Dartford is a fantastic base for exploring the south-east and is just eighteen miles from Central London. To its north, across the Thames estuary, is Thurrock in Essex, which can be reached via the Dartford Crossing. The town centre lies in a valley through which the River Darent flows. It is principally a commuter town for Greater London, but has a long history of religious, industrial and cultural importance. It is also an important rail hub. There are shops, pubs and restaurants in the town centre and the Orchard Theatre provides a range of entertainment. The local museum in Market Street has some excellent displays and Central Park is a great place for a picnic! For walkers, the Darent Valley Path is a scenic 19-mile route which runs towards Sevenoaks. Bluewater Shopping Centre is just 5 miles east of Dartford and has 330 stores, 50 restaurants, a Showcase Cinema De Lux, Pirate Cove Adventure Park with crazy golf and a Young Driver Centre. The world-famous Brand’s Hatch Racing Circuit is only 8 miles from Dartford.