Port of Harwich

About Harwich, Guide and Tourist Attractions
(Harwich, Essex, England, UK)

Harwich is a busy coastal port located on an estuary of the rivers Orwell and Stour in Essex. It's a port with historic significance, having provided a sheltered spot for ships to anchor for centuries.

The Old Town is a conservation area, with a number of sites of interest and buildings that are highly regarded in terms of architectural significance.

What to Do in Harwich

Harwich's history is rich and there are many sites of interest, mostly concentrated in Old Harwich. One of its claims to fame is that the Mayflower, which transported the Pilgrim Fathers to America, was built here.
At the Ha'penny Pier Visitor Centre, you will find tourist information on Harwich and the area. There is a pier ticket office here, from the Victorian period, with an exhibition of local history, and the pier itself has a Mayflower exhibition.

The Blue Flag beach is at Dovercourt, just to the south, and there are numerous small villages to explore.

Tourist Attractions

The town of Harwich has medieval origins, as you'll see in its very systematic plan of streets that has its principal routes connected by numerous small alleyways. However, many of the buildings of this period are hidden behind 18th century façades. Notable structures from later periods include the parish church of St Nicholas, built in the Gothic style in 1821, and the Guild Hall, built in 1769, which is the only Grade I listed building here.

Other attractions of note include a fort and several museums. The Redoubt is an impressive, circular fort, measuring 180 feet in diameter. It was built in 1808 to defend the port against an anticipated Napoleonic invasion, and it is the only historic stronghold here that is open to the public. At one time, 300 troops were housed in the 18 casements below the battlements. Battle re-enactments are held here during the summer.
The Maritime Museum of Harwich is housed in a disused lighthouse (built in 1818) and has excellent nautical displays. From the lighthouse, there are splendid views of the harbour and its busy shipping activity. In another disused lighthouse is the National Wireless and Television Museum, which is open on weekends in the afternoons, beginning in April, and then daily from May through September. The Harwich Lifeboat Museum is housed in a lifeboat-house built in 1876 in the Victorian style. It features an exhibit on the history of local lifeboats.

Harwich Port

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