Attention all coach operators and group organisers
Why not add Thurrock to your future programme?
Thurrock, bounded to the south by 18 miles of the River Thames, is the gateway to London and the south east. Easily accessible, Thurrock is a good choice for a coach programme or group outing . Go on a spending spree at Lakeside, one of Europe's largest shopping complexes, and then explore the delightful picture postcard villages , heritage and countryside of the area.
We hope the ideas below entice you to add Thurrock to your programme - we look forward to welcoming you soon!
Lakeside Shopping Centre attracts some 24 million visitors per year. More than 300 shops line the indoor shopping mall and there are leisure facilities, a 7 screen cinema and 32 places to eat. An exiting new centre stage hosts events and promotions all year round. Group organisers can apply for an information pack and discount vouchers from Lakeside's management team. Also on offer are exclusive deals for groups over 20. These allow you to obtain discounts when combining a visit to Lakeside with one of the local tourist attractions. Coaches can of course park free at the centre.
Contact Lakeside on (01708) 869933.
The adjoining retail park, which has attracted big retail giants such as Ikea contains a cinema multiplex, numerous restaurants including the world-famous Harry Ramsdens fish and chip restaurant (which hosts opera and jazz nights), and a huge bingo hall.
Individuals and groups can participate in a variety of water and land based activities at Grangewaters and tuition and equipment hire is available. There are excellent facilities for people with learning and physical difficulties. Contact Grangewaters on (01708) 855228.
Around 70% of Thurrock is green belt countryside and there are many country parks and nature reserves. The country park ranger service welcomes pre-booked school parties and groups and in the summer the museum organises guided walking tours throughout the borough.
Contact Thurrock Museum on (01375) 382555.
Contact Langdon Hills Ranger Service on (01268) 542066.
Contact Belhus Woods Ranger Service on (01708) 865628.
Thurrock Museum is the best starting point for finding out more about Thurrock's fascinating history. The museum's staff have built up a splendid collection of local history and archaeology and staff offer slide presentations , talks and walks for interested parties.
Contact Thurrock Museum on (01708) 865628.
Purfleet Heritage Centre is run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Housed in a former gunpowder magazine overlooking the Thames, the centre is home to a wide variety of artefacts and memorabilia concerning the local history of the area, the Royal Navy, Army and RAF. Contact Purfleet Heritage and Military Centre on (01708) 523409, or visit www.purfleet-heritage.com.
Coalhouse Fort is probably the best casemate fortress in the South East and is set in a lovely riverside parkland setting. Pre-booked groups are welcomed at most times. Guided tours give you the opportunity to explore the magazine tunnels and there are regular military enactments. At Tilbury Fort, owned by English Heritage, visitors can see a fine example of 17th century military engineering , trace the development of its defences, view World War gun emplacements and even fire a real anti-aircraft gun. Throughout the summer the fort has special events to bring the fascinating history alive.
Contact Coalhouse Fort on (01375) 844203.
Contact Tilbury Fort on (01375) 858489.
Explore Thurrock's delightful villages such as Old Corringham with its cluster of timber-framed houses or Orsett's thatched cottages and village lock up. Horndon on the Hill is a favourite and its Woolmarket , an unusual timber-framed building dates from the 16th century. Thurrock's churches are also of interest architecturally and St Clement's in West Thurrock was featured in the film 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'.
Walton Hall Farm Museum , near Linford, is the pride and joy of Frank Wood. Over the years he has built up a collection of agricultural machinery, household bygones, militaria and toys all housed in 17th Century farm buildings. Great for all ages there are farm animals , a play area for children and demonstrations of rural and craft skills.
Contact Walton Hall Farm on (01375) 671874.
Arena Essex is the venue for motorsports in the area and from March to October you can watch banger racing, stock cars and hot rods in action. Company race cars in purpose built saloon stock cars can be easily organised. Contact Arena Essex on (01708) 867728.