Photo: Dartford & Crayford Navigation by Neil Arlidge
Dartford and Crayford Creek
The Creek is tidal throughout and has sufficient depth for navigation only at mid to high tide. The Creek is entered from the Thames by passing under the Dartford Creek Tidal Flood Barrier. About a mile upstream is the confluence of the rivers Darent and Cray.
River Darent: A (now derelict) lock on the River Darent Branch formerly gave access to Welcome Mill near Dartford Station and to Dartford Wharfage. The maximum size of boat is constrained in height by 'University Way Bridge'. Boats with high headroom requirements should pass the bridge at the middle of a rising tide then wait until there is sufficient depth to proceed upstream to the Lock. There is a winding hole below the lock, much constrained by reeds at anything other than a high tide.
The maximum size of boat passing through the lock is constrained to
beam: 23' (7 metres)
At high springs boats can pass over the lock top cill to a (now fixed) pedestrian lift bridge 400m upstream (no winding). Immediately upstream of the lock there is, at time of writing, a scoured deep pool sufficient for one narrow boat to moor afloat at low tide (but there is no guarantee it will remain).
Below the confluence of Dartford & Crayford Branches
Port of London Authority
London River House,
Royal Pier Road, Gravesend.
Kent DA12 2BG
Tel. +44 (0) 1474 562200
Port of London Authority website
Above the confluence there is no navigation authority (as the former Commissioners of the Dartford and Crayford Navigation wound up in the 1970s) but the rivers are maintained by the Environment Agency.
Environment Agency website