Harwich International Ferry Port to Wells Next the Sea
RP 45. Wells Next the Sea
Starting from just outside the Harwich International Ferry Port, this route can easily be used as a short weekend break for overseas visitors from Hoek Van Holland. Travelling through the beautiful countryside of the counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk and arriving at Wells Next the Sea for an overnight stop on board the old historic Dutch sailing barge - Albatros (if you choose to).
Leaving the ferry port, the route follows the River Stour for 12 miles to Manningtree before crossing over it and taking you into the county of Suffolk.

Suffolk is a county filled with natural beauty, bordered by 50 miles of glorious coastline and full of charming villages and medieval towns which draw in artists and writers, and its bounty of great produce and restaurants make it a special spot for foodies. The towns and villages on the Suffolk coast are wonderfully varied. The largest is Lowestoft, which boasts a wide sandy beach and access to the beautiful Suffolk Broads. At the other end of the scale is Orford, a tiny fishing village that possesses an unexpected bounty of foodie delights, and a depth of folklore surrounding its unique castle, ideal stop for a coffee.
The small town of Leiston has two museums both worthy of a visit, the first is The Long Shop Museum. Located at the heart of the original Richard Garrett and Sons Town Works, The Long Shop museum tells an inspiring story of enterprise and endeavor through its stunning collections, hands-on displays and the remarkable family behind the factory.
It’s actually called ‘The Long Shop’ as it was the world’s first purpose built workshop for assembly line production. It was staffed by engineers who designed and made ploughs, steam engines, peat harvesters, trolley buses, washing machines and more, which were exported across the world.
The second museum is the David Silver Honda Collection, In the collection, you will find over 200 different Honda motorcycle models produced 1947 to 1992. Throughout the two-floors of display, you will see Honda models of all shapes and sizes, from 1-cylinder to 6-cylinders and from 2-stroke to 4-stroke, Honda produced more variety of engines and model designs than any other motorcycle producer. You may even find your first Honda!

Southwold is where you'll find a lighthouse, 2 piers, a sandy beach and colourful beach huts. The lighthouse at Southwold has been an important landmark for years, a coastal mark for passing shipping that guides vessels info Southwold Harbour.

Sitting proudly in the northernmost part of The Suffolk Coast is Lowestoft, famous for being the first place to see the sunrise in the UK. The Euroscope plaque at Ness Point (RP 26) shows that Lowestoft is the most easterly town in the UK and is essentially a circle of plaques showing mileages to various points in the British Isles and Europe, including the most westerly, southerly and northerly parts of the UK. it's also the birthplace of composer Benjamin Britten.
Just north of Lowestoft you will leave Suffolk and cross into the county of Norfolk.

Norfolk is possibly most famous for the man-made Broads, a National Park with over 125 miles of navigable lock-free waterways set in beautiful countryside and studded with charming and picturesque towns and villages. The Broads are old peat workings that date back to medieval times. Windmills have become synonymous with the Broads, these were used for pumping not grinding and many are open to the public.

Anyone that likes Roman history can visit Caister Roman Village at RP 29, just a small 200 m detour off of the main route.
Next is Cromer, home of the famous Cromer Crab. Cromer crabs are brown crabs that are caught off the northern coast of Norfolk around Cromer village. The chalk shelf and nutrient-rich waters in this region make for a particularly flavoursome, tender and fragrant crab. For this reason I have suggested Cromer as a place to have lunch, here you will find a very good selection of cafes and restaurants to choose from.
From Cromer the route passes The Muckleburgh Military Collection, the collection is the finest private museum of military memorabilia in the United Kingdom. The collection includes tanks, guns and vehicles that have been gathered from all over the world and if you book, you can even drive a tank.
As a complete contrast, just along the road you can visit the 200 year old Cley Windmill. Cley Windmill іs а five storey tower mill wіth а stage аt second floor level, twenty feet above ground. Іt has а dome shaped cap wіth а gallery which wаs winded by аn eight-bladed fantail, ten feet six inches іn diameter. The cap іs nоw fixed and unable tо turn tо wind. Interestingly the singer James Blunt's parents owned it and it is where James grew up, it has since been sold and is now run as a boutique hotel.
Wells Next the Sea is the final destination and as you arrive at the Quay, you will pass under the overhanging grain gantry. Wells Next the Sea was until recent times a manufacturing town, once supplying huge quantities of malt to Dutch and then London breweries, and an impressive feature of the harbour is the large granary building with its distinctive overhanging gantry.
The Albatros is a former Dutch cargo ship built in 1899 as a North Sea clipper, and now permanently moored alongside the Quay. One of the oldest sailing ships still afloat, The Albatros earns its keep as a bar, restaurant, music venue and B&B.
Captain Ton Brouwer dishes up authentic Dutch pancakes and other Dutch specialties, which can be enjoyed alfresco on deck with stunning views of the marshes and harbour, or in the cosy bar and restaurant below decks in the former cargo hold. I have included several links below this review including one for the Albatros.

This route deserves the 4***** stars because the roads, scenery and attractions are all very good.

RP 20. Southwold Lighthouse.
RP 42. Cley Windmill.
Useful links:
B&B Dutch barge, Albatros.
David Silver Honda Collection.
The Long Shop Museum, Leiston.
Stena Line ferry
Wells Next the Sea

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Nick Carthew - RouteXpert
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View route collection The Ultimate 10 Day (North) UK Tour
About this route collection
Starting from and returning to Harwich ferry port, this tour follows the east coast of England up to the Highlands of Scotland and returns via the Lake District. It visits 6 of the UK's national parks and explores 2 islands and visits 2 James Bond 007 film locations.

Daily highlights.
Day 1, Harwich to Wells Next the Sea:
Southwold lighthouse, Cromer Crab lunch and sleeping on a Dutch barge.

Day 2, Wells Next the Sea to Middlesbrough:
Royal Sandringham Estate, Humber Bridge, a lap of Oliver's Mount, North York Moors National Park, Whitby Abbey the inspiration for Dracula.

Day 3, Middlesbrough to Dundee:
Tees Transporter Bridge, Angel of the North, Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

Day 4, Dundee to Inverness:
Cairngorms National Park, Balmoral Castle, Whisky Distilleries.

Day 5, Inverness to Ullapool:
Exceptional Landscapes, Falls of Shin, Loch Drumbeg Viewpoint, Kylesku Bridge.

Day 6, Ullapool to Dornie:
Kinlochewe viewpoint, Applecross Pass, Isle of Skye.

Day 7, Dornie to Keswick:
Eilean Donan Castle (007), Glencoe Pass, Glen Etive (007), Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Day 8, Keswick to Kendal:
A tour of the Lake District National Park visiting 6 of the best passes including Wrynose Pass and Hardknott Pass and 7 of the great lakes including Ullswater and Windermere.

Day 9, Kendal to Matlock:
Yorkshire Dales National Park, Ribblehead Viaduct, Peak District National Park, Snake Pass, Matlock Bath (motorcycle Mecca).

Day 10, Matlock to Harwich:
Heckington Windmill, Moulton Windmill, Dutch Quarter in Colchester.

By starting from Harwich, this tour avoids the traffic congestion of the south east and London making it perfect for European visitors wanting to see some of the best landscapes and sights that the north of the UK has to offer.
The cost of the ferry from Hoek Van Holland to Harwich return for motorcycle and rider costs £139.00 (163.51 Euro) (in 2019) which includes a cabin on the outward leg.
Where possible, motorways have been avoided and scenic routes are used every day.