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Exeter’s popular Heritage Harbour Festival returns on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June, with a packed programme of free entertainment for all the family. The festival is a celebration of the city’s maritime history and Heritage Harbour status.

Amongst the many highlights on the Saturday, people can enjoy free taster sessions with Saddles and Paddles (booking required), or even take a ride on a River Exe Swan Boat (land-based version) with Burn the Curtain Theatre. There will also be guided walks, talks and even Red Coat Canal Tours with Exeter Cruises. On the Piazza Terracina, there will also be a number of activities celebrating 200 years of the RNLI.

Also on the Saturday, people you can enjoy a free Nautical Film Festival under the Transit Shed, right on the edge of the water, Highlights include Finding Nemo, a documentary about Radio Caroline (followed by a panel discussion) and an evening showing of The African Queen. There will also be some short films, including Captain Peacock and the Swanboat of the River Exe and another chance to see The Onedin Line Redux.

“Steam Sunday” will feature a Maritime Market, steam traction engines, steam boats on the river, a ride-on steam railway, family activities, demonstrations, walks and a packed programme of free talks in Haven Banks. There will also be live music from Steam City Jazz Band, Spin 2, Dilly Boys and the Liberty Sisters.

Jon Bell, Chair – Exeter Heritage Harbour Group said; “This will be Exeter’s third Heritage Harbour Festival, with events taking place at all points around the quay and canal basin. There are two days full of activity, from musicians and street entertainers, to informative talks and guided walks. Steam vessels, steam railways, traction engines, and a ‘maritime market’ are all there to be enjoyed.

“Don’t forget to visit the beautiful historic fishing snack, Britannia, under restoration at East Quay and also pop into Cricklepit Mill and find out about the work of Devon Wildlife Trust. Join in with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution as they celebrate their two hundredth anniversary and, finally, the Custom House, ‘the flagship of Maritime Exeter’ will of course be open to all. So we look forward to seeing everyone for a right nautical weekend.” For more information and the full programme of activities and entertainment, visit