Purbeck Pirate Festival



Purbeck PirateSwanage Town will be ‘flying the black flag’ and offering the ‘Freedom of the Town’ to UK Pirate Crews from 29-31st July 2016.

Purbeck Pirate Festival

The first ever ‘Purbeck Pirate Festival’ has a fantastic programme lined up, including re-enactment battles, sword-fighting and cannon fire; Shanty singers ‘The Salts,’ ‘Kelp!’ and the ‘Wareham Whalers’; live music, a Pirate Rum Tent, and the UK’s leading Jack Sparrow impersonator – “Jax Parrow”. The event will include a host of family activities and games, including the ‘Ladder of Swords’ magic show, and a kid’s Pirate Disco with fancy dress competition where the winner will receive a family ticket to the new Dorset Waterpark.

Purbeck PirateThe Moonfleet

This wonderful vessel will be sailing to Old Harry Rocks offering a real opportunity for both novice and experienced sailors to try their hand at classic tall-ship sailing. When they reach Old Harry, the crew will ‘Walk the Plank’ and visit Davy Jones’ Locker to experience a Wild Swim with Cumulus Outdoors around the rocks where they’ll need to locate the hidden Treasure trove.

Purbeck PirateThe Frigate Shtandart

Having visited Swanage Pier as part of the filming of ITV’s ‘Peter and Wendy’ during the summer of 2015. The Shtandart is an exact replica of the Russian Navy ship commissioned and sailed by Tzar Peter the Great. The ship’s visit sparked huge interest in the local community and inspired the idea of a Pirate Festival. The Shtandart will be returning for the Festival period and this time will be open for guided tours from the Captain and his Pirate crew. The Captain is also offering an authentic Pirate experience on the ship to a local business – if they dare!

They will be given exclusive use of the ship, setting sail around Swanage Bay, firing the cannons, enjoying a pirate feast and resting in the bunks. Captain Vladimir is also welcoming crew to make the sailing across the channel to the event.

Swanage PierSave Swanage Pier

The Purbeck Pirate Festival is being organised as a charity event to support the ‘Save Swanage Pier’ Appeal. Swanage Pier Trust has until November 2016 to raise £900,000 to secure the future of Swanage Pier. The Trust is making good progress towards the target, but has a significant way to go and this will be an important fundraising event.

There is a fantastic range of performers and re-enactors coming from across the South West and giving their time voluntarily. Town Centre shops are adopting a Pirate theme and staff will be in costume, so we are aiming to turn Swanage into ‘Pirate Town’ for the weekend. As The Trust is one of our dedicated charities Dorset Coastal Cottages are fully supporting this great weekend of events.

The re-enactments are skirmishes which are being organised by The River Rogues, professional pirate re-enactors, who have galvanised troops from around the South, including the Wimborne Militia, and are set to invade Swanage shores. They will be supported by the Star Gun Company, specialists in Blackpowder weaponry and Historical Arms & Armour, who have worked on a variety of Television, & Film productions.

Purbeck PirateThe Artsreach

This programme will feature a storytelling show of the ‘Tap Dancing Mermaid’ and ‘Beach School’ hosted by Dorset Forest School. Places are limited for these two events and tickets can be purchased from Swanage Pier shop or contact 01929 425806.

A Charity Auction

Being held on Saturday 30th July as part of the Festival. Pledges so far include a family cruise on the last sea-going paddle steamer the PS Waverley and a return cruise and dine from Swanage Pier to Poole, as well as some genuine Pirate treasure. During the weekend there will be shanty singers, performers and storytelling throughout the Town. Live Music will be in the Stone Amphitheatre in Prince Albert Gardens, thanks to Swanage Jazz Machine and The Guvnors. Town Centre business ‘Country Foods’ is providing a Pirate ‘Rum Bar’ and BBQ which will be the ideal place for weary pirates to rest! Programmed activities will take place at Swanage Pier, Monkey Beach and the Prince Albert Gardens.

Browse the Programme of Events