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Harwich & Parkeston Winter Ale Festival 2018

At the Parkeston Railway Club, Hamilton Street, Parkeston. CO12 4PQ

Wednesday 21st November 17.00 to 23.00
Thursday 22nd November 11.00 to 23.00
Friday 23rd November 11.00 to 23.00
Saturday 24th November 11.00 to 23.00

50+ real ales, ciders, perries, Essex wines, Belgian and other International beers + free soft drinks for designated drivers.

Free entry to card carrying CAMRA members at ALL times - Non-members £2.50 entry; Souvenir Glasses £3.50

We're very close to putting on an extravaganza of lovely British real ale, craft cider and amazing international beers at the Parkeston Railway Club. Our suppliers and branch members have been dashing about to assemble another great beer menu for you to sip, savour and enjoy. As we always say - there is something for everyone plus beers you have never sampled before.

If you're travelling to the festival we are right on the doorstep of Harwich International Port, a short stroll from Harwich International Station, and we have all you need at the festival including fantastic food from the friendly team at the Café on the Pier. There are trains from Harwich Town and Dovercourt that run hourly with a return fare of under £3.00 (less than a pint!) There are regular trains from Manningtree to Harwich International Port (the venue is a three minute walk & signposted).

Our theme this year is the 200th "birthday" of the iconic Harwich Lighthouses - the High and Low lighthouses built in 1818 as "leading lights" to guide ships into Harwich harbour.

The Low Lighthouse, featured in our logo, is now the Maritime Museum and the High lighthouse (which has been a house and a radio museum) is being set up as a town museum with views over Harwich from the top.

We are a small festival but pride ourselves on a great selection of ales and a warm atmosphere - we look forward to welcoming you!

Keep checking back here for more details!

HOT OFF THE PRESS .. Grab a Beer List!


Our little beer festival started in 2002 with a bang - we were literally drunk dry on the Friday night and we even ran out of glasses. The festival continued in the same venue in Dovercourt Town Centre for a further twelve years and we like to think that in that time we built up a reputation as a small but perfectly formed Winter Ale Festival - with a really interesting selection of beers and a nice atmosphere in which to enjoy them.

It was in 2015 that the then Harwich & Dovercourt Bay Winter Ale Festival had to be cancelled at short notice because our venue suddenly became unavailable.

Fortunately the Parkeston Railway Club came to our rescue and in 2016 we were delighted to be able to continue in a new home - we tweaked the festival name slightly to reflect our new location.

Grub, Grub, Glorious Grub

Not only do we have some great real ale but we also have some fantastic food to go with it. The expert team from the Café on the Pier in Harwich are Tendring CAMRA members themselves so know what goes well with our beer list.

Out and About

You'll find a warm welcome and everything you need at our beer festival but if you're a visitor to the area and would like to explore a little more there is plenty to see. Three minutes down the line on the train will get you to the Victorian seaside resort of Dovercourt, with its shops, cliffs and promenade and the Bottle Kiln and Kings Arms pubs. Another two minutes down the line will take you to Harwich Town station and the historic seaport of Harwich with a number of ancient pubs and fantastic views of the estuary of the rivers Stour and Orwell. A circuit of the old town will allow you to take in the Alma Inn, Globe, New Bell Inn and Hanover Inn where you will discover buildings full of history and a great array of real ale and cider.

Information for Travellers

The festival is located in Parkeston Railway Club. Rail passengers should alight at Harwich International (HPQ) station which is one stop before Dovercourt station and two before Harwich Town on the line from Manningtree. Passengers from away will generally need to change trains at Manningtree although there are some direct services from Colchester and London Liverpool Street.


Check to see what we've got on our beer list. We hate disclaimers but please note that we simply cannot guarantee that a particular beer will be available when you visit.

Facebook event page - why not invite your friends?

Click here to find the venue on OpenStreetMap.

Click here to get a train timetable from National Express East Anglia.

Can you help spread the word? Please print some posters and put them on your noticeboard!

Last Year's Festival

Last year's festival page is available here.