it can be claimed that here the river is becoming estuary.

Or the Thames Path start could be Gravesend which is the last town and ancient ferry crossing on the river. It also has good transport links.

Chris describes the river near Dartford as “the wild, wide, working Thames, frightening in its potential power” and quite unlike Gloucestershire.

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