A VISITOR trail exploring Harwich’s links to the Mayflower ship has opened to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the vessel’s historic voyage.

The Mayflower Trail consists of information boards and directional signs around Harwich, detailing its links to the founding of modern America.

This week Wednesday, 16 September marked 400 years since the Pilgrim Fathers departed for what was then known as the New World, stepping off English soil for the last time at Plymouth for their voyage across the Atlantic aboard The Mayflower.

T Carried aboard The Mayflower, the ship and several of its crew were from Harwich – including its captain Christopher Jones, whose house still stands in King’s Head Street today.

Harwich is joining several other towns and cities around the world, including Plymouth, which all have links to the Mayflower story, to commemorate the landmark anniversary with a series of special events.

Although the festivities have been delayed due to the impact of Covid-19, they are still planned to go ahead, but some have either been altered or postponed.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

In Harwich work has been completed to fit out Christopher Jones’ House as a tourist attraction, and work has almost finished at the new Visitor Centre at Esplanade Hall.

These are due open to the public in Spring 2021, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Mayflower Trail, which has been funded with £45,000 sponsorship from Greater Anglia, has been installed to coincide with the 400th anniversary.

Alex Porter, Tendring Council’s councillor responsible for leisure and tourism, encouraged people to enjoy the Mayflower Trail.

“Harwich’s links to The Mayflower are truly fascinating, and you can really learn a lot from the trail,”he said.

“While the opening of attractions has had to be delayed to the global pandemic, you can start getting yourself steeped in history now by walking the Mayflower Trail and soaking up the atmosphere from Historic Harwich.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Jonathan Denby, Greater Anglia’s head of corporate affairs, added: “The Mayflower story is all about journeys and, as the region’s train operator, that is something which resonates strongly with us.

“Harwich is easy to reach by train and travelling there by rail will help to reduce congestion and pollution in the town, making the events more enjoyable for both visitors and residents.”

The Mayflower Trail is about 1km long and has eight Waypoints, starting from St Helen’s Green.

A special Harwich sign, also funded as part of the project, will be installed at Harwich Green in early 2021.