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Thames & Medway Canal

Thames & Medway Canal

Early in 2023 the Thames & Medway Canal Association applied for a grant from the Kent Community Foundation to establish a new headquarters. TMCA was very fortunate in being successful and has tucked its new cabin in the corner of the ‘green’ at Mark Lane. This is quite unobtrusive but the grass in front has taken a bit of a battering. It provides an ideal focal point to work from and has enough room for meetings and small social gatherings. The interior is clean and bright with a small worktop and TMCA has fitted its history information boards and a small library to provide an interesting and welcoming base for visitors.

Network Rail is in the process of installing the long-awaited pedestrian bridge at Shorne Mead Crossing, allowing access to the central section of canal and towpath, and giving walkers more varied routes. The Lower Thames Crossing project has been delayed and is now planned to start in 2026. The Albion development at the Canal Basin is on hold. Sustrans, the group responsible for the countrywide cycle network, is to restore the towpath surface in the spring of 2024 which will involve a temporary closure. In the summer National Grid is to bore a tunnel under the Thames to lay a new high-voltage connection between Essex and Kent which will involve a tunnel boring machine, heavy plant and equipment being taken along the towpath. All things considered, it seems that the tranquil towpath from Gravesend to Higham will be disrupted for quite some time.

Circular walks have been sent out to members, the first starting from Gravesend at the Mark Lane end of the Canal (DA12 2QA) taking in the swing-bridge, the canal, Shornemead crossing, Shornemead Fort, the Thames foreshore and the Ship & Lobster public house. 

April 2024

Paddlers on the Thames & Medway at Mark Lane


Grey Owl on the Thames & Medway


Navigation Authority


Thames & Medway Canal Association