The Mayflower line runs from Manningtree, which is the usual terminus for the branch trains, connecting with services to London and Ipswich. The branch follows the path of the estuary of the River Stour to Harwich. The train stops at Mistley, a small riverside town noted for its large number of swans which gather on the river bank in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the south bank.
The train calls at Wrabness where you can walk past the community shop and join footpaths which runs past the house which Grayson Perrys designed and is one of the houses, for living architecture.
Trains go onwards to the next stop of Harwich International, which is a focused interchange for ferries and large cruise ships making their way around the world. There are even occasional non-stop trains to Harwich International from London Liverpool Street. The branch line then takes travellers to next stop of Dovercourt, a small busy town with a regular Friday Market, and a short walk to the sea front.
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At the end of the line is Harwich Town where you will find a seasonal ferry over to Shotley and Felixstowe in Suffolk or if you prefer to remain on dry land, you can enjoy a day out where you can have a leisurely lunch, explore the Mayflower project and visit the local shops and museums that Harwich has to offer. The Lifeboat Museum offers unique experience, whilst on the docks you can still see the original tracks for the crane and sea-rail services. If your taste in history goes back a little further, the Redoubt is an impressive circular fort built in 1808.