Due to its geographical position on the south bank of the Thames opposite Tilbury in Essex, the town of Gravesend has always had a strategic role in communications. Following the opening of the nearby Ebbsfleet international railway station, you can now catch a Eurostar train and be in Paris in just over two hours and in Brussels in just over one and a half hours.
Gravesend Borough Market, one of the earliest markets in England and dating from 1268, can be found through an archway under the portico of Gravesend Old Town Hall. It was recently awarded a lottery grant worth £1.8 million by government ministers in order to revamp the site for shoppers. Plans include reintroducing high level lighting and introducing fixed stall structures.
Those in search of locally produced Kent food, meanwhile, should visit Gravesend Farmers’ Market, which takes place on the second Friday of the month 10am to 2pm. Based near Windmill Street and New Road junction, the farmer’s market offers a range of local produce straight from Kent fields and orchards that varies with the seasons.
Other nearby farmers markets take place at Market Square in Vigo on the third Saturday of each month from 10am to 1pm, and at Meopham Fitness and Tennis Club on the first Sunday of the month from 9am to 12:30pm.
Gravesend also acts as a magnet for shoppers visiting the impressive Bluewater Shopping Centre, which attracts over 28 million visitors a year, while culture buffs are attracted by Gad’s Hill Place, where Victorian author Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Also of importance is the town’s Cold War Bunker where a domestic fallout room, radiation monitoring post and public information film evoke the fear felt during the 1950s.