Essex Estuaries – From Dovercourt to Harwich Pier.

17th February 2024 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Dovercourt Railway Station Kingsway Harwich CO12 3AG

On this tour along the Essex coast at the mouth of the River Stour, we will walk from the seaside town of Dovercourt to the pier at Harwich, a traditional point of arrivals and departures.

Rob will be talking about lighthouses, of which there are some nice examples on the walk, and will be also walking past the repair yard belonging to Trinity House, who look after navigational aids around the UK. Rob will also talk about shipbuilding and will walk past the wonderful treadwheel crane built in 1667. Rob will talk about some of the ships built in Harwich, the most famous being the Mayflower, which is believed to have been built in the towns shipyards. Thames barges were also constructed here.

Laura will talk about able seamen in the Age of Sail, whose jobs involved running up rigging during storms, manning guns during battles and dealing with boredom in the doldrums. Men (and some cross-dressed women) volunteered for a life at sea in large numbers, and some were forced through impressment when the navy needed them.

Laura will also mention Arthur Ransome’s intrepid Swallows who Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea and Harwich’s connections to colonies across the Atlantic.

You will take in views across the estuary to the container port at Felixstowe, while the town of Harwich has some fine Georgian architecture and some good pubs to explore after the walk.

The walk is about two miles and finishes at Harwich Pier which is a short walk from Harwich Town Station.