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See the Mayflower being built in historic Harwich

Harwich in Essex is home to one of Britain's busiest ports, but has much more to offer visitors with a beautiful beach, striking architecture and fascinating history. Harwich is the scene of a remarkable project to rebuild the Mayflower and sail it to America. You can watch progress being made on a replica of the vessel that was originally built in Harwich, the hometown of the first Mayflower's captain. Stroll down to one of the country's few remaining wooden piers that can still be walked on, catch a film in the historic Electric Palace cinema, which opened in 1911 and whose patron is local actor Clive Owen. There's a blue flag beach, Dovercourt Bay, plus another slice of history at Redoubt Fort, built in the 19th century and open for great value visits.

Walk on the wild side at Colchester Zoo

Within half an hour you can be at a wide range of attractions such as Colchester Zoo and castle plus Ipswich with its bustling waterfront, or lose yourself in the beautiful countryside at Dedham Vale which inspired the painter Constable. The historic town of Colchester itself also has lots going on with lovely independent shops, lots of pubs and restaurants and three theatres.

Traditional seaside fun in Clacton-on-Sea

The bustling Essex resort of Clacton-on-Sea has traditional seaside fun such as a pleasure pier, arcades, theatres, a golf course and water sports. Looking for accommodation Near Harwich? Travelodge Ipswich Capel St Mary Hotel's within half an hour's drive or try Travelodge Clacton-on-Sea Central Hotel.