Half Marathon returns to commemorate Mayflower 400

The Harwich half marathon is to be revived after 29 years to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage to the New World. The event on the 5th April 2020 will take part of its original route, and is set to have a fun, festival atmosphere.



A series of celebration events and a welcome centre are planned for Harwich as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2020.

The Mayflower ship, from Harwich and captained by Harwich resident Christopher Jones, took the first settlers to America in 1620 in a voyage marked annually by Thanksgiving in the USA. A whole programme of events is being planned across 11 UK destinations, including Harwich, for 2020 to mark the 400th anniversary.

Now TDC’s Cabinet is being asked to approve a budget of £135,000 to support other Mayflower 400 projects in the area. These include £50,000 for a Welcome Centre to act as a hub for tourists visiting the area, £40,000 for a Heritage Trail to take visitors around the town and the key Mayflower sites, and £20,000 for a programme of events.

The Welcome Centre would be home to a whole raft of historical artefacts relating to Harwich and its links to the Mayflower story, and work is ongoing with partners including the Harwich Society and the Guildhall Archivists on this strand of the project.

Neil Stock, TDC Leader, said this is a significant moment in time to remember the key role that Harwich played in historical world events.

“This substantial investment in Harwich is about ensuring the town can capitalise on its heritage and history by welcoming visitors and tourists into the district to boost the local economy,” Cllr Stock said.

It is hoped that external funding can also be sourced from partners and grant organisations to help support projects.

At a national Mayflower Compact event held in the Houses of Parliament yesterday (Wednesday, December 5) it was announced that the Art of the Possible cultural programme will benefit from £700,000 of Arts Council England National Lottery funding. The keynote speech was given by Michael Ellis MP, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism.

The milestone in UK and US history is set to boost the UK economy and attract over 1.4 million visitors nationally during the Mayflower 400 commemoration year, yielding an anticipated economic impact in excess of £76million.

A video highlighting the national Mayflower Trail can be found and used by media here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKuH7MAFatA 

On the Pilgrim Trail

In two years time the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in New England will be celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ahead of this anniversary, I jetsetted to the Old World — in considerably less time and much, much more comfort than the Pilgrims could have ever imagined — to discover the places they left in pursuit of a new life in present-day America.

My first stop was Harwich (population 17,684) in Essex, a county to the east and north of London on the North Sea coast... [read the full article here ]

- The Christian Post

The Mayflower Harwich - London Unattached

Journalist, Madeleine Morrow, recently visited Harwich, and gave her account on the town and the history of the Mayflower.

You can read the excellent review here: https://www.london-unattached.com/2018/04/mayflower-harwich-history/

Mayflower 400 Conference underway

Businesses across Harwich and Dovercourt are being reminded of a conference taking place on Monday providing an update on the Mayflower 400 project.

The year 2020 marks 400 years since The Mayflower sailed from England to America, sparking what became the United States of America. The Mayflower 400 compact includes 14 destinations with a link to the voyage working together in a bid to attract American tourists during the anniversary year.

Harwich played an intrinsic role in this iconic story, with the ship and its captain Christopher Jones hailing from the town.

The conference is an excellent opportunity for local firms to get involved with the Mayflower 400 project.

The conference has been sponsored by some local firms, including The Pier and Ellisons solicitors.

More than 120 organisations have already indicated they are coming.

Mick Skeels, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism at Tendring District Council, said: “It is not too late for people and businesses to join us to hear about exciting developments and how Harwich and Dovercourt can benefit from this once in a generation opportunity.”

The conference takes place on Monday, March 12, at the Harwich International Port Cruise Terminal, from 4.30-7.30pm.


Mayflower 400 project conference

Mayflower 400 project conference

Businesses across Harwich and Dovercourt are invited to a conference providing an update on the Mayflower 400 project. The year 2020 marks 400 years since The Mayflower sailed from England to America, sparking what became the United States of America.


If you are travelling by car, the parking arrangements are set out below:


Getting there

Coming from the A120, please follow the signs for Harwich International Port and the Ferry & Cruise Terminals.



Free parking will be available in the Ferry Terminal Car Park only, which will be clearly signposted.

However, this does mean there is a short walk to get to the Cruise terminal.

This is done via the main stairs (or the lift) from the car park into the main ferry terminal building.

Once there, we will then have members of staff directing you down the escalators and along the main railway platform and into the Cruise terminal.