HARWICH, on the northeastern tip of the peninsula and at the estuary of the rivers Stour and Orwell, has a long history as a port, sending out Elizabethan mariners like Drake and Hawkins on their voyages and providing the dockyards that built the Mayflower, the ship which took the Pilgrim Fathers to America.
Today Harwich is best known as Britain's main North Sea ferry terminal, though since ferry traffic goes no further than Parkeston Quay, this has left the old town, to the east, relatively undisturbed. The old town is a conservation area containing many historic buildings. If you find yourself with time to kill, there's enough to keep you amused for an hour or so, starting with the brightly painted Electric Palace, on King's Quay Street, a purpose-built cinema, fashioned in Edwardian Baroque in 1911 and still going strong.
Things to see and do
* Electric Palace cinema
* Redoubt fort
* lighthouse museum
Cruise Season – March to Nov
Currency – Pound Sterling (GDP)
Language – English
Land Area – 1,572 sq km
Population – 7,200,000 (London)
Electricity – British-style plug with two flat blades and one flat grounding blade
Time –GMT/UTC plus 0 hours
International Country Telephone Code – +4420
Port Location – Harwich International Port is just 69 miles from London, via the A12 and is located outside the main town of Harwich.
Transport Links –There are train services to Harwich roughly hourly from London Liverpool Street station. Some are direct and others require a change of trains in Manningtree. Harwich is also easily reached via Manningtree from Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich. Visitors intending to catch a ferry from Harwich should note that they must disembark from the train at Harwich International station; visitors to the town itself should continue through to Harwich Town station. Ferry: there are regular services between Harwich and Hook of Holland, Esbjerg and Cuxhaven. Cruise ships also call during the summer.
Harwich is sufficiently small not to require public transport. There are buses and trains linking Harwich to adjacent Dovercourt and Parkeston, although the distance is walkable.