Posted: Friday, 5th August 2011

The Gloucester Tall Ships Festival 2011 is the place to be on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Gloucester Docks, Britains most inland port, will come alive once again for The Gloucester Tall Ships Festival 2011, taking place during the Bank Holiday weekend of 26th-28th August 2011. The Festival didn't take place last year with a lack of funding and too much building work taking place in The Docks being given as reasons. We can't wait for it to take place at the end of the month, as the Festival gives a much needed boost to businesses throughout Gloucester.

The Docks is a vibrant, atmospheric place to be when the Tall Ships Festival is on and truly does offer something for everyone. If the sights of the ships and boats themselves are not enough to mesmorise you and your family, or you actually do tire of exploring them, there are many events taking place for you to enjoy and much to do.

Ship in Gloucester Docks
Gloucester Docks takes on an vibrant atmosphere during the Tall Ships Festival.

On water, one of the favourite tall ships to arrive is the beautiful, breathtaking Kathleen and May, a visitor on occasion to the dry docks for repairs and a former cargo ship carrying coal. Also making her way to Gloucester Docks will be The Phoenix, built in Denmark and now over 80 years old she is used to a big audience having been the star of quite a few films in her past, including 'The Scarlett Pimpernell'.

Alongside the charismatic tall ships will be some old favourites such as The Irene, the last remaining West Country Trading Ketch still in use and who is yet another star having taken part in 'The Flying Dutchman' and, not quite a single survivor but one of only around a dozen of the Cornish Luggers in operation today, is The White Heather, a former shark and mackerel fishing boat, converted to sail in the 1990's.

Warehouses in the background
The Docks is the perfect setting for the Tall Ships Festival 2011.

We must not forget the smaller boats and narrowboats that will be coming to take their part in this festival and helping to make it a day to remember. What a spectacular sight to see the modern boats alongside the old, the narrowboats alongside the tall ships.

Not everything is taking part on water at Gloucester Docks during the Tall Ships Festival. The quayside will be a hive of activity during this weekend with a variety of entertainment, some of which will be offering a glimpse to the past.

A narrowboat
A narrowboat undergoing maintenance in a dry dock belonging to T Nielson in Gloucester Docks.

Live music will be on hand to add to the atmosphere and perhaps you can sing along as you wander through the market and food stalls selling such items as exotic foods, water crafts and arts. Gloucester Docks based antiques emporium Upstairs Downstairs is holding an Antiques Valuation Day on the 27th August 2011. Meet their experts for valuations on china, clocks, jewellery, glass, coins, medals, silver and collectables.

Once the youngsters have finished exploring the ships and boats they can let off some steam riding the fairground attractions and taking part in the childrens activities on offer.

A sailboat
Gloucester Docks is the place to explore boats on the August Bank Holiday weekend 2011.

You do not need to be a boat enthusiast to enjoy this weekend of fun at Gloucester Docks. It is a lovely time to walk around and marvel at this once busy gateway to International Trade.

Dean Lutton
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