The Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival came to London on Friday 5th September for five days and a few of the Adlard Coles team took some time out of the office on Monday afternoon to experience its many pleasures. It was the largest fleet of tall ships to visit London in 25 years and so naturally, for us, it couldn’t be missed.
The fleet was spread across several sites in Southeast London: Maritime Greenwich, Royal Arsenal Woolwich, Greenwich Peninsula and West India Dock. We visited Maritime Greenwich, in order to be able to go on board the largest ship of the fleet, Poland’s Dar Mlodziezy. At a mighty 108.8 metres sparred length and with a sail area of 3,015 square metres, the ship really is an impressive sight to behold.
Greenwich was incredibly busy but the festival seemed to be very well organised, with plenty of stewards available to answer questions and direct people to where they needed to go. Dar Mlodziezy was moored midstream and so we boarded a shuttle boat to take us on the quick 5-minute journey to where it was.
On board we were able to wander around on deck freely, and took great delight in admiring the ship’s many features. Unfortunately we weren’t permitted below deck but this was only a minor disappointment, as above deck had plenty for us to see.
We were also lucky to see the flotilla of puffers (steam ships) and ships that took part in the rescue from Dunkirk in 1940, which started in Maritime Greenwich at 2pm and finished at 3.30pm at the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Festival Village.
Back on dry land we wandered for a bit around the Lebara Festival Village, which included numerous market stalls, lots of live music, food and drink vendors and other entertaining sights. All against the beautiful backdrop of the Old Royal Naval College. All in all, a brilliant afternoon out.
To read more about Dar Mlodziezy and more than 100 of the other fascinating tall ships still sailing today, buy your copy of Tall Ships Today, produced in conjunction with Sail Training International. There is a 10% discount if you buy it direct from our website here.