A doggy day out in… Harwich
PUBLISHED: 12:01 10 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:01 10 June 2020
Each month Jenny Green creates a dog-friendly day out in the county following her adventures with Ernie, her delightful Westie. This time she takes a step back in time in this historic port town
This article was written prior to lockdown and all information should be checked before your visit
WHAT TO SEE
In Old Harwich there is so much history just waiting to be discovered. The town’s biggest claim to fame is that it is where the Mayflower – the ship that carried the Pilgrim Fathers to America – was built and in September it will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the famous voyage.
The ship was commanded by Captain Christopher Jones, whose house remains in Harwich and is due to open as a museum. Samuel Pepys, who kept a diarised account of the Great Fire of London in 1666, also served as Harwich’s MP.
Look out for the plaque commemorating him, and the Samuel Pepys wine bar (no dogs inside, though).
To understand this port town’s maritime past, visit Harwich Redoubt Fort. It was built in 1808 to defend against Napoleonic invasion, but was thankfully never required to see action.
Dogs are allowed to explore the circular fort, which has a number of interesting exhibits. It is open every day during the summer months and entry is £3 for adults.
Dogs will also love Dovercourt Beach, which is around 1.5 miles from Old Harwich. Walk there via the coastal path, which will take you past the sailing club, lifeboat museum, Cornwallis Battery and the High and Low Lighthouses.
Keep your eyes peeled for the wooden lighthouses in Dovercourt, which were built as a pair in 1863.
WHERE TO EAT
Make a beeline for The Alma Inn, which is famed for its local seafood. The pub has been at the centre of the local community since the 1850s and is still just as popular today.
Dogs are warmly welcomed throughout and you can buy treats supporting local animal charities at the bar.
If you’re more into fine dining, try The Pier, overlooking the harbour. This boutique hotel is part of the Milsoms restaurant and hotels group and was recently fully refurbished.
Dogs aren’t allowed in the first-floor brasserie, which has 2 AA rosettes, but you can dine with your pet in the NAVYARD Bar. Here, you’ll also find The Gin Library, which is home to more than 100 different types of ‘mother’s ruin’.
For hefty portions of no-nonsense grub, head to the Café on the Pier, which serves everything from full English breakfasts to soups and scones.
Doggy sausages are also available for £1. The café is on Ha’Penny Pier – one of the UK’s only surviving and working wooden piers from the Victorian era.
WHILE YOU’RE IN THE AREA
The Mistley Towers, around 20 minutes from Harwich, make for a great photo opportunity.
These two grand towers once stood at either end of an unconventional church, but today they are all that remain of the structure.
The 18th century towers are managed by English Heritage and are free to visit. Afterwards, enjoy a bite to the award-winning Mistley Thorn, which welcomes dogs both in the bar and restaurant.
For more dog-friendly days out and holiday inspiration, visit ernies-adventures.com.