This summer, Harwich welcomes an octopus invasion as the Essex public art event of 2021 arrives in the town, and across the north Essex coast.

Octopus Ahoy! is an engaging, family-friendly activity for all to enjoy – and in a safe, socially-distanced way. Stunning sculptures will arrive ashore on 25th June, taking pride of place in parks, on streets and in open spaces across Tendring.



In all, there will be 100 quirky octopus sculptures to visit, including more than 30 large, hand-decorated sculptures decorated by local professional artists and generously sponsored by Essex businesses.

Daytrippers in Essex can follow the art trail throughout the summer using the FREE Octopus Ahoy! app which is available from 1st June on both Apple and Android. The app will reveal the locations of each sculpture and allow users to earn amazing rewards for ‘collecting’ each octopus design on the list. You will also be able to find out more about the artist and sponsor behind each sculpture. Octopus Ahoy!, in partnership with Tendring District Council, is being delivered as part of the celebrations of Mayflower 400™️ and 150 Years of Clacton, by KAT Marketing.


At the end of the summer, the sculptures will be retired for a rest and touch-up on 5th September, before the 30 larger sculptures are auctioned off at the Octopus Ahoy! charity auction on 23rd September at Le Talbooth in Dedham, Colchester, raising funds for the Essex Community Foundation.

Find out more about Octopus Ahoy! at or join in the conversation on social media using #OctopusAhoy.