Whitby Fish & Ships Festival

Fresh sea air and the finest fish and chips on the planet has to be exactly what the doctor ordered for this weekend (Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th September) when Whitby in North Yorkshire hosts a special festival celebrating the town’s fishing heritage with good food, sea shanties galore and the chance to go behind the scenes at boatbuilders and a lobster hatchery! 2022 will be the second time the festival has taken place in person (there was a virtual festival in 2021), giving visitors a chance once again to taste for themselves the bounty of sea-food caught by local independent fishermen, fresh from the boat.

man in fisherman shirt standing in front of boat
Credit: Charlotte Graham

Dock End will host a giant seafood kitchen marquee and village, with demonstrations from top chefs including celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli MBE, Paul Gildroy of Whitby's award-winning Magpie Café and Rob Green, UK chef ambassador for sea fish. The marquee is open for free demonstrations from 10.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Whitby's Endeavour Wharf and Whitby Bandstand will host music throughout the weekend, comprising traditional shanties, blues, rock and music from local singer-songwriters - from 11am to 6pm on Saturday and 11am to 4.25pm on Sunday. A host of other venues will host performances throughout the weekend, including the Captain Cook Museum, Library, Brunswick Centre and Museum of Whitby Jet.

Team standing in front of boat holding fish
Credit: Charlotte Graham

"After the whole nation united in sadness over the last two weeks, we are delighted to be able to welcome locals and visitors to this year's Fish & Ships Festival, to really blow away the cobwebs and celebrate the industry on which Whitby was built," comments Janet Deacon, Scarborough Borough Council head of tourism and culture. "From the food itself to exploring how Whitby is ensuring that fishing remains a sustainable and viable way of life for the many families who earn their livelihoods on the sea, the Whitby Fish & Ships Festival is just what we all need – good food, uplifting music and a chance for the community to celebrate together."

Three Whitby venues will be offering guided tours throughout the weekend:
Whitby's new Lobster Hatchery, a marine conservation project which is due to open its facility and visitor attraction in the coming months. When fully operational, it is hoped that the hatchery will return 100,000 juvenile lobsters per year to the North Sea to replace those landed for restaurants around Europe.
Boat builder Parkol Marine will also be offering tours of its boatyard, where visitors can see the next generation of Whitby's fishing fleet under construction.
Whitby's RNLI Lifeboat House will be offering tours to see the inner workings of Britain's oldest lifeboat station.

For full details of the programme for the 2022 Whitby Fish & Ships Festival, please visit discoveryorkshirecoast.com

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