You get to Harwich via the politically incorrect town of Manningtree. Harwich has more going for it than I can remember when we set off on the original leg of the North Sea Cycle route in 2002(ish). This time we’re heading across to the Hook of Holland to catch some more of the route via Copenhagen. Navigation aids abound, framed by dominant Felixstowe at the junction of the Stour, Deben and Orwell.

Some fine medieval streets mixed up with some newer bitsnpieces, blending in with Dovercourt. Where do place names come from? Perhaps those were the thoughts of the Pilgrim Fathers as the set sail on the Mayflower; Samuel Pepys’ pen may have hovered with such reflections.

Convincing ourselves the English flags are waving for the world cup, vs in support of the prominent UKIP offices, there is an active community here. Most visibly, the Harwich Society has done fantastic week on the Napoleonic defences. Even the Beacon Hill fort left over from WW11 is having a makeover: volunteers just ignore the daunting scale of the task and make a difference.

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The best thing that can be said about Harwich International is pass through.

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