How to Arrive

It’s possible to arrive by bicycle, boat, train, car, yacht, bus, ferry… or even by canoe!

This haven port town is easily accessible – why not turn up on your bike, pop for a tipple or two in one of the local pubs to recuperate from the trip, and take the train home?


From the M11: Leave at junction 8 and join the A120 eastwards, heading for Braintree and Colchester.

From the M25: Take the A12 at junction 28 (signposted Chelmsford) and then join the A120 at Colchester, after approximately 30 miles.

From the A14: Take the A12 at Ipswich and join the A120 at Colchester. Once on the A120 follow the signs to Harwich and Harwich International Port. On approaching Harwich, to visit Dovercourt, follow the signs to Dovercourt Town Centre and for Harwich, follow the brown tourism signs to ‘Historic Harwich’.


Each year in excess of 10,000 visitors arrive in the Haven by leisure vessel to explore Harwich Harbour and the beautiful coastlines of the Stour and Orwell rivers.

Sailors arriving into the area by boat can access free mooring facilities that are owned and maintained by the Harwich Haven Authority and located next to the town’s Ha’penny Pier. Visiting yachtsman can use the secure facilities – which includes access to toilets and showers – free of charge between the hours of 0900 and 1600 and overnight stays start at £10 for a vessel  of up to five metres. During the summer season – 30 March – 30 October  – a pier master is on hand to welcome, advise and assist passing sailors.

Centrally located in old Harwich the mooring pontoons are ideally situated for hungry sailors to tie-up and enjoy some of the culinary delights on offer in and around the area.

For further information about the Harwich Haven Authority mooring facilities and to view an interactive map of the area go to:

The Harwich Harbour Foot Ferry, which can accommodate up to 58 people on a brand-new boat, takes foot passengers and cyclists every hour from the Ha’Penny Pier across the Harbour to Shotley and Felixstowe.

Daily services operate seasonally, with the first ferry starting at the beginning of the Easter Holidays 2018. Additionally, they offer river trips/sun downers starting from Harwich, Felixstowe or Shotley or anywhere on River Orwell or River Stour. Information about the service is displayed on the Ha’penny Pier.

Arriving By Train

Hourly train services provide a fast convenient service between Harwich International Port, Dovercourt Town Centre and Harwich Town Stations on ‘The Mayflower Line.’

Rail passengers can travel to Harwich International Station, being adjacent to the ferry and cruise terminals. Regular service connections to London (70 minutes) and also to other UK destinations.

You can travel to Harwich and Dovercourt from London Liverpool street, Ipswich or Colchester, visit Greater Anglia for timetable:


Regular services link the Port with the Town Centre. Details & timetables can be found in the Ferry Terminal at the Port, the Guildhall in Harwich and at the Ha’Penny Pier Visitor Centre on Harwich Quay.


Stenaline operate regular day and night crossings on the Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica from the Hook of Holland to Harwich.


London (Stansted) Airport is within easy reach of Harwich (just 50 minutes by car or taxi), with Heathrow and Gatwick being only 2 hours’ drive away.


Harwich is easily accessible by bicycle, simply take national cycling route 51 from Colchester. You will also benefit from the various cycling trails in and around Harwich ranging from 1 mile to over 25 miles.


Arriving to Harwich by foot will allow you to take in much of the area’s natural coastal beauty, and indeed the industrial landscape that has shaped the town’s history.

For a medium-length walk around historical Harwich and the seafront, begin at Harwich Town station and head through old Harwich to the docks and onward to Dovercourt:

The Harwich to Wrabness leg of the Essex Way, a marvellous 8 mile walk across a variety of terrain, begins at the High Lighthouse in Harwich and passes through Copperas Wood:

Map of Harwich & Surrounding Areas

If you’ve only an hour to take in this charming town, then heading to the Ha’penny Pier is a must. Depending on the time of day you can see the fishermen haul in their catch, witness the sun going down on the coast or simply sit and watch the world go by.  As you walk down you’ll see the Lightvessel LV18 and the Harwich foot ferry on your way to coffee and cake at the Café on the Pier. There are certainly worse ways to spend an hour!

If you find yourself in this pleasant part of England’s east coast for a morning there are plenty of things to see and do. If you can wake at the crack of dawn it’s worth heading to the Ha’penny Pier to watch the day’s catch come in or perhaps try a spot of crabbing. The Lightvessel LV18 is moored here, which was used in the 60s and 70s for illegal off shore pirate Radio, and now home to a fantastic little museum which is well worth a visit.

From here it is a stone’s throw to the magnificent Pier hotel, where you can enjoy coffee or brunch in lovely surroundings.

If beaches are what you’re after, a visit to Dovercourt Bay is essential for its golden sand and panoramic views over the North Sea and Felixstowe Point. Here you can see the High and Low lighthouses which were in use until 1917.

Pop into cosy pub, the Alma Inn, after a bracing beach walk for traditional ales and a freshly caught lobster lunch.

The Redoubt Fort is a hidden gem, and Harwich’s must-see attraction. Allocate an afternoon to look round the battlements and unusual exhibits. Battle re-enactments, ghost hunts and beer festivals are held here throughout the summer months, so check the calendar to plan your visit.

There are many great accommodation options if you are looking to spend a weekend in Harwich, and plenty of activities to choose from while you are there!

Make sure to stock up on provisions for your stay at The White Coffee House, or drop into the Harwich Town Brewing Co. for a tour and some locally brewed ale (pre-booking is a must).

Seal watching tours depart for Hamford Water from The Quay on Ha’penny Pier, and are the only way to see and appreciate the creatures in their natural environment. This is a great trip for photography and wildlife enthusiasts, and is great fun for the whole family. When you return to the pier it is well worth checking out the Lifeboat museum before lunch.

Head to the Electric Palace Theatre in the afternoon to see the latest blockbuster, indie film, or National Theatre Live Production, and soak up the atmosphere inside the cinema’s beautifully restored interior. (Unfortunately the Electric Palace is currently closed for refurbishment, due to reopen in 2020).

Finish up the evening with dinner and drinks at the NAVYÄRD Bar.

Before you leave Harwich, make sure to visit the carefully restored Redoubt Fort with its excellent sea views and its weaponry collections. Finish your visit with traditional English fish and chips nearby at Piseas Chippy!

Things to do in Harwich


Dovercourt Bay

Ha'penny Pier

Further Afield