Gravesend is located in north west Kent on the south bank of the Thames and opposite the Tilbury in Essex.
It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Gravesham and, because of its geographical position, has played an important role in the history and communications of this part of England. Gravesend still retains a strong commercial link with the River Thames. The towns close proximity to the Eurostar railway station at Ebbsfleet, and the fact that it lies within the Thames Gateway, have added to its importance.
Today, Gravesend is a busy commercial town and serves the surrounding area as a shopping centre. It has a market hall that is open six days a week along with a newly established farmer's market. Some of the town's residents are still employed on the river as tugboat crews, and the town is the headquarters of the Port of London Authority, supplying both river and sea pilots with vital shipping information.
The main roads through Gravesend are the west-east A226 from Dartmouth and beyond to Rochester, and the A227 to Tonbridge. The A2 passes two miles (3km) south of Gravesend town centre.