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Snark arrives in Exeter for Heritage Harbour Festival

Published: 21 September 2023

The Snark coming up Exeter Ship Canal

A 32m sailing barge – the Snark – has entered Exeter’s waters ahead of this weekend’s Heritage Harbour Festival.

The 70-tonne ocean-going Thames barge came into Exeter Ship Canal this morning (Thursday 21 September) at Turf Locks before making its way into the city.

The Snark was helped up the oldest ship canal in the country by a crew from Exeter City Council’s harbour team.

The impressive vessel had to negotiate the two locks and the lift bridge at Countess Wear before completing its journey up to the Canal Basin in Exeter where a crane will help reinstate its masts ahead of the weekend.

The Snark is in Exeter for the latest Heritage Harbour Festival, a two day event celebrating the city’s maritime history, including live music, canon firing and lots more.

The Snark will be joined for the Festival by the relaunched fishing smack Britannia, which arrived in the Basin on Tuesday.   

After that, the Snark will settle down in the Canal Basin for the next six months where it will become a unique and very special winter dining room.

Snark is a traditional seagoing sailing ship providing sailing holidays in the summer and onboard dining in the winter. Last year she sailed around Britain and next year she will sail around the English Channel, the Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly.

Qiao and Paul, the owners and crew, named Snark after the Lewis Carroll poem ‘The Hunting of the Snark’; an allegory for the pursuit of happiness.

This winter people can join them on board to share great food, wines and beers, good company on shared tables with seasonal set menus of wholesome home cooking.

For more information on the Festival go to the Custom House website. For more information and bookings for the Snark visit their website at

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