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A narrowboat moored in The Docks at Gloucester Goes Retro





A festival in Gloucester would not be complete without a load of amazing attractions in The Docks. Come and explore a host of amazing displays, stalls, boat trips, and much much more, all in the beautiful setting of our Victorian docks. What's even better about Retro on the Water is that it's on on BOTH Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August (from 10am).




The Retro on the Water Treasure Trail

Collect your Trail Sheet from the Info Tent in the Docks. Find the clues as you adventure through the Docks. Once you've found them all, bring your completed Trail Sheet back for your chance to win a star prize.

Crossings (Saturday Only)

Row one of several brightly coloured decorated boats and be taken on an immersive audio journey across the water. This is an interactive art installation from renowned artist Luke Jerram, made in collaboration with BBC Radio 4 producer Julian May. Find out more here.

Kathleen & May Goes Retro (Saturday Only)

Climb aboard the last of the British-built 3-masted schooners, now 123 years old. Over the Retro weekend, discover the story of this fabulous boat, as it will be open for tours to see it's restoration work. Tours are free (donations welcome), just come along and a friendly volunteer will guide you around.

Competitions (Saturday Only)

Get involved our Retro on the Water competitions. Prizes are available for:

Best Dressed Dog (Flower Power Theme) │ Best Dressed Boat │ Best Dressed Person or Group


We have four amazing boat trips and experiences available:


Cotswold Canals: Adventure

An electric-powered adventure in the Docks and up the Sharpness Canal (fully accessible)

Gloucester Boat Hire | Where: The Barge Arm

Hire a boat to drive yourself and explore the Docks. Boats are electric-powered.

Queen Boadicea II (Saturday Only) | Where: National Waterways Museum

Climb aboard this Dunkirk 'little ship' with the Canal and River Trust

1921 RMS Mauritania Captain's Launch (Sunday 11am-3pm) | Where: North Warehouse

A very special experience aboard the 102-year old Captain's Launch from the RMS Mauritania


Feast your eyes on waterborne spectacles:


The Radio-Controlled Model Boat Fleet

Paddleboard Safety Demonstrations from the RNLI

Severn Sailing Pilot Cutters Race (Saturday 3pm)

See up to 20 self-built Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters race through the Main Basin


Explore the amazing work of local organisations who keep our waterways alive, and shop for amazing things to take home too. We have stalls from:


Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust

Explore the latest on restorations in our region performed by the Trust.

Cotswold Canals Trust

Check out their latest news.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

See their latest info on how to be safe in the water and hear about the all the things the RNLI do.

Gloucester & District Model Boat Club

Check out their display of model boats, and marvel at the intricacies of their construction.

Canal and River Trust

See the latest from the guardians of the nation's waterways.

Why not also pop into the Waterways Museum while you're there.

Local Artist David Finch

Join David as he live paints Retro on the Water, and peruse his Docks-themed paintings, cards and prints.

Poody and Bertie

Peruse this fun little flea market and find your next treasured trinket.

Shari's Crafts

Lovely jewellery, beads and pretty things, that make perfect gifts.


Some of our brilliant businesses in the Docks are doing something special for Retro:


Nielsen's Historic Boatyard

Have a go at rope splicing, and see specialist boat building skills on display with world-renowned shipwright Tommi Nielsen. Also, book a free guided tour of the historic dry dock.

Atlas Tabletop Gaming

Come on in to this gaming nirvana and find kids activities, refreshments and maritime-themed games.

On Toast

The most delicious toasties in the West Country, now with a Retro theme!

Ribchic Piranha

Sample the new restaurant that's opened in this fascinating 109-year old boat.

Gloucester Quays

Explore the amazing Gloucester Quays and find an array of great restaurants and shops.


Delight in delicious offerings from:


Fabioni's Bar

Yeehaw! Fabioni's is serving up cowboy vibes and cool drinks in their cool horse box bar, Bonnie.


Molto Bene Pizza

This amazing Gloucester-based pizzeria will be serving up hand-crafted sourdough pizza.

Kokodoo Korean Chicken

A bit spicy, a lot tasty! Korean fried chicken at its finest.

The Chock Shop

Fresh artisan hand-crafted chocolate brownies.

Lioness Coffee Shop

Hot drinks made with finesse.

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