Harwich Sign post

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The maritime town of Harwich stands at the tip of a peninsula in North East Essex commanding the entrance to a magnificent harbour, where the Orwell flows down from Ipswich to meet the waters of the Stour that flows from Constable Country. It is the largest natural harbour between the Thames and Humber and is available at any tide or weather conditions and that is why it has played a vital part in our national history. While Dovercourt (Druvrecourt) is recorded in the Doomsday Book (1086) Harwich is not mentioned before 1196 when it was called Herdwic, Herewyche or Herewic.

The Town was laid down on a typical medieval plan by The Earl of Norfolk who was also Lord of the Manor. He also built a wooden castle on the headland to enforce the collection of harbour dues from ships passing by on their way to Ipswich. The medieval grid systems has hardly changed over the years with its narrow streets running from North to South and even smaller offset lanes (designed to prevent the easterly winter winds blowing directly through the town) running from east to west.

You can still wander along these same streets to take a journey back in time. There are fine views over the busy harbour, especially from The Ha'penny Pier, with vessels of all shapes and sizes constantly moving, from small dinghies, sailing craft, including the graceful sailing barges of yesteryear, freight vessels from the smallest coasters to the largest container ships in the world, Passenger Ferries and not forgetting the large splendid Cruise Ships that pass within 200/300 metres from the Harbours edge.

Forget the traffic and forget the noise. The gently rolling landscape of Essex, sprinkled with rivers and lit by constantly changing East Anglian skies, miles of country lanes, hidden byways, bridleways and public footpaths is best explored by walking or cycling.


Book Tickets



  • Description of route - Harwich maritime trail
  • Length of route (miles) - 3


Map & Directions

Road Directions

Parking available in Harwich town.

Public Transport Directions

Nearest train station: Harwich station is on the route.

Maritime Memories

Type:Walking Route

Harwich, Essex, CO12 4EN

What's Nearby

  1. A quiet haven hidden in the middle of the town this small nature reserve is approx. 2…

    0.64 miles away
  2. Dovercourt is a peaceful family resort with gentle shelving sand and shingle beaches. A…

    0.93 miles away
  3. Visitors will be able to see many of the original features from Jones’ time and the…

    1.2 miles away
  4. Information on everything in Harwich and historic exhibition on Harwich and the Mayflower…

    1.22 miles away
  1. Circular Fort built in 1808. Ten guns. Largest AM being restored by a voluntary group.

    1.22 miles away
  2. The High Lighthouse is 150 yards from the Low Lighthouse (Maritime Museum) and were…

    1.25 miles away
  3. Set in the heart of the historic old seaport, Harwich’s Guildhall is a Grade I listed…

    1.25 miles away
  4. Museum contains the last Clacton off-shore. Oakley Class Lifeboat 34ft and a history of…

    1.3 miles away
  5. Housed in a disused lighthouse, the museum has specialised displays on the Royal Navy and…

    1.32 miles away
  6. Harwich Beach is located adjacent to the historic town of Harwich on the estuary of the…

    1.34 miles away
  7. The Naze is located just north of Walton-on-the-Naze, in North East Essex. The beautiful…

    5.28 miles away
  8. The Naze is located just north of Walton-on-the-Naze, in north east Essex.  The beautiful…

    5.28 miles away
  9. Sited at the beautiful coastal location of the Naze, this historic 86ft navigational…

    5.38 miles away
  10. The Centre is open all year round and houses an education room as well as a café and gift…

    5.39 miles away
  11. With one of the area’s best beaches and home of the UK’s second longest pier, Walton…

    6.37 miles away
  12. Frinton-on-Sea is a quiet family beach destination. A gently shelving sandy beach noted…

    7.7 miles away
  13. The Mistley Kitchen is a well renowned cookery school located in a fine Georgian Town…

    7.73 miles away
  14. Various beach huts available for daily and weekly hire on the seafront at Frinton on Sea…

    7.77 miles away
  15. This is a rare example of Robert Adam's ecclesiastical work. Originally it was a parish…

    7.8 miles away
  16. Dedham Art & Craft Centre is housed in a converted church in this popular village. The…

    11.37 miles away
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