Stranraer to host Scotland's first Oyster Festival

Chef with oysters and pipe band
Norette Ferns

Scotland's first oyster festival will take place in Stranraer this September.

The three-day festival will encourage visitors to celebrate the seafood heritage of Stranraer in the south west of Scotland. The catch from Scotland's only wild, native oyster fishery will be the focal point of the event, taking place from 15 to 17 September 2017.

The festival marks the start of the oyster harvesting season and starts with an oyster landing ceremony, complete with oysters being piped ashore, live music, a giant paella for visitors to the festival to share in, a community performance with the support of Oceanallover and fireworks. 

Romano Petrucci, Chairman of Stranraer Development Trust, the organisation behind the festival, said:

"We wanted to create a festival that would involve and inspire our whole town, and which will create a late summer tourism highlight to attract visitors to Stranraer.  Food tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the UK, and Stranraer’s heritage means the town is perfectly placed to capitalise on that growing interest in themed food festivals. By organising a festival that showcases the stunning beauty of Loch Ryan, the unique seafood that resides within the Loch and the warmth of the people of Stranraer we are looking forward to showing off our beautiful town to the world. 

"Oysters might be considered a luxury food, but oyster festivals are not elitist. Oyster festivals take the oyster as a focal point and then create a celebration of local food, local culture and the local community around it. That’s what we’ve done with this new festival, and for visitors who don’t want to try a Loch Ryan Oyster, we’ll have plenty of oyster ice creams available for people to indulge in a seaside favourite!"

Festivities over the weekend will include oyster tasting and competitions, cooking demonstrations and classes, wild food forages, a skiff regatta and a lively traders’ market packed with locally produced food drink, arts and crafts. Families are also invited to enjoy craft and kite making workshops, ghost walk tours and extreme pond dipping – a catch landed from the floor of Loch Ryan so that children can explore what lives at the bottom of the sea. Most of the festival activities are free of charge for visitors to participate in. 

There will be guest appearances from Hardeep Singh Kohli and Mr Bloom from Cbeebies, live music throughout the weekend from bands including Gnoss and Pere Mata and ‘The Big Oyster Bash’ on the Saturday evening introduced by Hardeep Singh Kohli and headlined with live music from The Dangleberries. 

Full programme information and ticketing details are on