Harwich is a town in the very northeast of Essex, located in the Tendring district. It is a port that is slightly smaller than Felixstowe, and although Felixstowe is just across the estuary of the Rivers Stour and Orwell, and a foot ferry is available, there is no direct vehicle link between the two towns. Consequently, any journey between them requires a 33 mile detour via the Orwell Bridge.
The town has been an important stopping point for ferries to mainland Europe since the railway arrived in the 19th century. Today, most traffic comes in on the A120. In its heyday, the A604 ended at Parkeston Quay by the ferry terminal.