Harwich, England | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Harwich, England

Harwich, pronounced 'Harich' or 'Harridge', is a port town in Essex, East Anglia.

Harwich lies at the junction of two estuaries and the area forms one of the UK's major harbors (although most freight shipping actually operates from Felixstowe, a short distance over the water, rather than from Harwich itself). Ferries to northern Europe operate from adjacent Parkeston, while there are fast rail and road links to London.

History

The town's name means "military settlement," from Old English here-wic.
The town received its charter in 1238, although there is evidence of earlier settlement – for example, a record of a chapel in 1177, and some indications of a possible Roman presence.
Because of its strategic position, Harwich was the target for the invasion of Britain by William of Orange on 11 November 1688. However, unfavorable winds forced his fleet to sail into the English Channel... Read more

Harwich, England

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Harwich, pronounced 'Harich' or 'Harridge', is a port town in Essex, East Anglia.

Harwich lies at the junction of two estuaries and the area forms one of the UK's major harbors (although most freight shipping actually operates from Felixstowe, a short distance over the water, rather than from Harwich itself). Ferries to northern Europe operate from adjacent Parkeston, while there are fast rail and road links to London.

History

The town's name means "military settlement," from Old English here-wic.
The town received its charter in 1238, although there is evidence of earlier settlement – for example, a record of a chapel in 1177, and some indications of a possible Roman presence.
Because of its strategic position, Harwich was the target for the invasion of Britain by William of Orange on 11 November 1688. However, unfavorable winds forced his fleet to sail into the English Channel instead and eventually land at Torbay. Due to the involvement of the Schomberg family in the invasion, Charles Louis Schomberg was made Marquess of Harwich.
Writer Daniel Defoe devotes a few pages to the town in A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain. Visiting in 1722, he noted its formidable fort and harbor "of a vast extent." The town, he recounts, was also known for an unusual chalybeate spring rising on Beacon Hill (a promontory to the north-east of the town), which "petrified" clay, allowing it to be used to pave Harwich's streets and build its walls. The locals also claimed that "the same spring is said to turn wood into iron," but Defoe put this down to the presence of "copperas" in the water. Regarding the atmosphere of the town, he states: "Harwich is a town of hurry and business, not much of gaiety and pleasure; yet the inhabitants seem warm in their nests and some of them are very wealthy."
Harwich played an important part in the Napoleonic and more especially the two world wars. Of particular note:
1793-1815 - Post Office Station for communication with Europe, one of embarkation and evacuation bases for expeditions to Holland in 1799, 1809 and 1813/14; base for capturing enemy privateers. The dockyard built many ships for the Navy, including HMS Conqueror which captured the French Admiral Villeneuve at the Battle of Trafalgar. The Redoubt and the now-demolished Ordnance Building date from that era.
1914-18 - base for the Royal Navy's Harwich Force light cruisers and destroyers under Commodore Tyrwhitt, and for British submarines. In November 1918 the German U-Boat fleet surrendered to the Royal Navy in the harbor.
1939-1945 - one of main East Coast minesweeping and destroyer bases, at one period base for British and French submarines; assembled fleets for Dutch and Dunkirk evacuations and follow-up to D-Day; unusually a target in 1940 for Italian bombers.

Royal Naval Dockyard
Harwich Dockyard was established as a Royal Navy Dockyard in 1652. It ceased to operate as a Royal Dockyard in 1713 (though a Royal Navy presence was maintained until 1829). During the various wars with France and Holland, through to 1815, the dockyard was responsible for both building and repairing numerous warships. HMS Conqueror, a 74-gun ship completed in 1801, captured the French admiral Villeneuve at Trafalgar. The yard was then a semi-private concern, with the actual shipbuilding contracted to Joseph Graham, who was sometimes mayor of the town. During World War II parts of Harwich were again requisitioned for naval use and ships were based at HMS Badger; Badger was decommissioned in 1946, but the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service maintained a headquarters on the site until 1992. 

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Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Harwich, England: Port Information


Port facilities include a café and a tourist stand. A coach park and taxis are right next to the port's entrance.
It is about 90 miles to the center of London – about an hour and a half on the train. Harwich International Station is adjacent to the cruise terminal.

Get around Harwich, England


Harwich is fairly small and all sights can be walked between. First runs 2 urban bus routes, the most useful of which is the 20/20A which runs every 30 minutes between Old Harwich and Parkeston Quay Ferry Terminal and also serves Parkeston Retail Park. Local trains bound for Manningtree also link the 3 rail stations (see Get Around/Rail) every hour. Driving a car around Harwich is easy - traffic is light and parking in the town center is very cheap.

What to see in Harwich, England


Local attractions include two lighthouses; the

Electric Palace cinema

, one of the oldest in Britain and now restored to its original state; the Redoubt Fort, dating from the Napoleonic era; a lighthouse museum; a small beach; and of course ship-watching. Many attractions are open during the summer only.
  • Harwich Redoubt. 1 May - 31 August: daily 10 am - 5 pm. A circular fort built in 1808 to defend the port, restored by volunteers from the Harwich Society.
  • Beacon Hill Battery, Barrack Ln, Harwich CO12 3NS. Late 19th/early 20th-century coastal artillery fortification
  • Maritime Museum, The Low Lighthouse, Harbour Crescent, Harwich, CO12 3NL, e-mail: Info@harwich-society.co.uk. 1 May-31 Aug: F-Su 11:00-15:00.
  • Lifeboat Museum, 6 Wellington Rd, Harwich, CO12 3EJ. 1 May-31 Aug: 10:00-17:00. 
  • Ha'penny Pier, The Quay, Harwich, CO12 3HH. Wooden, working pier
  • LV18 Lightvessel (Right at the end of the A120.), ☎ +44 7446 171320 (mobile). Mar-end Oct: daily 11:00-16:00. The last surviving example of a manned light vessel in British waters. 
  • High Lighthouse, West Street, Harwich, CO12 3DQ, ☎ +44 1255 506183, e-mail: Davidwhittle18@gmail.com. 
  • Mayflower Project, The Railyard, George St, Harwich, CO12 3ND, ☎ +44 1255 318023, e-mail: sean@mayflower.media. M-F 09:00-17:00. Project to reconstruct a full-sized seaworthy replica of the Mayflower vessel. Visitors Centre.

What to do in Harwich, England


  • Harwich Maritime Trail. Walking trail visiting many of the town's maritime sights.
  • Dovercourt Roller Skate Rink, Lower Marine Parade, Dovercourt, CO12 3ST, ☎ +44 1255 551296, e-mail: info@simplyskating.co.uk. Roller skate rink, cafe & Ice Cream Parlour.
  • Harbour Ferry River Cruises, The Quay, Harwich CO12 3HH, ☎ +44 1728 666329, e-mail: chris@harwichharbourferry.com.
  • Harwich Sports Centre, Hall Lane, Dovercourt, CO12 3TB, ☎ +44 1255 504380. M-Th 09:45-22:30. F 09:45-20:30. Sa 10:00-13:00 & 16:00-19:00. Su 10:00-13:00 & 16:00-20:00.. Squash, tennis,racketball, badminton, table tennis, short tennis.

What to eat and drink in Harwich, England


Eat

The Pier Hotel has a well-regarded restaurant specializing in, although not limited to, seafood. The Pier Cafe, opposite the hotel on the pier itself, is especially popular during the summer. A number of pubs also serve food, notably the New Bell Inn (lunchtimes only).

  • Thai up at the Quay (Restaurant), 1 Eastgate St, Harwich, CO12 3EZ, ☎ +44 1255 554532. Tu-Sa 18:00-22:00. 
  • The Crown Post, 57 Church St, Harwich, CO12 3DS, ☎ +44 1255 553131.
  • Joi Tandori (Restaurant & Takeaway), 3 Kingsway, Harwich, CO12 3AB. Daily 18:00-22:30. 
  • The Waterfront, Lower Marine Parade, Dovercourt, CO12 3ST, ☎ +44 1255 507905, e-mail: events@waterfrontharwich.co.uk. M 10:00-16:00 (food to 15:00). Tu-F 10:00-23:00 (food 11:00-15:00 & 16:00-21:00). Sa 10:00-23:00 (food 11:00-21:00). Su 11:00-19:00 (food 12;00-18:00).

Drink

Popular pubs include the traditional New Bell Inn and Hanover, the more youth-oriented Billy, and the Stingray with large-screen TV.

  • The Alma Inn (Pub, Food & Accommodation), 25 King’s Head St, Harwich, CO12 3EE, ☎ +44 1255 318681, e-mail: booking@almaharwich.co.uk. Food: daily 12:00-22:00. 
  • Samuel Pepys (Wine Bar & Restaurant), 31 Church St, Harwich, CO12 3EA, ☎ +44 1255 503857, e-mail: info@samuelpepysharwich.co.uk. M-Sa 11:00-14:30 & 18:00-21:00. Su all day. 
  • Treo (Bar & Café), 17 George St, Harwich, CO12 3ND, ☎ +44 1255 240004, e-mail: treobarcafe@googlemail.com.
  • The New Bell Inn, Outpart Eastward, Harwich, CO12 3EN, ☎ +44 1255 503545. M-Th 11:00-15:30 & 19:00-00:00. F Sa 11:00-00:00. Su 12:00-00:00. 
  • The Hanover Inn, 65 Church St, Harwich, CO12 3DR, ☎ +44 1255 502927, e-mail: info@hanoverinn.co.uk. Daily 12:00-late. 
  • The Captain Fryatt (Pub, Food & Guesthouse), 65 Garland Rd, Parkeston, CO12 4PA, ☎ +44 1255 240770. Free Wi-Fi.

Shopping in Harwich, England


Shopping in Harwich itself is extremely limited, although there are a number of art, antique, and bookstores. Nearby

Dovercourt

has a number of small supermarkets, mainstream high-street shops, banks and so on, while Parkeston has recently been given the 'kiss of life' and has a number of newly built stores to shop at, including Peacocks, Focus and Argos. Harwich has several supermarkets including The Co-op (Dovercourt High Street, and Fronks Road), Fiveways (Dovercourt), Morrisons (Parkeston) and Lidl (Parkeston).

Safety in Harwich, England


Contrary to popular belief, Essex actually has one of the lowest crime rates in England.
As with the rest of the UK, in any emergency call 999 or 112 (from a land-line if you can) and ask for Ambulance, Fire or Police when connected.

Language spoken in Harwich, England


English is the official language.

LOCAL TIME

4:27 am
December 15, 2018
Europe/London

CURRENT WEATHER

2.11 °C / 35.798 °F
moderate rain
Sat

4.16 °C/39 °F
heavy intensity rain
Sun

3.15 °C/38 °F
light rain
Mon

6.23 °C/43 °F
light rain
Tue

10.36 °C/51 °F
moderate rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

GBP

1 USD = 0.79 GBP
1 EUR = 0.9 GBP
1 AUD = 0.57 GBP
1 CAD = 0.59 GBP

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