Harwich's popular ale trail is offering new special events as part of the five-day experience.

With five of Harwich’s historic pubs and two pubs in Dovercourt taking part, the Ale Trail is offering a wide range of ales and ciders from Thursday May 2 to Monday May 6.

On Saturday May 4, the history of Harwich’s pubs will be brought to life by the Victoria County History of Essex, the Harwich Town Museum, and the Harwich Society as they present ‘Harwich’s pubs—a time traveller’s guide’.

Historians will host a talk at Harwich’s historic cinema, the Electric Palace, which has stood since 1911 and is one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas to survive in the UK.

Dr Chris Thornton (Victoria County History) will share his knowledge of medieval brewing and Harwich’s pubs from 11.30am, followed by David Whittle (Harwich Town Museum) and Richard Oxborrow (the Harwich Society), who will attempt to name the 94 pubs known to have existed on 48 different Harwich sites until 1pm.  

After a break for lunch, the Harwich Society will lead a guided pub walk through Harwich at 2.30pm from the Ha’penny Pier Visitor Centre.

Both the talk and the walk are free of charge.

Richard Oxborrow of the Harwich Society said: “Harwich is still blessed with wonderful pubs in centuries old buildings, and strolling around the old town from pub to pub is a true pleasure.”

He continued: “Harwich’s Ale Trail expands on the choice of ales and ciders usually available, and the combination of real ale and real history will certainly make it worth a visit.”

The Ale Trail will also see the launch of the seventh book in the ‘Little Pub Books’ series, which is currently being written. The subject of the latest book is Sam’s Wine Bar, formerly known as the Rose and Crown during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The sixth book in the series showcased the Alma Inn and could be found for £2 in the inn, the Harwich Town Museum, and in the Harwich Society’s Ha’penny Pier visitor centre. It was written by Richard Oxborrow, Harry Black, and Lewis Peake.