On the home leg of our Interrail adventure, we needed to get the ferry back from the continent back into the UK. The most viable route for us was the Hook of Holland ferry to Harwich in Essex. The ferry was an afternoon one rather than the overnight one we caught on the way out so we would be landing late. Our departure from the ferry was estimated to be about 10 pm which meant that crossing the UK to Gloucestershire that late via London was not viable.
We researched dog-friendly places to stay in Harwich, where we discovered The Goodlife Guest House. The Harwich area was quite limited for budget places to stay which were also dog friendly so by default Goodlife it was.
We had booked to stay at Goodlife as soon as we had confirmed our ferry booking and times. This required a phone call to establish how dog friendly they were and to check if we could arrive late at night. The call went well they are dog friendly and get a lot of guests that arrive on the ferry. After checks, we went to an online booking site and paid for our stay.
Afternoon Ferry to Harwich
The afternoon ferry journey was nice and got to see a lot more of the English Channel than on the outbound journey. We didn’t book a room this time as no sleep was required after a relaxing stay at Hotel Vue in St Gerlach. After putting the dog in the kennel deck and settling him down we headed to the main deck and commandeered an office area where we plugged laptops in and got some work done.
Getting to Goodlife Guest House
After navigating passport control and them asking our movements we headed towards the Harwich International train station. We decided that the quickest route to the Goodlife was to get off at Dovercourt station and walk. The train journey and walk took less than 10 minutes so was an easy walk.
We had been told to ring a specific bell for late check-in in the hotel doorbell didn’t get a reply when arriving late. This was not needed as we were let in pretty efficiently. To our surprise, the reception had a short queue. This was mainly people that work on the ferry checking in for a rest before they returned to The Netherlands the next evening. The owner was a friendly lady who showed us around and took us to our room.
The room was a basic twin room with traditional seaside town decoration but was fine for our needs. The room was clean and beds were reasonably comfortable, there was a heater to warm the room on this cold winters evening.
Our bedroom was not ensuite but just outside the door was a communal toilet and bathroom, this was all clean and the shower was nice and powerful.
We were hungry and needed a drink other than Tuica for a nightcap so dumped our bag and left to find sustenance. Underneath the guesthouse was a convenience store that was open until 11 pm so decided to go there after getting takeout.
Just down the road from us was a few takeouts on Google maps so headed towards the first takeaway a chippy called The Fish House. This was closing up but could do us a meal. We ordered some traditional English fish and chips, but as they were closing we were given a pile of sausages to enjoy with the meal.
Wine and beer were purchased next as well as caffeinated drinks in the form of Redbull and Pepsi Max Cherry to get us going in the morning.
Back to the room, we opened the fish and chips, OMG this was massive even before adding the extra sausages into the mix. These were delicious as had not had a chippy meal for quite some time, sadly there was loads left after filling ourselves up.
We were tired and were sleeping as soon as our heads hit the pillow, the dog slept well too on his bed. In the morning we had to checkout for 10 am so skipped the optional extra breakfast in favour of extra sleep. In the morning we left just enough time to get showered and packed before departing.
We asked the nice owner if we could leave our bags so we could explore Dovercourt and the beach before getting the train towards London. This was not a problem and we had a good chat and met the resident German Shepherd dog.
The guesthouse is located in the Dovercourt area of Harwich, which has a nice park, a beach and coastal walk. We got some form of picnic breakfast of sandwiches and savoury snacks from the convenience store and headed into the park opposite.
Cliff park was very nice, it was well maintained, had a bandstand and most importantly has a picnic table for breakfast. This was a nice place to see and watch the sea and was popular with other dog walkers.
From Cliff Park, we were quickly on a coastal path with beach huts and a nice looking beach.
We first headed towards a historical site Cornwallis Battery where there was a walkway into the sea.
The Cornwallis Battery was one of six coastal batteries built to defend the port of Harwich. It was built in 1940 for use as an anti-motor torpedo boat site. It was armed with a twin 6-pounder gun, which was manned by 282 Battery of 515 Coast Regiment.
After a quick browse of the historic site, we headed for a walk on the sandy Dovercourt beach for the dog to enjoy his 2nd time playing in the sand. This was quite pleasant and nice and quiet as was January and outside of peak holiday season.
Collecting our bags as arranged was painless and from there proceeded back to Dovercourt train station via a vape shop to get essential supplies. We then caught the regular Manningtree train where we needed to change to get to London Liverpool Street Station.
To find out more about the facilities, read reviews or make a booking SEE HERE…
There are many other options for places to stay including more luxury options in Harwich and Dovercourt area. More info…