Essential Information

Type Events and festivals
Cutty Sark
Date and Times Saturday 16 September - Monday 18 September 2023
Prices Free with entry to the ship

Free entry for Members. Not a member? Join now

Join us on Monday 18 September as we celebrate World Knot Tying Day for the first time at Cutty Sark. The anniversary celebrates Clifford W. Ashley, who wrote and illustrated The Ashley Book of Knots, which features over 3,500 different knots!

We will be hosting a variety of activities and talks on the day as well as the weekend of the 16 and 17 September, so join us for this opportunity knot to be missed!

See what's on below.

a man wearing a blue jumper tugging on a rope with a woman wearing a pink stripey top

Knots activities

Tween Deck | Saturday – Monday | 11am – 4pm

Knots are a key aspect to life at sea, with over 3,000 variations of knots possible. Join us to learn how to tie a bowline, reef knot or clove hitch, to name but a few!


The miniature rope walk

Dry Berth | Saturday – Monday | 10am - 1pm and 2 - 4pm

Did you know that Cutty Sark uses eleven miles of rope in its rigging? This miniature rope walk is a table-top version of the huge walks once used to make rope in the traditional way.

Come to one of the sessions and see how Cutty Sark's ropes were made, why they look the way they do, and hear some of the stories and lore of ropes and the sea. You may even be able to take home a bit of newly made Cutty Sark rope at the end of the day…

Black and white photograph showing A fisherman in sou'wester mending lobster/crab creels on the beach alongside a beached Sheringham crab boat

Fishermen’s ganseys

Tween Deck (Fo’c’sle) | Saturday - Monday | 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm

Jumpers have become an almost ubiquitous wardrobe staple, providing both warmth and practicality. These garments evolved from the humble ganseys worn by fishermen through the centuries.

Knitted by their loved ones, these jumpers hold a place in our imagination as tokens of love and a sombre indicator of a fisherman’s home village to show where he should be returned to if lost at sea. But how much can we rely on these romantic notions as a faithful history of these garments, or is there more to the story than meets the eye?

Join our resident Ship-keeper for a 20-minute talk which will cover how they were made, and the specific characteristics of the garment that made them well-suited to the work they were worn for. We'll delve into the history of these jumpers, picking apart fabricated aspects of their history and revealing a deeper and more complex story of how they were produced, which touches on women’s history, independence, and liberation.

Painting of Cutty Sark

Knowing the Ropes: Riggers in Action

Main Deck (weather providing) | Monday | 11am - 4pm

At Cutty Sark we strive to present the ship as historically accurately as possible. Through research, we uncover how the ship would have looked in her sailing days.

We are fortunate to have a contemporary painting of Cutty Sark from 1872, by marine artist Frederick Tudgay, known for his meticulous attention to detail. This painting was owned by Cutty Sark’s owner John Willis and is the only evidence of the ship and her rig from her famous tea clipper days. Analysing the painting, we are slowly changing the rig to reflect the ship’s tea clipper appearance. This includes reinstating 12 Turk’s heads on the footropes of the bowsprit.

Traditionally made by T.S Rigging, we strive to keep these authentic rigging skills alive on the ship today. Join us on Monday 18 September to catch TS demonstrating how to make Turk’s heads on the Main Deck (weather providing).

What’s On

More events at Cutty Sark.