Ahoy there me hearties! Pirates Weekend Plymouth is calling all salty seadogs and landlubbers alike, to come down for a swashbuckling weekend of fun around the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May.

Perfect for all the family, there’s loads of things for kids to see, do and explore! We’ve pulled together the top ten things they won’t want to miss…

1. Hop aboard a tall ship

Two tall ships will be moored in Sutton Harbour: the Grayhound and the Johanna Lucretia. Grayhound is a replica of a 1776 Cornish Privateer, built using traditional methods in 2011, while Johanna Lucretia is a topsail schooner that has appeared in films including The Riddle of the Sands.

It’s free to hop aboard, so come and explore!

2. Find the ‘Most Wanted’ pirates

Pick up a trail map at the Tourist Information Centre for £2 and hunt for the ten pirates who are wanted for their crimes! Find them all for a small prize, and to be entered into a competition to win a Lego® CREATOR Pirate Roller Coaster Building Toy Set.

3. Strut your stuff in the Pirate Parade

New for this year is the Pirate Parade, sponsored by Lazy Jacks. The parade takes place at 3.45pm each day, starting at Quay Square, and will be led by the Drakes Corps of Drums.

Every young participant dressed as a pirate will receive a gift, so get your eye-patches and Jolly Rogers at the ready!

4. Hang out with real pirates  

Throughout the weekend, the much-loved Jonty Depp and his nemesis, Captain Barbossa will be roaming the streets and looking for new pirate friends to meet – make sure you stop them to say hello and snap a selfie!

Who knows where on the Barbican you might spot them as they parade around avoiding the authorities and keeping an eye out for treasures of every kind…

5. Make your own pirate treasure map

If your little ones love arts and crafts, then they’ll enjoy getting creative and making their very own pirate treasure map! Taking place in the Tourist Information Centre on Saturday 11 May, it costs £2 plus booking and advance booking is recommended.

6. Take to the high seas

Feeling adventurous? Get out on the water during the weekend!

Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association will be running free 30 minute sailing sessions on the hour, every hour from their boathouse on Commercial Wharf so you can test out life on the high seas. (Places are limited and will need to be booked in advance on the day).

Alternatively, join the Mount Batten Pirates on a 30 minute Powerboat Experience and see the Hoe, Drakes Island and Plymouth Sound from a Powerboat! It costs £7.50 per person or £25 for a family of four. (This activity is only suitable for children aged 8+ and all under 16s must be accompanied by an adult). You can book in advance online.

7. Learn from the Ship’s Surgeon

Listen to some gory tales from the Ship’s Surgeon, who will telling stories of pirate crews and their health aboard ship.

Learn all about the pirate’s medical techniques and the illnesses that crews had to deal with. You’ll find out how medicine and herbs were essential to the health of a pirate crew and how Long John Silver got his leg removed, in a practical “interactive” presentation

8. Say hello to Melody the Mermaid  

Melody the Mermaid will be meeting and greeting the land dwellers of The Barbican and opening her famous Mermaid school once again!

She’ll be running special arts and crafts activities, telling stories and singing songs too.

9. Sign up for swashbuckling school

Learn to fight with a pirate sword and board enemy ships! Budding pirates will love to take part in this session, which uses child safe weapons to teach the techniques of sword fighting on board pirate ships. 

Sessions last 30 minutes and take place at 10am, 12pm, 1pm and 3pm each day.

10. Enjoy the show!  

Settle down to enjoy a puppet show as professional puppeteers get the whole crowd involved, watch the pirate stiltwalkers perform their amazing juggling tricks or watch displays of musket firing by the Society of King George the Third.

And that’s not all! There’s a full programme of shanty bands to enjoy – they’ll be performing along Southside Street, outside Cap’n Jaspers and on board the Grayhound tall ship. You’ll come across stiltwalkers and storytellers, roaming the streets, and there’s displays of muskets and canon firing as well as historical renactments. The Giant Octopus Soft Play on the Parade will let little ones burn off some energy, while over in West Hoe Park there’s pirate crafts and lots of entertainment on offer.

Find out all the details on the Pirates Weekend Plymouth event page, or download the programme.

Pirates Weekend Plymouth is organised by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District.


In partnership with GWR, Destination Plymouth’s lead travel partner

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