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The small historic Essex town of Harwich is home to the U.K's Premier Shanty Festival, attracting artists and audience from all over the world. Now in its 18th year, the second weekend in October sees this ancient seaport town fill with a colourful array of singers, musicians, pirates, street theatre actors, maritime craftspeople and more. Rousing sea shanties can be heard emanating from the many real ale pubs in town and the entertainment continues along the quayside, onboard historic ships and at some of the historic sites within the old town, including the fabulous Redoubt Fort. There are shanty trains, workshops, demonstrations, concerts, barge trips and historical re-enactment to add to the mix, suitable for all ages and much of it free of charge. For further details subscribe to the monthly newsletter on or follow on Facebook, @harwichshanty or Instagram. Dates for 2023 are 13-15th October with a full three day programme of events.

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

The A120 runs from Stansted Airport/M11 to Harwich and ends on Harwich Quay.From London & the South East take the A12 towards Colchester and join the A120(E) to the North of Colchester.From East Anglia, take the A14 to Ipswich and join the A12 (west-bound) there. Join the A120(E) to the north of Colchester.From the Midlands & the North, use the A1, A14, M11 route and pick up the A120 at Stansted Airport (M11 Junction 8)

Public Transport Directions

By Rail:Purchase a ticket to Harwich Town! Travel from London Liverpool St on any Norwich or Ipswich service that stops at Manningtree. Change here for the Harwich branch line and ride to Harwich Town at the end of the line. Note that a few services terminate at Harwich International, this is 2 stops short! Take the next train (or £5 in a taxi) to reach Harwich.By Coach: Take National Express to Colchester Bus Station and change onto one of the X15/102/103/104 services for Harwich. Harwich Bus Station is next to Harwich Town Railway Station.By Ferry: Stena Line runs two services daily from Hoek Van Holland, near Rotterdam, to Harwich International (Parkeston Quay). Booking and details or By Harbour Ferry: The Harbour Ferry Runs Harwich-Shotley and Harwich-Felixstowe and is suitable for foot passengers and cyclists only! The landing stage at Harwich is at Ha'Penny Pier. Booking and details Bike: Harwich is on Cycle Route 51 and the Essex Way.

Harwich International Shanty Festival


Venues throughout, Harwich, Essex, CO12 3HH
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Tel07921 640772

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