During May one of Gloucestershire’s biggest and most popular festivals returns to Gloucester Docks, and May 2019 promises to be even better than ever. 2019 is the 10th anniversary of the Tall Ships Festival, which has quickly become a major tourist attraction over the last decade, appealing to both young and old with a wide range of activities and attractions to enjoy over the bank holiday weekend.
The tall ships themselves offer visitors the opportunity to get on board the traditional sailing vessels and find out more about life at sea, and the history of the ships that visit the festival. There are six tall ships visiting this year, including a replica of the Grayhound, originally built in Cawsand in Cornwall, the Grayhound was used to patrol the coasts and chase off smugglers.
As well as the tall ships, the festival also boasts other water-based activities – for those who enjoy high adrenaline activities there is a wakeboard competition and some futuristic jet suit displays, as well as the Gloucester Docks zipwire – an exciting way to see the docks from a different perspective! There are also pirate shows, starring the infamous Jack Sparrow to keep the family entertained, and you may well bump into all sorts of unusual characters from the golden age of piracy as you wander around the docks!
As well as swashbuckling and ships, there are also live music events throughout the day and a large variety of food and drink stalls. Whilst visiting the docks, it is also a good opportunity to visit the National Waterways museum, which offers a fascinating insight through the years into the history of Britain’s many waterways, how they were built, and the ecosystem that they support.
Shoppers looking for a bargain will also be happy, as the Gloucester Quays designer outlet is based at the Docks and is home to a wide range of stores selling designer brands at lower prices!
With all of that and more, it is easy to see why the Tall Ships is such a popular and ever-growing attraction, this weekend over 200,000 visitors are expected to pay a visit to the festival!