The Bristol Pirate Walk- Review

Bristol is hardly shy when it comes to promoting its Pirate roots, with a self led Treasure Island walk and plenty of pubs and buildings claiming to be bolt holes and gathering places for the famous salty sea dogs.

Possibly the most famous of all the Pirates is Blackbeard, AKA Edward Teach who “possibly” lived in Bristol before heading off to the Caribbean to plunder, pillage, steal and wreak havoc.

©Zuleika Henry
Our wonderful leader Gerard Cooke & Parrot, Ted – Pic by Zuleika Henry

Ever the gory history lover, I jumped at the chance to try BLOOD, BOOZE AND BUCCANEERS, a walking tour of Bristol’s Pirate history with the theatre group Show of Strength. This actor led tour takes groups of up to 35 people around the gorgeous Bristol Harbour, stopping at 4 pubs (drinks not covered in the ticket price) whilst being given the facts, and the possible facts via our pirate leader and his parrot, Ted.

I won’t go into too much detail on the tour, lest I spoil it for anyone going (and I highly recommend you do) but my friend and I had a great time. There was a mix of all ages and groups that all eagerly hung off our guides every word. He put in a fantastic performance, dressed head to toe in costume, never worrying about breaking character to ensure everyone was comfortable and keeping up. The tour was an easy 2 hours long, not once were we bored and clung to the story the entire way around. We discovered things we never knew about Bristol, were reminded of some uncomfortable truths and were made to laugh heartily more than a few times.

©Zuleika Henry
The second stop at The Golden Guinea – Pic by Zuleika Henry

Sadly the pubs we visited didn’t seem to as pleased to see us, despite them being told before hand and corners reserved for us they seemed a little understaffed and overwhelmed. From what I understood, our group of 35 was the largest so far so hopefully staffing will be addressed in future.

I will be definitely booking on to their sister tour BLOOD AND BUTCHERY IN BEDMINSTER  which promises a look at some of South Bristol’s most worrying and disturbing murder cases.


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