A lovely warm Sunday today, the first for absolutely ages, so we headed up the A120 to the Harwich Sea Festival. Rather than going straight there we parked up on the promenade in Dovercourt and had a leisurely walk up to Harwich by the sea, passing the iconic wooden lighthouses.
Getting into Harwich we passed close to the Redoubt Fort – there is a beer festival and military action happening there over the next couple of weeks!
This route into Harwich also takes you past the High Lighthouse and the Low Lighthouse, the latter which is now home to Harwich Maritime Museum. There’s also the Treadmill Crane to admire.
Wending our way to the famous Ha’penny pier we passed the Harwich Electric Palace Cinema, and found the festival in full swing, with music, stalls and plenty to do there. Fortified by a cone of whitebait from The Ship Restaurant and Gallery, we were in need of liquid refreshment, and fortunately Paul Mellor of the Harwich Town Brewing Company had a bar set up on the pier and we tried a wheat beer from the brewery. Excellent!
There were lightships and other ships to board, a regatta taking place, lots of food and music (including a short set from the 4-piece featuring a female lead singer/bassist, female rhythm guitar, male lead guitar, and drummer, who had rocked The Tour de Tendring a month or so back).
We headed round past Trinity House to the old railway yards where a replica of The Mayflower is being built, planning to set sail in 2020, exactly 400 years after Captain Jones from Harwich set sail from Plymouth.
And on the way back to Dovercourt we popped into The New Bell Inn – we didn’t really have much choice as Oscar Wilde Mild is a regular beer there, and to walk past the opportunity of a pint of the Champion Beer of Britain 2011 would have been criminal!