Harwich harbour is on the estuaries of the River Stour and River Orwell and was for a long time the only safe anchorage between the River Thames and the Humber. The harbour has twin towns at its entrance: Felixstowe on the north and Harwich on the south side, both still busy with commercial shipping. Shotley Gate is the village situated on the point where the harbour divides into the two rivers and until 1976 was home to the Royal Navy's basic training establishment, HMS Ganges.
"Harwich" is pronounced by the locals to rhyme with "marriage".
- Harwich harbour is the setting for Goblin dragging her anchor with the Swallows aboard without the yacht's skipper (Jim Brading was ashore getting petrol) (WD)
- At the end of We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea, Ted Walker starts a job for the Royal Navy at Shotley naval station.
- The Walker family sail Goblin from Harwich harbour to the Secret Archipelago (SW).
Arthur Ransome used the actual Harwich harbour with little or no fictional embellishment.