Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tall Ships Festival at Greenwich

The largest number of 'tall' ships to visit Greenwich in 25 years will be moored until Tuesday 9th September along the river between Greenwich and Woolwich. Most of the 50 ships gathering here will have sailed from Falmouth during the past week as part of the Falmouth-Greenwich Regatta.

The festival launch on Friday evening features Catalan street theatre group Sarruga who present "a stunning underwater spectacle" in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, followed by fireworks. Check out all the other festival events and activities (free and ticketed) here.

You can also board one or two of the ships at the various locations in Greenwich itself, at Enderby Wharf on the Greenwich Peninsula, at Royal Arsenal Woolwich, and at Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf. At Greenwich, you can visit the largest ship, Dar Mlodziezy (a Polish/Russian ship, pictured above) between 2pm and 6pm on Friday 5th and 10am – 6pm from Saturday to Monday. More info on Ship Visits here.

Many of these beautiful sailing ships are replicas of older ships and are crewed by novice young sailors "learning the ropes". The Tenacious (moored at Woolwich) is said to be the largest wooden tall ship of her kind in the world, and boasts full disabled access for wheelchair users, a speaking compass for its blind and partially sighted crew members, plus an induction loop and vibrator alarms for the hard-of-hearing.

Also at Woolwich, the Shtandart is a modern replica of a Russian navy flagship built for Peter the Great in 1703. It is a much smaller version of the sort of 17th century British naval ship that Deptford's own Lenox Project hopes to build at Convoys Wharf.

See also 853 blog's take on the festival.


  1. Don't bother going to Greenwich there are only 3 ships there and you cant see them!! Just a con to get you to go on the ferry's. A disgrace!!!

  2. There are six ships on the peninsula and 16 more at Woolwich, plus a big mix of small and large craft at Wood Wharf. So you need to go a little further than 'maritime Greenwich'. Agreed, there is not much to see in Greenwich itself! Walk along the river a bit!

  3. Yes, it turns out that the Dar Mlodziezy is hardly in Greenwich centre – it's quite a long walk down past the Cutty Sark pub! But the atmosphere around the Naval College was quite buzzy and I was amazed at how far people were prepared to walk to get to the next 6 ships at Morden Wharf (or Enderby), a lot of it through a grim industrial environment that you can quickly pass through if you're cycling.

    But because so many people were walking the path, the annoying thing was not being able to cycle anywhere near the river, with miserable jobsworths in orange tabards stopping cyclists from using the path and telling them they couldn't lock their bikes to the river railings when there was nowhere else to lock them up! If you want to cycle to the six ships at Morden/Enderby Wharf you have to approach it from Tunnel Approach which isn't very pleasant. Best idea would be to DLR it to North Greenwich and walk back to Greenwich (unless you were thinking of walking all the way to Woolwich too!).