Tips for Grays mini-bus and coach tourism

Useful tips for Grays bus groups with ‘what to see’ and ‘what to do’ items and  ‘bus- friendly’ or must see tourist sites in Grays. Check our list of attractions before planning your bus tour with a stop or departure in Grays. Let us know if your favourite attraction or ‘bus-stop’ is not there and you think we should add it to our list of Grays highlights.

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Tours in Thurrock region

Thurrock is an area with a rich history; there are many cultural locations to visit. The county has over 240 protected historic buildings and 13 historical monuments. Besides the fact that Thurrock is interesting because of its history, the region is also known for its large amount of natural sites. The rich buffer zone mentioned above and the area around the Thames has many protected nature parks. There is also a very rich wildlife in this area and certainly worth a visit. Your tour with private transport in a rented bus or minibus with driver around Thurrok can start at one of the sites that should be visited and are mentioned below. 

Chafford Gorge.

Chafford Gorge. credit: Glyn Baker CC BY-SA 2.0
A Chalk Pit disused since the 1970’s. It was taken on by Essex Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve during 2005

Travel by plane

In Thurrock, it does not offer much air transport, but Thurrock is easily accessible via London City Airport (LCY), there are direct train connections from the airport to Thurrock. Virtually all major airlines land at this airport, such as KLM, British Airways and Lufthansa.

ATHENA LONDON CITY AIRPORT

ATHENA LONDON CITY AIRPORT credit: MANHATTAN RESEARCH INC (MANHATTAN RESEARCH INC) CC BY 2.0

Travel by road

The road network of Thurrock is very good. From the south via the M25 Thurrock can be reached by using the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. The bridge is one of the main highways of England named the M25. Via the M25, it is possible to travel in and out of Thurrock. All major cities in Thurrock can be reached by using the A13. Thanks to this great road system it’s very easy to get around in Thurrock.

Business Travel and Tourism

For organizing a corporate event there is only one location, this location is The Thurrock Hotel. This hotel is located next to the M25 near Thurrock it is a 3 star hotel that not only provided accommodation but also offers nine rooms where you can organise events. The hotel offers different types of rooms, they have a theatre where 300 guests can sit, and the hotel has large open rooms where 500 people can sit. It is also possible to organize event in the well maintained garden of the hotel.

orsett to the palace by helicopter

orsett to the palace by helicopter credit: badgreeb PHOTOS CC BY-SA 2.0

Golf Travel and Tourism

In the Thurrock area there are a dozen of golf courses available. There is much difference between these courses. Some are for the more advanced golfers but there are some where beginners can play to improve their skills. Belhus Park Golf Club is a beautiful golf course located in Belhus Park in South Ockedon. The golf club is situated in a conservation area and therefore has great views. The golf club has its own restaurant where you can eat good food for a reasonable price. A round of golf will cost you only 16 euro’s.

Tilbury Fort

Tilbury Fort is an important historical location Thurrock. This fort was built in 1539. The reason for the construction of the fort was to protect London from attacks from the North Sea during the Spanish Armada and the Anglo-Dutch Wars. The fort provides a clear example of a classic star-shaped fort that was built in that period in many locations. Today the fort is open for public and offers the possibility to learn a lot about the history of England.

Tilbury Fort - North Moat

Tilbury Fort - North Moat credit: Randolph Croft CC BY 2.0

Purfleet

Purfleet is a historic town located on the Thames in the west of Thurrock. The place is worth for its interesting past. During the 18th century, Purfleet was used as a storage location for the gunpowder of England. The gunpowder was protected by a large group of soldiers, these soldiers stayed in this town and their old barracks are still there open to visit. Also, this city became known the famous book Dracula written by Bram Stroker's, in the book Purfleet was used as residence of Dracula.

View of The Backstage Centre from the walled garden, Purfleet

View of The Backstage Centre from the walled garden, Purfleet credit: Pauline Tambling Public Domain

Langdon Hills Country Park

Langdon Hills Country Park is a nature reserve located on the northern boundary of Thurrock. The area offers the opportunity to experience the nature of England up close. The area has many hiking trails where you can walk around for hours. It is also possible to discover the area by Bike or horse. The area consists of new and very old forests but also from large open grass fields with beautiful views. Every season there is something special is to see. For example, in the summer the lawns filled with colourful flowers that attract many different species of butterflies. During the autumn forest areas are a delight to the eye because of the beautiful autumn colours. It is the area known for its wide variety of birds and rare butterflies. The area is definitely worth a visit for those who is looking for peace of nature. It is also possible to book a guide to walk with; the guide gives further information about the park.

Transportation to and from the airport

Thurrock itself does not have a large airport, but London City Airport (LCY) is just 30km west of Grays. There are some companies that offer airport transportation. Airports pickup London: This taxi company provides airport transportation with three types of vehicles. They have 3 person taxis, 5 person minibuses and 8 person buses. The price for a ride to Grays differences between 60 and 90 euros. If more vehicles are booked these extra vehicles will only be half price. A second company is offering this kind of transport is Four Seasons cars. This company also offers private transport on vehicles is from 5 to 8 people. Reservation can be made through their website. Advance Airport transfer cars also offers the same vehicles as the other two. This company is located in the center of Grays and is easy to reach.  You can reserve or request coach or minibus in the city of Grays, where you can choose from multiple specialized companies, and you can request a size or specific type of bus.

On the QE2. . . . .South Stifford

On the QE2. . . . .South Stifford credit: Les Chatfield CC BY 2.0

City tours in Grays

Grays has no companies offering organized tours. However, you can rent a bus in Grays for tours in the city or in Thurrock Region. The sites that shouldn’t be forgotten are: the Coalhouse Fort, Thurrock Museum, Walton Hall Museum and Tilbury Fort. These sites are all easily accessible for minibus, coach or bus. The locations are definitely known by local drivers and can take you from door to door.

St Clement's Church, West Thurrock

St Clement's Church, West Thurrock credit: PJDelaney Public Domain

Walking tour of the city

Also walking through Grays is possible. It should be taken into account that the distance between the different sites is quite big here. So if you like walking is something you enjoy, Grays is great for a hike. If you want you can spend hours walking the streets and all the different churches and other sightseeing locations.

Nightlife

The nightlife of Grays has a lot to offer. If you come to have a party holiday this is not the most interesting location. But you're here for pleasant social evenings this is certainly possible. Grays has many small bars and cafes where you can sit for hours. A number of well-known bars in Grays are: Unit 4 Wine Bar, Old Orleans and The Oak. All these bars can be found in the centre are all within walking distance. So you do not have to choose a bar but you can change during the evening by visiting bar after bar and have new experiences. 

The State Cinema, Grays

The State Cinema, Grays credit: PJDelaney Public Domain

What to see during your tour in Grays with a hired minibus

Purfleet Heritage Centre

Formerly the location where the gunpowder was stored England is now a museum that gives you an idea about how Purfleet used to be in times of war. The centre is a place where they not only show the life of men in the war, but there is a section dedicated to the role of women during wars. It is possible to various barracks and storage places to enter. It is possible to rent a guide that will tell you all about the different locations in English. Purfleet is a very interesting site that can be visited in Grays and should certainly not be missed. The center is located just outside Grays in Purfleet the Rapier close. The center also provides a beautiful view over the Thames.

Custom House, Purfleet Quay, King's Lynn

Custom House, Purfleet Quay, King's Lynn credit: Elliott Brown CC BY 2.0

Thurrock Museum

This museum located in the center of Grays on Orsett Road. This museum has more than 1,500 pieces that are about the rich history of Thurrock. The museum goes back more than 250,000 years back in time and give you a beautiful picture of how this area has become as it is today. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday and for a small fee you can walk around for hours.

Lakeside shopping centre

For people who love shopping Grays definitely has a lot to offer. Lakeside Shopping Centre is located in the centre of Grays Thurrock way to the west and is very easy to reach. The mall has over 250 shops from clothing to gadgets. Everyone will find something that interests him or her. The lakeside shopping centre is very modern and almost all brands have a store in this centre. In addition to all the shops, the centre also has plenty of restaurants and bars where you can sit comfortably. There is also a cinema in the building where you can watch the latest movies. Tired after a long day of shopping, let you be pampered in the spa Dove.

Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock

Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock credit: Glyn Baker CC BY-ND 2.0

Grays beach

Grays Beach is the ideal location for a family outing. The beach not only gives a wonderful view over the River Thames, but also has a large play area for children. The area located in the south of Grays on the River Thames. During the summer months a lot of activities are organized for children. This gives the opportunity for the adult to be able to relax on the beach and the children have fun.

Spice of India Restaurant

For fine dining Grays is also the ideal location. There are many restaurants with many different cuisines so everyone can find something they like. A restaurant which specializes in Indian food is the Spice of India Restaurant. This restaurant is modern and hip décor and provides a great atmosphere for a nice dinner. Spice of India is also very affordable while the quality of the food is very good. Also the restaurant has theme nights where the culture of India is shown. This way it is not only good food but it will be an interesting experience as well. The restaurant can be found at Orsett road in Grays.

Grange County Water Park

Grange Waters Country Park is really something for water sports enthusiasts. This area of 70 hectares in which 25 hectares is covered with lakes and it offers the possibility to practice water sports. You can sail here, nice and quiet at motor boating and water skiing. Are you not fond of water you can learn climbing and archery. This is the ideal location for young and old to have a nice day. Besides all the sports there is also the Grange Water education centre, here they show how Thurrock encourage the conservation and environmentally friendly way of life. The park is located just north of Grays and is easily accessible via the A13. The park is free only for the rental of the boats and the special activities is a fee

A panoramic view of Bluewater Shopping Centre at dusk

A panoramic view of Bluewater Shopping Centre at dusk credit: Diliff CC BY-SA 3.0

More about Grays

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