Free Pirate and Bucaneering Fun comes to Anderton Boat Lift's Free Pirate Festival this month | Knutsford Times

Free Pirate and Bucaneering Fun comes to Anderton Boat Lift’s Free Pirate Festival this month

By on July 11, 2019

Free swashbucking adventure comes to Cheshire on Saturday 20 July and Sunday 21 July when the Anderton Boat Lift, near Northwich, stages its Pirate Festival Weekend. This fun, action-packed family weekend – for which there is no charge to enter the site or take part in activities – follows the huge success of last year’s event. The weekend will feature pirates firing real cannons and pistols, a raucous Pirate Tavern as well as infamous dark tales of adventure on the high seas from real pirates. Throughout the weekend, there will be music and storytelling for children and a change to enrol in Pirate School. The event runs from 10am – 3.30pm.  For more information go to or call 01606 786 777.

Anderton Boat Lift’s Pirate Festival is staged by The Pirate Brethren, UK’s leading pirates, and will start with the dramatic firing of cannons followed by a weapon display on how to load and fire cannons, pistols and Blunderbuss. Visitors are encouraged to engage in activities in two authentic pirate tents.

One of the pirate tents will be decked out as a Pirate Tavern with card & dice games being played, another full of a hands-on display of pirate artefacts with a pirate to explain what is on show. Would-be pirates will be encouraged to touch the displays and have their photos taken with pirates who are armed to the teeth for a fight.

Would-be young pirates can also listen to colourful tales of pirates and their daring deeds or join in singing hearty pirate songs and shanties with Blunderbuss and Badger.  Alternatively, daring young pirates can learn how to prepare and load a dummy cannon. The day will end a pirate brawl in the tavern.

The Anderton Boat Lift is run by the Canal & River Trust Charity, responsible for 2000 miles of waterways in England and Wales. As part of its on-going nationwide ‘War on Plastic’, visitors are encouraged to get involved in the ‘Families Plastic Challenge’ – something that even daring pirates are worried about and intend to tackle head-on over the weekend.

Graham Wood, Duty Manager, Anderton Boat Lift, said: “This event will appeal to the inner pirate in both children and adults. It is full of action, high drama and daring deeds and is not for the faint-hearted. To enjoy the day on our grassy lawns at the base of the magnificent lift, visitors simply need to bring a sense of adventure – there is no cost to enter the site or to be part of all the weekend’s activities. The only charge is for optional boat trips either through the lift or on the picturesque River Weaver. It promises to be a wonderful family day out and we welcome everyone.”

The Lift View marquee, located at the bottom of the giant Lift will sell a selection of affordable fresh sandwiches, snacks, teas, coffees and other refreshments. In addition to the free pirate events, visitors to the site can also enjoy the £50,000 play area and visit the interesting, interactive exhibition on the history of the Lift. There is no charge to enjoy these activities or the well-stocked shop and the popular tree-top Coffee Shop.

The Anderton Boat Lift is the first successful boat lift in the county and is Victorian high engineering at its very best. Still in operation today, the Anderton Boat Lift offers paid-for boat trips through the iconic boat lift or along the picturesque River Weaver (joint tickets also available). There is no charge for under 5 years old. For all boat trips, booking is advisable on 01606 786 777. The Anderton Boat Lift is owned by the Canal and River Trust Charity and was restored in 2002 after a £7 million restoration made possible due to a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email

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