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All you need to know about coming to Gloucester Tall Ships Festival

Gloucester Tall Ships Festival is a bi-annual celebration, which takes place at the historic Gloucester Docks and celebrates the city’s rich nautical history, which dates back to 1827. 

The event is a vibrant spectacle with a long weekend packed full of entertainment including live music, immersive entertainment, sail cargo showcases, vintage fairground rides, family-friendly activities, and a local food and drink market. 

The festival not only embraces the majestic tall ships that once dominated Gloucester Docks, but also the diverse cultures and connections fostered by the bustling port.  Here’s what you need to know if you are joining us: 

Getting to Tall Ships & Parking  

Wherever possible we encourage those that can to either walk to the Festival or use Public Transport. 

We've partnered with GWR for Tall Ships Festival, and we agree with them that there is no better way to sail into Gloucester than by rail. Trains from Wales, London and around the region arrive at and depart from Gloucester's Station regularly, including a Bristol service every 30 minutes. Check out GWR's dedicate Tall Ships Festival page for more info on booking your train tickets. 

From Gloucester Station you can either enjoy a sunny stroll through Gloucester's historic city centre or jump on a dedicated Stagecoach shuttle bus to take you to the festival site.  

You can find all the info here regarding Public Transport, Parking and Shuttle buses Here - Getting to the Festival | Gloucester Tall Ships 

Can I buy my tickets on the day? 

Tickets will be able to purchase at the Box Offices on the day, however, you can also buy tickets online on the day you are coming to the festival, as they are e-tickets which will be emailed straight to you, this can be used to exchange for a wristband at the gates. 

We highly recommend purchasing on-line before you arrive to site to avoid the queues. 

You can find all info about tickets here - Buying Your Tickets | Gloucester Tall Ships 

How can I collect my wristband? 

On entry to the Festival, you will show your e-ticket barcode at the gate and be given a wristband.  

Each code/e-ticket can only be scanned once so keep your ticket codes safe and do not distribute them if you don't need to.  

Gate staff will be able to scan your tickets from a phone so there is no requirement to print tickets out. Make sure you have your phone battery charged! 


The Docks estate is fully accessible for wheelchairs with smooth, solid ground across all entrances. There are wheelchair accessible toilets at each toilet block and an accessible viewing platform in front of the Main-Sail Stage. 


What time does the site open and close? 

Gates open at 11am and close at 8pm on Saturday & Sunday.  

Gates open at 10am and close at 6pm on Monday. 

Festival Map:

You will be given a Festival Map and Event Schedule for the day when you arrive, but you can take a peek at the Festival Map HERE  

Which Ships will we see?

Some of the biggest and best ships a-sail have answered the call to return to the Docks, bringing with them tales of far-flung shores and exotic sail cargo to sample. 

Read more about the magnificent vessels here - Meet the Fleet | Gloucester Tall Ships 

Don’t forget you need Sea Legs Tickets if you want to climb aboard 

Line-Up and Event Schedule 

Each day of the Festival is packed full of live music, DJ sets, immersive theatre, street theatre, and fun for all ages, you can see the schedule for each day HERE, but we will give you a copy when you arrive too!

Food & Drink  

You’ll find loads of Food & Drink Traders at the Festival, from Loaded Nachos and Hog Roasts, through to delicious Gyros and 2ft long Sausages, and Festival themed drinks aplenty. 

It is also worth checking out Gloucester Food Dock, sponsors of our Festival Map, you’ll find a variety of delicious foodie businesses, all selling their wares crafted from the finest of local produce.  

Our bars are implementing a re-usable cup scheme, there will be a one-off £1 levy for the cups. You pay it once and as long as you keep returning the cups then you won’t get charged again. It helps us with less waste around the site, reducing the potential for litter to go into the water and of course reduces the amount of single use plastic.  

There will be cup bins around the site, so it would be amazing if you can pop your used cups in these or return to the bars before you leave, so that we can keep them in the re-usable loop. 

You can also bring your own cup if you prefer. 

Can I bring my dog? 

Unfortunately, we can only allow assistance and dogs belonging to residents who live within the Festival site. 

We hope you have a fantastic time at the Festival, and don’t forget to share your pictures with us #GlosTallShips24 


Gloucester Tall Ships is produced by Gloucester City Council and Gloucester BID, in partnership with Canal & River Trust, Gloucester Quays and Gloucester Docks Estate Company Ltd. 


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