Retro On The Water in Gloucester

Check out historic boats at Gloucester Docks at Retro On The Water this August 2023, coinciding with the popular Gloucester Goes Retro event in the city centre.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Iconic 123-year-old Kathleen and May, the last of the British-built three-masted schooners, is open for tours at Retro on the Water on Saturday 26 August 2023.

Enjoy a nautical-themed blast from the past at Retro On The Water in Gloucester on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August 2023.

Gloucester Docks will be bursting with boats from yesteryear to entertain visitors, with a host of competitions and displays to check out, too.

The iconic 123-year-old Kathleen and May — the last of the British-built three-masted schooners — is open for tours on Saturday 26 August 2023.

There's a fleet of radio controlled model boats; races of sailing pilot cutters and cardboard sailing cutters made by local businesses and individuals; the RNLI is running paddle board safety demos; and there's a chance to hop on board the colourful new Crossings immersive art installation at National Waterways Museum Gloucester, where visitors can enjoy rowing on one of the brightly decorated boats accompanied by an atmospheric audio journey.

If you don't fancy rowing, take a leisurely boat trip past the historic LV14 SULA Lightship on Cotswold Canals: Adventure, which offers disabled access — or take the helm yourself with a vessel from Gloucester Boat Hire.

Dunkirk little ship, Queen Boadicea II is also running boat trips; and there'll be a captain's launch from the 101-year-old RMS Mauritania, too. 

Back on dry land, there's live music across the weekend, with the Dementia Choir from the neighbouring Gloucestershire Academy of Music serenading visitors on Saturday morning and more acts to be announced; a treasure trail for little ones to follow; and some novel features including a best dressed dog contest with a 70s Flower Power theme.

There'll be prizes for the best dressed boat, person or group, too.


Retro On The Water


Saturday 26 to Sunday 27 August 2023


10am to 5pm


Free of charge

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