Harwich itself has been a major port since its appearance on the scene in 1150 or so. A shipbuilding center for a time, it's now England's major car ferry port for the North Sea. Harwich was home base for the Mayflower, and her master, Captain Christopher Jones, lived here along the quay, at number 21. To see the major sights, take a guided tour. It will introduce you to the historical sights of Harwich: Low Lighthouse, decommissioned, now home to the Maritime Museum; the Lifeboat Museum; the Ha'penny Tour Visitor's Center, a restored Victorian pier ticket office, with its Mayflower exhibition instructing the visitor about that worthy ship's transport of the Pilgrims to America; and the Harwich Redoubt Fort, a large circular fort built against a possible Napoleonic invasion. To view Harwich on your own, the Harwich Maritime Trail provides walkers with a pleasant, informative, sight-filled trip around the ancient port.For the nature lover in you, a trip up the Stour River is a must, with its large population of swans and other wildlife. The river tour ends with a stop in Manningtree, England's smallest town. Walk to the end of High Street to take in the panoramic view of the estuary.