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Shiver me timbers, Pirates Weekend comes to Royal William Yard for the first time!

Posted on: 16 May 2023

Dommoore 2014 mutants december 1338
Alex Ryley
Site Editor
Crowd royal william yard melville child sitting on shoulders

This weekend, Plymouth’s renowned Pirates Weekend is back in swashbuckling style, taking place at various locations along the waterfront – including at Royal William Yard. The historic destination will have the Jolly Roger flying from the flagpole, a treasure hunt with bounty to be won, sea shanties by the water’s edge, and much more besides.

This is the first time the popular event has crossed the high seas to Royal William Yard, a destination known for its rich maritime history. Brave buccaneers can even hop on board Plymouth Boat Trips’ ‘Pirate Ferry’ service, setting sail from the Barbican to drop anchor in Royal William Yard Marina.

Activities at the Yard will take place from 10am-3pm on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May, meaning those keen to enjoy all that Pirates Weekend offers can move between locations and have adventures aplenty.

Organised by Royal William Yard – with support from the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District – the weekend promises to be fun for everyone, from families to lone sea dogs. There will be an array of entertainment for all ages and the Yard’s resident restaurants, bars and cafes will provide grub and grog galore.

The weekend’s activities at Royal William Yard will include:

  • Treasure Hunt: grab a treasure map, hunt for clues, and claim your bounty!
  • Children’s pirate craft activities
  • Pirate stilt walkers
  • Face painting
  • Tasty treats on the lawn, with crepes and slushies
  • Sea Shanty performances from Cousin Jack and Seaweed In The Fruit Locker
  • Live music from Anything but Francis on Sunday 21st May

Also taking place around Royal William Yard:

  • South West SUP has much planned on the high seas (and nobody will be made to walk the plank!). Saturday starts with blissful SUP yoga at 8:30am, followed by beginner, improver and bespoke lessons running until 1pm along with SUP hire for pirates with previous SUP experience. Sunday starts bright and early at eight bells (8am!) with a social paddle exploring Plymouth Sound. Lessons and hire available all day plus a special guided tour venturing across the high seas to Cawsand Bay at 11am. Finally, there is a Junior club at 1pm - a SUP session designed for any younger pirate paddlers.
  • The Club House will run a pop-up cocktail bar on the lawn, with lawn games for families. Plenty will be going in inside the restaurant over the weekend, including having a family entertainer – Billy Wiz – performing magic tricks and balloon modelling in the restaurant on /Sunday between 3-5pm, and a kids eat a roast for £1 with a paying adult deal will be available.
  • The Hook & Line will hold a fresh fish market and BBQ across the weekend – and as Plymouth’s speciality rum bar, it will offer a wide variety of rum-based beverages.
  • Royal William Yard Marina will run the ‘Pirate Ferry’ and have a RNLI Inshore Rescue Boat on display in the marina.
  • Domea Favour, the Yard’s own independent chocolatier, will sell pirate lollipops.
  • The Shack will be decorated as a skeleton cave (enter if you dare!), with pirate cupcakes and other treats on offer.
  • Hub Box will dress as pirates, serve rum cocktails and offer a Kids Eat Free deal (T&Cs apply).
  • BLOCK will run a kids colouring competition to 'win a treasure chest of chocolate' – and with every kids’ drink, comes the gift of a chocolate coin.
  • Steel Brew Co will have offers on rum-based drinks for anyone dressed as a pirate! Live music will come courtesy of Rich C, playing 3-6pm on Sunday.
  • Wagamama will get in the spirit, with the team dressed as a pirate crew.
  • Ocean Studios has a host of creative activities taking place, including Mini Print children’s session on Saturday 20th May 10am–11.30am; Drawing from Life Workshop on Saturday 20th May, 10am-1pm; and a Printmaking Workshop on Saturday 20th May 10am–12:30pm

Plus much more to be announced – check the Royal William Yard website and social media channels for details.