Tilbury is pretty much a god-forsaken dump, but it does have a couple of attractions that might interest the more adventurous traveller.
Foremost is the Tilbury fort. It has traditionally been the fort that defended London's Eastern approaches. Despite being built in the 16th century by Cahrles II and being in constant use through to the end of World War II, it has seen remarkably little action. It seems it's most deadly night occured when two people died following an argument over an Essex-Kent cricket match. That must have been one very poor LBW decision.
The network of moats surrounding the fort are still intact, and despite some additions in the 18th and 19th centuries it remains the finest example you can find in the UK of 16th century fortifications. Very well constructed exhibitions too.
Elsewhere in the area you might like to check out the Church used for the funeral of Gareth in the film 'Four wedddings and a funeral' - st Clement's in West Thurrock. The massive lakeside retail shopping area is also closeby.
Tilbury is perhaps best known, however, for it's port and cruise terminal - it used to be the departure point for countless steamers heading off all over the empire. It's much reduced now and has lost it's rail link as well. Pity.
Sandwiched between the power station that ruins most photographs and the cruise ship docks is Tilbury Fort. Sadly on the day we went the gun you can fire was out of commission. Read on -
The artillery fort at Tilbury on the Thames estuary protected London's seaward approach from the 16th century through to World War II. Henry VIII built the first fort here, and Queen Elizabeth famously rallied her army nearby to face the threat of the Armada. The present fort was begun in 1672 under Charles II: it is much the best example of its type in England , with its complete circuit of moats and bastioned outworks still substantially surviving. The fort mounted powerful artillery to command the river, as well as landward defences. Later, two magazines were constructed to store vast quantities of gun-powder. In one of these a new exhibition traces the role of the fort in the defence of London . Perhaps because of its strength, Tilbury Fort has never been involved in the kind of action for which it was designed. The worst bloodshed within the fort occurred in 1776, when a fight following a Kent-Essex cricket match left a cricketer and the fort's sergeant dead.
Visitors can now enter one of Tilbury's 19th-century magazines through dark and atmospheric passages in the north east bastion. For those with an interest in military history there are new displays of guns and gunpowder barrels, and information on advances in military engineering.
The recently revised audio tour includes Elizabeth I's Armada speech, and a description of life at the fort by Nathan Makepiece, the fort's Master Gunner. 'Sharpe', the TV historical drama set during the Napoleonic Wars, was filmed here.
Pub that really is at the end of the world or at least civilisation. Good selection of beers and in summer the garden is good to sit in and have a beer or two.
On our visit we had a cabaret act of two Essex girls trading insults and throwing drinks at each other. Priceless.
Favorite Dish: Average pub grub.