Everyone who likes to be beside the sea will be full of glee when Whitby’s new seaside spectacular, the Fish & Ships Festival launches on 18 -19 May.  

A free festival, it celebrates everything that’s special about the Yorkshire Coast’s magnificent maritime culture, with live entertainment throughout the town, and celebrity chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli and Brian Turner heading up the festival kitchen to make the most of Whitby’s sensational seafood bounty.

“From the building of its boats to its multi award-winning fish restaurants, Whitby is one of the few places left in Britain where you can still experience the seafarer’s way of life from sea to shore, as it’s been for hundreds of years,” explains Janet Deacon, the festival organiser and Tourism and Corporate Marketing Manager for Scarborough Borough Council and Area Director for Welcome To Yorkshire.  “Whitby was once an international maritime centre, and visitors will be able to explore first-hand how today’s seafarers are building on tradition to put top quality seafood on Britain’s plates, in their own unique and sustainable way.  As you’d expect from the seaside, there’s also plenty of top-notch entertainment, including live music, madcap street theatre, inspired artworks, and a grand firework display.” 

Throughout the jaunty weekend visitors will be able to enjoy live music, street theatre, pop up BBQs, local ales, cooking demonstrations and a large-scale, pier-side firework display at 10pm on Saturday 18 May.  Highlights include:

  • Celebrity chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli and Brian Turner will be in the festival kitchen, cooking up the daily catch along with some of the coast’s award-winning seafood heroes, including Rob Green, Paul Gildroy, Martyn Hyde, Matt Leivers, Ryan Osborne, and Fishmonger of the Year, Andrew Barker.
  • A trail of new commissions by celebrated local sculptor Emma Stothard will provide a new way to explore Whitby
  • Special exhibitions, film screenings and talks at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, HM Bark Endeavour, Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby Library as well as other venues around the town
  • Wallace and Gromit animator Virpi Kettu (from Finland) will run a children’s animation workshop in Whitby Library.  Other children’s activities and entertainment include a competition to build a fish or ship out of Lego
  • National angling competition run by Whitby Angling Club 
  • Whitby Rowing Club competition
  • Street theatre by walking boats Flotsome and Jetsome, and a giant whale offering a theatrical experience inside its mouth to brave members of the public!
  • Fish filleting and crab dressing demonstrations by local fishermen
  • Tours of the North Eastern Guardian Fisheries protection vessel 
  • A seafood trail
  • Craft stalls

Cllr Martin Smith, Scarborough Borough Council’s Portfolio holder for Tourism says: “I am delighted that this event is bringing together such a wide range of tourism partners across Whitby and the Borough, all working to showcase how Whitby’s great sea-faring heritage is inspiring local people and business today – whether it’s food and drink, music and art, industry and training.  Last year’s Cook250 Festival was a huge success and I am sure this year’s Fish and Ships Festival will be just as exciting if not better.”

For more details about the festival visit www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com/whitby/FishandShips19;
this is the official Scarborough Borough Council’s tourist board website for the Yorkshire Coast, promoting the famous holiday resorts of Whitby, Scarborough, Filey, Bridlington, the North York Moors National Park and the picturesque coastal villages dotted along the East Coast of England.  

For more information and to book your stay, visit www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com or talk to the friendly, dedicated team at the Tourism Bureau on 01723 383636. 

To find out more about the county of Yorkshire as a whole, visit www.yorkshire.com


For further media information or photographs, or to request a press trip, please contact:
Samantha Orange or Nicola Bexon
Pyper York Limited
Tel:     01904 500698
Email:     sam@pyperyork.co.uk or nicola@pyperyork.co.uk