Harwich lies at the junction of two estuaries and the area forms one of the UK's major harbours (although most freight shipping actually operates from Felixstowe, a short distance over the water, rather than from Harwich itself). Ferries to northern Europe operate from adjacent Parkeston, while there are fast rail and road links to London.
The conurbation of Harwich, Dovercourt and Parkeston is served by 3 train stations. The town is on Mayflower Line (a branch of the Great Eastern mainline). Operated and services by Greater Anglia.
- 1 Harwich International, Parkeston Quay, Harwich, CO12 4SR. Largest of Harwich stations. Serves port and Parkstone area
- 2 Harwich Town, George St, Harwich, CO12 3NA (5 minutes walk of the Ha'penny pier.).
- 3 Dovercourt, Kingsway Harwich Essex CO12 3AG (just of Dovercourt High Street (the conurbation's main shopping area)).
There's an hourly local service between Harwich Town and Manningtree, calling at all stations, which used to run frequent to London, however as of May 2011 a few services runs to London Liverpool Street. Heading north to Ipswich and Norwich, change at Manningtree, cross via the underpass to Platform 3 and there's usually a connecting service waiting on the other side. From Harwich International there's also the DutchFlyer train which takes arriving and departing Stena Line passengers between the ferry terminal and London Liverpool Street. This train is usually more spacious (12 cars instead of 4) and is much faster than the local train. There is also a twice-daily service to Cambridge (via Ipswich) which connects with the Stena Line ferry service.
The main route into Harwich is the A120 trunk road, which connects with the A12 at Colchester and the M11 at Stansted Airport. If coming from the Midlands along the A14, change to the A12 at Ipswich and then to the A120 at Colchester, or alternatively exit the A14 at Ipswich at take the A137 local road towards Manningtree and then take the B-roads towards Harwich - this way is more direct but slower as it uses narrow countryside roads.
Regional bus services terminate at Harwich Town Bus Station, opposite Harwich Town train station. There's 2 principal routes - services to Colchester run every 30 minutes and take approx. 1hr20minutes and services to Clacton run hourly and take just under 1 hour.
The main purpose for travellers to pass Harwich is because of the International Ferry Terminal at Parkeston Quay.
- There are several services per day to Hook of Holland in The Netherlands, taking around 8 hours. The ferry port is easily accessible from the A120 road if travelling by car, and Harwich International train station is directly connected to the terminal building. The DutchFlyer mixed-mode ticket at GBP50.00 one way allows travel from any National Express East Anglia rail station (including London Liverpool Street, Cambridge and Norwich) to any Dutch Railways (NS) station including the ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.
- 1 Harbour Ferry, The Quay, Harwich CO12 3HH, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. April - October: 7 crossings per day between 9:30 and 16:30. Ferry for foot passengers & bicycles from Felixstowe and Shotley £4.50.
The town in on National Cycle Route 51 running through Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex, through the town from Felixstowe and then on to Colchester. The section between the town and Colchester forms part of the North Sea Cycle Route and EuroVelo 12.
Harwich is fairly small and all sights can be walked between. First runs 2 urban bus routes, the most useful of which is the 20/20A which runs every 30 minutes between Old Harwich and Parkeston Quay Ferry Terminal and also serves Parkeston Retail Park. Local trains bound for Manningtree also link the 3 rail stations (see Get Around/Rail) every hour. Driving a car around Harwich is easy - traffic is light and parking in the town centre is very cheap.
Local attractions include two lighthouses; the Electric Palace cinema, one of the oldest in Britain and now restored to its original state; the Redoubt fort, dating from the Napoleonic era; a lighthouse museum; a small beach; and of course ship-watching. Many attractions are open during the summer only.
- 1 Harwich Redoubt. 1 May-31 Aug: daily 10:00-17:00. A circular fort built in 1808 to defend the port, restored by volunteers from the Harwich Society.
- 2 Beacon Hill Battery, Barrack Ln, Harwich CO12 3NS. Late 19th/early 20th century coastal artillery fortification
- 3 Maritime Museum, The Low Lighthouse, Harbour Crescent, Harwich, CO12 3NL, e-mail: Info@harwich-society.co.uk. 1 May-31 Aug: F-Su 11:00-15:00. Adults £1; Children free.
- 4 Lifeboat Museum, 6 Wellington Rd, Harwich, CO12 3EJ. 1 May-31 Aug: 10:00-17:00.
- 5 Ha'penny Pier, The Quay, Harwich, CO12 3HH. Wooden, working pier
- 6 LV18 Lightvessel (Right at the end of the A120.), ☎ (mobile). Mar-end Oct: daily 11:00-16:00. The last surviving example of a manned light vessel in British waters Adults £2; Children £1.
- 7 High Lighthouse, West Street, Harwich, CO12 3DQ, ☎ , e-mail: Davidwhittle18@gmail.com.
- 8 Mayflower Project, The Railyard, George St, Harwich, CO12 3ND, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:00-17:00. Project to reconstruct a full sized seaworthy replica of the Mayflower vessel. Visitors Centre.
- Harwich Maritime Trail. Walking trail visiting many of the town's maritime sights
- 1 Dovercourt Roller Skate Rink, Lower Marine Parade, Dovercourt, CO12 3ST, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Roller skate rink, cafe & Ice Cream Parlour Adult £5.50; Children £4.50; plus skate hire.
- 2 Harbour Ferry River Cruises, The Quay, Harwich CO12 3HH, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 Harwich Sports Centre, Hall Lane, Dovercourt, CO12 3TB, ☎ . M-Th 09:45-22:30. F 09:45-20:30. Sa 10:00-13:00 & 16:00-19:00. Su 10:00-13:00 & 16:00-20:00.. Squash, tennis,racketball, badminton, table Tennis, short tennis.
Shopping in Harwich itself is extremely limited, although there are a number of art, antique and book stores. Nearby Dovercourt has a number of small supermarkets, mainstream high-street shops, banks and so on, while Parkeston has recently been given the 'kiss of life' and has a number of newly built stores to shop at, including Peacocks, B&M, Home Bargains and Argos. Harwich has several supermarkets including The Co-op (Dovercourt High Street, and Fronks Road), and
- 1 Morrissons (Supermarket), Iconfield Park, Garland Rd, Harwich, CO12 4EN, ☎ . M-Sa 07:00-22:00. Su 10:00-16:00. Also petrol station, cafe & Garden Centre (different hours from main store). ATMs.
- 2 Adsa (Supermarket), Main Road, Harwich, CO12 3HJ, ☎ . M-Sa 07:00-23:00. Su 10:00-16:00. Petrol station (different hours). ATMs
- 3 Lidl (Supermarket), Parkeston Rd, Harwich, CO12 4NX. M-Sa 08:00-22:00. Su 10:00-16:00.
The Pier Hotel has a well-regarded restaurant specialising in, although not limited to, seafood. The Pier Cafe, opposite the hotel on the pier itself, is especially popular during the summer. A number of pubs also serve food, notably the New Bell Inn (lunchtimes only).
- 1 Thai up at the Quay (Restaurant), 1 Eastgate St, Harwich, CO12 3EZ, ☎ . Tu-Sa 18:00-22:00.
- 2 The Crown Post, 57 Church St, Harwich, CO12 3DS, ☎ .
- 3 Joi Tandori (Restaurant & Take-away), 3 Kingsway, Harwich, CO12 3AB. Daily 18:00-22:30. Min spend for delivery £15.
- 4 The Waterfront, Lower Marine Parade, Dovercourt, CO12 3ST, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M 10:00-16:00 (food to 15:00). Tu-F 10:00-23:00 (food 11:00-15:00 & 16:00-21:00). Sa 10:00-23:00 (food 11:00-21:00). Su 11:00-19:00 (food 12;00-18:00).
Popular pubs include the traditional New Bell Inn and Hanover and the Stingray with large-screen TV.
- 1 The Alma Inn (Pub, Food & Accomodation), 25 King’s Head St, Harwich, CO12 3EE, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Food: daily 12:00-22:00.
- 2 Samuel Pepys (Wine Bar & Restaurant), 31 Church St, Harwich, CO12 3EA, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M-Sa 11:00-14:30 & 18:00-21:00. Su all day.
- 3 Treo (Bar & Café), 17 George St, Harwich, CO12 3ND, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4 The New Bell Inn, Outpart Eastward, Harwich, CO12 3EN, ☎ . M-Th 11:00-15:30 & 19:00-00:00. F Sa 11:00-00:00. Su 12:00-00:00.
- 5 The Hanover Inn, 65 Church St, Harwich, CO12 3DR, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 12:00-late.
- 6 The Captain Fryatt (Pub, Food & Guesthouse), 65 Garland Rd, Parkeston, CO12 4PA, ☎ . Free Wi-Fi.
There are a number of B&Bs and pubs with accommodation.
- 1 Pier Hotel, The Quay, Harwich, CO12 3HH, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. the only full-service hotel in Harwich
Dovercourt offers a wider range of accommodation.
Do not stay at the campsite in Harwich, better to drive to one of the camping grounds in the surrounding countryside.
- 2 The Good Life (Hotel, Bar & Restaurant), 162 High St, Harwich, CO12 3AT, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. AA 3*. Free parking. Biker friendly. Pets allowed (£6)
- 3 Premier Inn, Parkeston Rd, Dovercourt, CO12 4NX (For SatNavs use postcode CO12 4FE. Entrance at rear of Lidl car park), ☎ (premium). Free parking. Free Wi-Fi. from £53.30.
- 4 The Tower Hotel (Hotel, Restaurant & Bar), Main Rd, Dovercourt, CO12 3PJ, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. AA 3*.
- 5 The Bottle Kiln (Hotel, Bar & Restaurant), 60 Kingsway, Dovercourt, CO12 3JR, ☎ .
- 2 Post Office, 477 Main Road, Dovercourt, CO12 4HT. M-F 08:30-17:30. Sa 09:00-12:30.
- North to Felixstowe via harbour foot ferry
- South to Frinton-on-Sea and Clacton
- West to Colchester