Hartlepool Tall Ships: What's on, where to park and who's performing at free gig

29.06.23 Tall Ships Credit: ??
Tall ships from as far as Uruguay and Indonesia will take part in this year's race across the North Sea from the Netherlands, Norway and Hartlepool. Credit: Hartlepool Borough Council

Thousands of visitors are expected on Hartlepool's waterfront this summer as the Tall Ships Race returns to the coastal town for the first time in 13 years.

Four days of free live music and family fun will entertain the crowds as 40 tall ships sail into the marina, coming from as far afield as Indonesia and Uruguay.

The international Tall Ships, small ships and yachts are sailing across to Hartlepool from Den Helder in the Netherlands before heading back across the North Sea to Norway's Fredrikstad.

What's on?

The much-anticipated event will take place over four days between Thursday 6 July and Sunday 9 July.

The ships will arrive on three tide cycles on Wednesday and Thursday.

Alongside the ships, there is a line up of music, activities, and other entertainment.

There will also be more than 100 traders port-side, a military village with activities ranging from climbing walls and dive tanks, and a family trail.

Other family-friendly activities include sandcastle building on the beach and garden games.

Thousands of visitors are expected to see up to 40 international tall ships at Hartlepool between 6 and 9 July. Credit: Hartlepool Borough Council

What other entertainment is there?

Maximo Park will top the bill on Friday 7 July when a huge 30ft lighthouse will be erected known as The Tower of Light. A spectacular pyrotechnics display is promised along with performers celebrating the seaside town's industrial heritage.

A fireworks display will close Saturday 8 July's evening programme with reggae band The Wailers headlining the entertainment.

Other emerging and established regional bands will be playing across the event, including Holy Moly & The Crackers, The Young Un’s, She Drew The Gun, Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra and Hartlepool’s Michael Gallagher. 

When will the ships be arriving?

The tall ships will arrive on three tidal cycles:

  • Wednesday 5 July from 2am to 10am

  • Wednesday 5 July from 2pm to 10pm

  • Thursday 6 July from 2am to 10am

Among the ships visiting are Alexander Von Humboldt II, a civilian square-rigger which has been sailing since 2011, Statsraad Lehmkuhl, a three-masted steel barque used as a stationary school ship in Germany for most of the First World War and Roald Amundson, which was originally a GDR's national people's army tank logger.

LOA, a schooner built in Denmark in 1922, 1919 herring lugger Morgenster the Indonesian Navy's newest and largest sail training ship are also taking part in the race.

The public can visit on:

  • Thursday 6 July: 10am - 11pm

  • Friday 7 July: 10am - 11pm

  • Saturday 8 July: 10am - 11pm

The site will also be open on Sunday 9 July from 7am until 5pm

The international Tall Ships, small ships and yachts will sail into Hartlepool this summer while top music acts entertain the crowds. Credit: Hartlepool Borough Council

Where to find the event site:

The event site can be found between Hartlepool’s Marina and Victoria Harbour. There will be two main stages located at Navigation Point (The Navigation Point Stage) and Victoria Quay (X-energy Stage).

A smaller stage (The Highlight Stage) will be located at Jackson’s Landing featuring community performers.

Parking and public transport: Public car parks are located within a short distance from the event site. You can book a parking space using this link

Parking fees range from £10 a day for cars; £5 a day for motorbikes and £25 a day for coaches.

Blue Badge parking is priced at £10 a day and is located at:

  • Vision Retail Park

  • National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool

  • Old Cemetery Road

Regular Park and Ride bus transport will run and can accommodate three or four wheel chairs or pushchairs per journey. In addition, there is a limited amount of accessible seating on each Park and Ride bus. 

Mobility hireMobility scooters and wheelchairs can be hired in advance by clicking here, these are offered by an organisation called Advanced Mobility, located on Harbour Walk. Hiring in advance is recommended.

Recharge stationsRecharge Stations for mobility wheelchairs and scooters can be found at:• Advanced Mobility – Harbour Walk• Information Point – Irvine’s Quay

There is also a welfare hub located on Irvine’s Quay. A British Sign Language interpreter will be present to support with information and advice to those who need it. The BSL interpreter will be available daily noon – 6pm. Sunday’s availability will be 10am - noon.