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.

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, much of it free of charge and suitable for all ages. For further details subscribe to the monthly newsletter on or follow on Facebook, @harwichshanty or Instagram. Dates for 2021 are 8-10th October and events may differ this year depending on Covid restrictions.