|Date:||Wednesday, 1 August 2018|
|Cost:||£20.80 (U3A members over 60) £21.30 (U3A members under 60) U3A AND English Heritage members with card £16.30. Non U3A members add £2.50|
|Pick up points:||Crab and Winkle, Werrington at 7.40, Bretton Centre at 7.50, Thorpe Meadows at 8.00. Return to Peterborough about 19.30.|
|Booking deadline:||30 June 2018|
This visit takes us to two places on or near the River Thames. Tilbury Fort is at the beginning of the Thames estuary and has defended London’s seaward approach from Tudor times to the Second World War. Henry VIII built the first permanent fort here and Elizabeth I delivered her Armada speech near Tilbury in 1588. Charles II ordered his chief engineer, Sir Bernard de Gomme, to build the great artillery fort we see today with work beginning in 1670. It is the best example of 17th century bastioned fortress in England with its complete circuit of moats and outworks still substantially standing. Highland prisoners were held here after the Jacobite rising of 1745. Much later the fort’s guns helped shoot down a raiding Zeppelin in 1916.
To enter the fort, you will pass through the magnificent Watergate and you can also see the historic Landport Gate.
For impressive views of the Thames and the historic town of Gravesend, be sure to step onto the fort ramparts.
Southend is much further down the Thames than Tilbury. It has the longest pleasure pier in the world at 1.34 miles. It is so long, you can take a train to near the end! At the end of the pier you will get a different view of the Thames to the one you got in Tilbury and if it is not misty, you will be able to see Kent again! The end of the pier houses a pavilion and a cafe plus a RNLI lifeboat station. At the shore end of the pier underneath the train station is the Southend on Sea Pier Museum tracing the history of the pier. You have 3 choices: 1. Walk both ways (£2.00, £1.00 concessions) 2. Walk one way, ride the train the other (£4.50, £2.25 concessions) 3. Ride the train both ways (£5.00, £2.50 concessions). Trains depart every half hour – on the hour and half from the shore and on the quarter to and past from the pier head.
As well as the pier, Southend has a great sea front with all the usual seaside amenities, restaurants and bars.