Harwich /ˈhærɪtʃ/ is a town in Essex, England and one of the Haven ports, located upon the coast like the North Sea to the east. It is in the Tendring district. Nearby places total Felixstowe to the northeast, Ipswich to the northwest, Colchester to the southwest and Clacton-on-Sea to the south. It is the northernmost coastal town within Essex.
Its position on the estuaries of the Stour and Orwell rivers and its usefulness to mariners as the only safe anchorage in the middle of the Thames and the Humber led to a long times of maritime significance, both civil and military. The town became a naval base in 1657 and was heavily fortified, with Harwich Redoubt, Beacon Hill Battery, and Bath Side Battery.
Harwich is the likely launch lessening of the Mayflower which carried English Puritans to North America, and is the presumed birthplace of Mayflower captain Christopher Jones.
Harwich today is contiguous in the same way as Dovercourt and the two, along later Parkeston, are often referred to collectively as Harwich.