Despite its small size, the historic town of Harwich can boast the second largest Shanty Festival in the U.K. attracting artists and visitors from all over the world. The second weekend in October sees this seaport town fill with singers, musicians, pirates, street theatre actors, maritime craftspeople and more. The sound of rousing shanties can be heard in the many real ale pubs in town, along the quayside, onboard historic ships and up at the fabulous Redoubt Fort as Harwich fills with the colour and sound which typifies the Shanty Festival. Shanty trains, barge trips, concerts, workshops and historic re-enactment are just some of the activities on offer, the vast majority of it free of charge. For further details visit or follow on Facebook. Dates for 2019 are 11-13th October and in 2020 8-11th October.