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Step back a century in time to the golden age of film and enjoy a cinematic experience at the historic Electric Palace Cinema. It's one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas to survive and celebrated its centenary in 2011, complete with silent screen, original projection room and ornamental frontage still intact. It continues to show films throughout the year.

A member of the Hutchison Port Holdings Group

Harwich is home to Harwich & Parkeston F.C.; Harwich and Dovercourt RFC; Harwich & Dovercourt Sailing Club; Harwich, Dovercourt & Parkeston Swimming Club; Harwich & Dovercourt Rugby Union Football Club; Harwich & Dovercourt Cricket Club; and Harwich Runners who with support from Harwich Swimming Club host the annual Harwich Triathlons.

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Bargain of the week Two-bed house across three floors, close to the seafront, £79,995 with Cory & Co.

The case against A whiff of sadness: the end of the line, weepy goodbyes, people escaping tragedies, etc. Lorries: lots of them, and a single-carriage road to the rest of the UK.

Also of interest are the High Lighthouse (1818), the unusual Treadwheel Crane (late 17th century), the Old Custom Houses on West Street, a number of Victorian shopfronts and the Electric Palace Cinema (1911), one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas to survive complete with its ornamental frontage and original projection room still intact and operational.

The town's name means "military settlement," from Old English here-wic.[3]

The app guides you on a voyage to the four corners of Harwich, navigating you to public artworks by Glassball, local sites of historical interest, local amenities and conveniences to make your journey complete.

Because of its strategic position, Harwich was the target for the invasion of Britain by William of Orange on 11 November 1688. However, unfavourable winds forced his fleet to sail into the English Channel instead and eventually land at Torbay. Due to the involvement of the Schomberg family in the invasion, Charles Louis Schomberg was made Marquess of Harwich.[4]

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The Royal Navy is no longer present in Harwich but Harwich International Port at nearby Parkeston continues to offer regular ferry services to the Hook of Holland (Hoek van Holland) in the Netherlands. Many operations of the large container port at Felixstowe and of Trinity House, the lighthouse authority, are managed from Harwich.

The port is famous for the phrase "Harwich for the Continent", seen on road signs and in London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) advertisements.[7][8]

Get an insider's story of the town with one of the summer tours organised by the Harwich Society. 

The Harwich International Port's web-site and our own travel pages have all the latest information for travellers sailing from Harwich. If you're not departing but arriving here, do nothing until you've read the Essential Harwich page. And the rest of our web-site...

Market values Huge detacheds, £300,000-£450,000. Townhouses, £220,000-£350,000. Detacheds, £170,000-£300,000. Semis, £140,000-£220,000. Terraces and cottages, £90,000-£200,000.

Its position on the estuaries of the Stour and Orwell rivers and its usefulness to mariners as the only safe anchorage between the Thames and the Humber led to a long period of maritime significance, both civil and military. The town became a naval base in 1657 and was heavily fortified,[2] with Harwich Redoubt, Beacon Hill Battery, and Bath Side Battery.

Harwich Dockyard was established as a Royal Navy Dockyard in 1652. It ceased to operate as a Royal Dockyard in 1713 (though a Royal Navy presence was maintained until 1829). During the Second World War parts of Harwich were again requisitioned for naval use, and ships were based at HMS Badger; Badger was decommissioned in 1946, but the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service maintained a headquarters on the site until 1992.[6]

Facilities and services available for ferry and cruise passengers at Harwich International Port.

At least three pairs of lighthouses have been built over recent centuries as leading lights, to help guide vessels into Harwich. The earliest pair were wooden structures: the High Light stood on top of the old Town Gate, whilst the Low Light (featured in a painting by Constable) stood on the foreshore. Both were coal-fired.

Harwich /ˈhærɪtʃ/ is a town in Essex, England and one of the Haven ports, located on the coast with the North Sea to the east. It is in the Tendring district. Nearby places include Felixstowe to the northeast, Ipswich to the northwest, Colchester to the southwest and Clacton-on-Sea to the south. It is the northernmost coastal town within Essex.

The Dovercourt & Harwich leaflet can be found here.

The attractive old Lifeboat station on the waterfront now houses the “Valentine Wyndham-Quin”, an offshore lifeboat which was in service at Clacton-on-Sea from 1968 to 1984. Visitors to the museum have a rare 'hands on' opportunity to see a lifeboat at close quarters and other exhibits.

Not only does Harwich entice visitors with its stunning history and heritage, it is also home to some of the best restaurants in the region.

Harwich International Port Limited (Registered in England No. 2486146) Registered Office: Tomline House, The Dock, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 3SY

They were in turn replaced by the pair of cast iron lights at nearby Dovercourt; these too remain in situ, but were decommissioned (again due to shifting of the channel) in 1917.

Julie Wilson "We're on a peninsula, which means we are often forgotten. The upside is that our lovely beach – which has had a blue flag for years – is nice and quiet. Oxleys of Dovercourt is a fantastic deli, and we love the Samuel Pepys wine bar in Old Harwich."

The tranquil seaside at Dovercourt Bay boasts an award winning beach of which the Leading Lights are a unique feature. Marine Parade links the town to a range of seafront facilities and unspoilt beauty, where you can embark on long walks or cycle rides.

Painting of Harwich lighthouse by John Constable c.1820.

The regular street plan with principal thoroughfares connected by numerous small alleys indicates the town’s medieval origins, although many buildings of this period are hidden behind 18th century facades.

Hang out at… The Pier Hotel for mussels and beer and sea views.

Information on cargo and vessel handling services available at the Port.


Well connected? Hourly trains to the mainline at Manningtree (22 minutes) and thence to Colchester (34 minutes), Ipswich (39 minutes) and London Liverpool Street (90 minutes). Passenger ferries every two hours across the estuary to Felixstowe and Shotley. There's always Esbjerg, too.

Information on ownership of the Port and previous history, job vacancies, news releases, photograph library and contact information.

Despite, or perhaps because of, its small size Harwich is highly regarded in terms of architectural heritage, and the whole of the older part of the town, excluding Navyard Wharf, is a conservation area.[13]

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Explore our 350 miles of coastline, the longest shoreline of any county in England, a place of surprising wild beauty, rich in wildlife and sprinkled with history and hidden cultural gems.

Harwich is an attractive, historic and unique town steeped in a wealth of maritime history and ideally located with excellent road, rail and ferry links. Notable residents such as the famous seafarers Frobisher, Drake, Newport, Fryatt, Hawkins and Jones all sailed on numerous expeditions from Harwich as well as it being home to the historic Mayflower which carried the Pilgrim Fathers to America in 1620.

The town centre is home to a number of historic and character buildings which reflect the town’s rich past. The main shopping area offers many independent stores, national chains and charming cafes for visitors and residents.