Whether ye be a landlubber or a salty sea dog, there be plenty o'places fer being a scurvy pirate in London. Grab yer peg leg, parrot and a bag o'doubloons and climb aboard some o'the city's jolliest rogers.
Pirate Adventure and Pirate Treasure Hunt
Smaller maties (over 7 years old) can climb aboard the Good Ship Moby Duck with able seaman Captain Jack Mallard, on London Duck Tours Pirate Adventure. For riotous merry-making, the galleon can be booked for just you and your crew — plenty o'good times for ye day o' birth or sailing on the Thames with yer hearties. Or there's the Pirate Treasure Hunt, for older maties.
In de land o'Camden, there be a Pirate Castle on the river fer half a hundred years (since 1966) — it's a great place for little maties to learn to sail. For a small fee on Thursdays and Saturdays, kids 8-17 years can go canoeing, kayaking and bell boating. A rare good chance to become a rum sea dog without spending too many pieces of eight.
Pirate Castle Club, Oval Road, NW1 7EA
Climb aboard a ship
There be plenty o'ships docked in London. The Golden Hinde II is a copy of the galleon of seadog Francis Drake, where you can explore below deck like a sailor against the Spanish Armada. The Cutty Sark, meanwhile, is a mighty clipper moored in Greenwich. Feast yer peepers on the collection of figure heads from many a ship. Or go seek out the pirate ships at Tobacco Dock.
Kensington Pirate Ship
More than 1,000,000 little maties climb the rigging of this Diana Memorial Playground Pirate Ship in every year. Resting on a beach o'sand, this wooden galleon be shipshape for able seamen wishing to be jestin' and a'making of de games with other maties. And you won't spend a doubloon (free entry).
Diana Memorial Playground, Kensington Gardens, Broadwalk, W2 2UH
Hear tales o' many a scurvy scum o'pirates at the National Maritime Museum. Meet some fearsome dawgs and wenches and hear the history of sailors on the high seas — including Blackbeard and his mistress Anne Bonnie. Smaller kids can make messages in bottles, for casting out to Thames.
A Bottle Of Grog
Fer drinking a plenty bottles o' grog and filling thy self full of tasty morsels, sail to the Ship of Adventures in de land o' Dalston. Able seamen Andrew Schein and Amelie Chan brew up great coffee served with some fine pastries too.
The Ship of Adventures Cafe, 138 Kingsland High Street, E8 2NS