The River Darent is a tributary of the Thames. It takes the water of the River Cray (the tidal portion of the Darent) near Crayford. The word Darent means ‘clear water’. The river runs on a bed of chalk so this is not surprising. The purity of the water was a factor for the development of pharmaceuticals and paper within in the area.

The river is fed by the springs from the greensand hills in Westerham and below Limpsfield Chart. It flows 21 miles east then north by Otford, Shoreham, Lullingstone, Eynsford, Farningham, Horton Kirby, South Darenth, Sutton-at-Hone, Darenth and finally to Dartford where it flows a final 2 miles until it flows into the Thames.

To the north of Dartford the Darent is a tidal stretch and just before it reaches the Thames it also receives the water of the River Cray at Crayford Marshes where the river forms the boundary between London and Kent.

There is a 19 mile footpath which follows the Darent from Greensand Hills near Sevenoaks which is named The Darent Valley Path. Currently the route gets no work from councils although parts of it are used by walkers, joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and hikers. The lack of attention is being addressed around the tidal section by a group called ‘Friends of Dartford and Crayford Creeks’. A trust has now been formed to promote regeneration and recognition to the protection of this public amenity.

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