Visiting the Haven

With its picturesque backdrop of the rivers Stour and Orwell, and local beauty spots such as Wrabness, Harwich Haven is the finest natural estuary in the East of England, which attracts sailing enthusiasts from across Europe.

We work with our stakeholders to provide a smooth-running harbour – with five thriving commercial ports here, our marine safety and leisure services are essential to keeping everyone safe.

Exploring the haven – and beyond

The Haven is home to a wealth of historic landmarks, and part of our role is to preserve much-loved community assets such as Ha’penny Pier – one of the UK’s only surviving wooden, working piers – which attracts thousands of visitors to Harwich each year.

Constructed in 1853 Ha’penny Pier was a popular departure point for paddle steamers until the First World War. Its name originates from the ½d (half an old penny) toll that was charged. Today, it’s a popular spot for crabbers, day trippers and fishermen, and it’s home to the Harwich Information Centre, which is managed by the Harwich Society.

The pier also has a cafe, free moorings for visiting yachtsmen, and provides the best vantage point to see ships coming in and out of the Haven.

The Harwich Harbour foot and cycle ferry picks up from Ha’penny Pier and travels to Shotley Marina and Felixstowe. If you want to travel further afield, the Heritage Coast and Constable Country are other beautiful destinations within easy reach. The Harwich town and Visit Suffolk websites offer further inspiration.

“Harwich Haven Authority always issues Notices to Mariners in a timely manner and they are easy to access online. They look out for small leisure craft, and usher boats out of the way of ships.”

Robert Jones, a local resident and experienced sailor.

Futureproofing our historical past

The Authority continues its investment to ensure future generations can enjoy this iconic Harwich landmark.