Dovercourt Things to Do
If you're a fan of the quintessential English sitcom, 'Hi-De-Hi', then no visit to Harwich is complete without spotting some of the filming locations that the area provided, in disguise as Crimpton-0n-Sea (deliberately invented to sound alike nearby, Clacton-0n-Sea, where a Butlins camp was located...)Sadly, the actual Warner's holiday camp, where...more
The High & Low Lighthouses built on Dovercourt beach, are an idiosyncratic, if redundant feature of the resort...They are quite unlike mainland lighthouses, because they were built on cast iron legs, with white lanterns housed in polygonal wooden shelters, accessed by metal steps arranged around the outside of the legs...The low light stands on 4...more
If you want to find yourself a secluded piece of beach, then head out of Harwich, along the main promenade that takes you into Dovercourt, then keep walking past the beach huts, along to the top of the sea wall. This is Dovercourt Haven, a popular place with dog walkers, but about 10 minutes along the perimeter wall, you will reach a tiny, out of...more
Home cooked food, freshly prepared and cooked to perfection.
A little snug but friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere conpensates for that.
Varied menu with that caters for most tastes and a desert menu to drool over
Favorite Dish: Chicken kiev...........a old favourite revived to it's proper standingRelated to:
- Food and Dining
- Historical Travel
1 of the great quirks of Dovercourt, is that it is of the few British towns to have remained free from any branch of Tesco...
There are 4 supermarkets represented in Dovercourt High Street; Co-op (twice), Asda, & Iceland... All are located within walking distance along the same stretch of Dovercourt High Street, where the 2 steepest hills are, both sides the centre of town, while a Lidl is at the bottom of the steep hill, next to the Premier Inn, if you turn off the roundabout, towards the bypass for Parkeston...
Carrying on towards Parkeston, there is a large Morrisons, on an out-of-town development, with other multiple chain stores...
Apart from the supermarkets, Dovercourt is refreshingly free of chainstores, so there are numerous independent traders selling all sorts of things like electrical goods, sportswear, or bicycle spares...
There is also a street market, annually, in time for Christmas, for which the central crossroads area is closed to traffic (see photo's...)
In many ways, Dovercourt & Harwich town is more like that typical of the 1970's, before the multiples & franchises took over, & this I think is greatly in its favour...Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
Dovercourt Warnings and Dangers
The public toilets at the top of Cliff Park are a disgrace & a serious public hazard!Firstly, building such a facility so close to the edge of a cliff beside the North Sea was a numbskull decision - when the wind blows in at gale force, as it often does, it is just about impossible to open the individual cubicle doors!If you do manage to open a...more
Dovercourt has as much seafront as other Tendring resorts, such as Clacton or Frinton, yet whereas both these towns provide several storm shelters, there are only 2 of them, spaced at the extreme ends of Dovercourt..Like any seaside resort, Dovercourt bears the brunt of fickle weather, where sea & river meets land, & even on a sunny day, the...more
Harwich is a destination of the UK National Cycle Network, but as another contributor on here has observed, the signage in the area for cyclists is contradictory & confusing...1 sign on Dovercourt seafront, for the cycle/foot ferry, that needs to be caught in Harwich, actually points directly out to sea, when there is still 2km of road through both...more
Dovercourt Off The Beaten Path
When you leave Dovercourt by the main road that leads downhill towards the village of Ramsey, the most obvious landmark on the horizon is the windmill - it appears as if you are heading directly towards it...
However, after crossing the A120 & entering into Ramsey, via the roundabout, the windmill disappears from view - it is the most disappointing feature of the village, that its only interesting feature cannot be seen when you are there!
Ramsey windmill, a postmill with a 3-storey roundhouse, was actually built in Woodbridge, & is a typical Suffolk mill design, constructed 1838
The mill has 4 double Patent sails, with 2 pairs of millstones in the breast, & a further pair in the tail...
It was moved to its present location in Essex, in 1842
Flour was ground at the windmill, until 1939, when a storm blew-off the 6-bladed fantail, after which the structure was left to deteriote, until a restoration project was commenced, in conjunction with the Suffolk Mills Group, from 1974 - 1978
Ramsey windmill is now a Grade 2 Listed building, & is again milling flour, but due to its peculiar location, is only visible from the highground at Dovercourt...Related to:
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: If you're visiting Harwich because of its location as a centre of all things nautical, you might want to make a point of finding a locus, where all these features - town centre; port; estuary; sea; & surrounding scenery, might be observed, all at the same time...
I would suggest you go to Dovercourt railway station, (downhill from the library, Kingsway - straight on, over the crossroads) & climb to the top of the pedestrian bridge...
This will provide a 360degree panorama, with the chimney tops of the old town to your left, while straight on down the railway line towards Wrabness, is Parkeston Quay & the International passenger terminal...
This is the best view of The Tower, a former hotel with an extended storey at 1 corner...
To your right is the Harwich lowland, known as Bathside, which was the area flooded in 1953 & where several lives were lost, & today it remains something of a bramble-ridden, no man's land between high ground & saltmarsh...
In this direction is the mouth of the River Stour, marked by the redundant lightship, East Goodwin Light Vessel, & it still is a water highway, used by traffic sailing to Mistley Quay...
The scenery in the background is Suffolk peninsula, & on a clear day you will be able to spot Shotley Marina & the tower where the police training school used to be...
0n the opposite side of Shotley Bay, is the mouth of the River 0rwell, just visible if you turn around to face in the other direction down the line, towards Harwich Quay, although the skyline here is dominated by the Dooley container terminals, on the opposite bank of the river...
I would rate this the best view of Harwich, but technically, this is still Dovercourt, so if you want a similar panoramic study, pedantic to the old port, then climb the steep hill to the Redoubt fort (clearly signposted from the Main Road)...
0utside the moat is a circular path around the allotments, which will provide many of the sights outlined above...
Fondest memory: Dovercourt seafront is dominated by its matching pair of lighthouses, & their unique design, with a seagull or several, perched aboard, is what defines this maritime town for me...Related to:
- Historical Travel