International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Monday September 19 2016) may not seem like a key date for the diary, but shiver me timbers, you'd be a fool to miss out on this day of swag in September. Pop down to your nearest fancy dress shop, befriend a parrot and round up your crew for some 'land ahoy!', 'avast!' and treasure-hunting antics. Here are some great London activities to do on International Talk Like a Pirate Day - and don't forget to check out other quirky things to do in London.
Where to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day
This reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s sixteenth-century flagship galleon will give you a taste of what Tudor sailors had to deal with. Its Elizabethan crew will tell you tales of uncomfortable nights on bare decks and the brutal punishment imposed on those who pinched extra rations. Landlubbers can fire the guns and raise the anchor as part of the guided tours, and there are even pirate tours for younger visitors.
Every pirate needs to launch a vessel, and there are few more fun ways to do that in central London than plunging straight off a road and into a river. These yellow tour 'buses' will take you on an amphibious journey past famous London sights and across the Thames. If you've plundered enough gold to pay for private hire they'll even take you on a Pirate Treasure Hunt aboard the 'Moby Duck'.
The world's largest collection of merchant-ship firgureheads has its own display in the newly renovated Cutty Sark, which was once the fastest tea clippers to be built, and one of the last. Admire the religious figures, stern-looking gentlemen and, well, busty ladies who forged their way across seas on their ships' prows and have fun giving them pirate names. You can also test your crew's bravery by telling them they're standing directly underneath a boat that weighs 963 tonnes.
Only swashbuckling kids aged up to 12 may visit this vast wooden pirate ship in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, but we couldn't leave it out of the list. There are cabins, pulleys and ropes to play with and a ship's wheel to help navigate its sea of sand.
The Ship of Adventures is the Dalston home of young people's educational charity The Hackney Pirates, who offer after-school support in literacy, confidence and perseverance to local children aged 9-12. It is also a bookshop, gift shop and café that is decked out so elaborately in its pirate ship theme that visitors may well think they feel the swell of the ocean beneath their sandwiches. The café sells a range of coffees and teas as well as homemade breakfasts, sandwiches, salads and soups. A fancy dress box, colouring sheets, puzzles and a secret passageway should help entertain kids who have finished their lunch.
What shall we do with the drunken sailor? In this city, the answer's obvious – put him aboard this floating pub and let him get a round in. It's a former passenger ferry that is now permanently moored on Victoria Embankment, and it hosts regular comedy nights and late night parties.