Hartlepool's Maritime Experience is a visitor attraction in Hartlepool, Cleveland, in the northeast of England. The concept of the attraction is the thematic re-creation of an 18th-century seaport, in the time of Lord Nelson, Napoleon and the Battle of Trafalgar. HMS Trincomalee, a Royal Navy frigate and Britain's oldest warship afloat is at the centre of the quay. She was built in Bombay, India in 1817. The 190th anniversary of the ship's official launch was on Friday 12 October 2007.
Before April 2005 it was known as Hartlepool Historic Quay. It was built by Teesside Development Corporation as part of the economic regeneration of old industrial sites of Teesside, on the derelict docks that was formally used for industries such as ship building and the timber yards etc.
It opened to the public July 1994. The attraction consists of Gift shop and reception, Marine Barracks and Guard Room, a number of period shops and houses, Fighting Ships, Pressganged, Sir William Gray Suite and Baltic Rooms, Skittle Square and children’s playship, Bistro and Quayside Coffee Shop, Children’s Maritime Adventure Centre, HMS Trincomalee, PS Wingfield Castle and the Museum of Hartlepool.
The PS Wingfield Castle, preserved at the Museum of Hartlepool is a floating exhibit and cafe. There are hundreds of other exhibits in the museum charting the history of the town from prehistoric times right up to the present day. One of the most popular features is the description of the Hartlepool monkey legend. Others include a full size coble boat, a lighthouse, a genuine German shell from the Bombardment of Hartlepool and many ships' models and engine displays.
The site has seen some improvements in 2006/2007 including a renewed Fighting Ships which is an audio / visual tour of a warship. There is now a new character which is Jim Henshaw, a young powder monkey.
New for 2008 include a HMS Trincomalee Exhibition, Viewing Balcony overlooking HMS Trincomalee, Upgrading and re-design of the Maritime Adventure Centre and the Restoration of PS Wingfield Castle.
Nearby is Hartlepool Marina and Navigation Point where there are many restaurants and bars. Hartlepool was the host port for the final leg of The Tall Ships' Races in 2010.