Hugging the south bank of the River Thames, Gravesend is a historic market town in the English county of Kent. It once held a strategically important position in the maritime history of the region and was where Pocahontas died in 1617 after boarding a ship bound for Virginia.
Things to do in Gravesend
Gravesend is home to the oldest cast iron pier in the world, the Gravesend Town Pier, which was built in 1834 on the design of William Tierney Clark. Now Grade II listed, it has been recently restored and is home to a waterside restaurant where you can watch the world go by. Nearby is the Royal Terrace Pier, where Princess Alexandra of Denmark arrived to marry Edward, Prince of Wales in 1865.
On the grounds of St George's Church is a statue of Pocahontas, a Native American woman who was buried here in 1617. When the church was rebuilt in 1731, the exact location of her grave was lost. In response, this bronze statue was cast as an exact replica of the Pocahontas statue by William Ordway Partridge that stands in Jamestown, Virginia.
For elevated views across Gravesend and the River Thames, head to Windmill Hill, which is named after the windmills that once dominated the site. Today, it’s home to ornamental gardens, a bowling green and tennis courts, as well as a memorial dedicated to those who fought during the World Wars. Casual pub fare is served alfresco at the Windmill Tavern.
Getting around Gravesend
Gravesend is around 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of London and just over an hour from Heathrow Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular trains connect to the Gravesend railway station while ferries travel from Gravesend Pier to Tilbury Terminal. The centre of Gravesend can easily be explored on foot.