Free swashbuckling adventure comes to Cheshire on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9 when the Anderton Boat Lift, near Northwich, stages its first Pirate Festival Weekend.

This fun, action-packed family weekend features pirates firing real cannons and pistols and commentary by fearsome pirate, Black Jack Connan.

Visitors can meet real pirates – including none other than the notorious Captain Blackbeard - and hear dark tales about their infamous lives of adventure on the high seas under the skull and cross bones flag.

Live music, courtesy of The Grass Hoppers, a four-piece band, will also be playing throughout the weekend.

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.

The Pirate Brethren in action

After this, visitors are encouraged to engage in activities in the three authentic pirate tents.

One pirate tent will be decked out as a Pirate Tavern with card and 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 are 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 listen to Arabella Drummond telling 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.

Dave Farrar of the Pirate Brethren also known as ‘Davy Sharkeye’, said: “This is the first time The Pirate Brethren have been to the Anderton Boat Lift and since we know folk in the North West have spark and a daring spirit, we are hopeful of recruiting lots of red-blooded young pirates to join us under the Jolly Roger. Forget Johnny Depp – we are the real thing.”