The Whitby Fish & Ships Festival takes place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May 2023 and the two-day event will shine a light on the array of industries, businesses and traditions that have grown around the town’s fishing heritage, and which continue to thrive today. 

Food and music lie at the heart of the festival, including a packed itinerary of chef demonstrations in the Seafood Kitchen Marquee and three venues for live music throughout the weekend.  The vast majority of events and activities are free of charge.

“The fishing industry has endured some tough times in recent years, which has grown up around these traditions,” comments North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for culture and arts, Cllr Simon Myers.

“We are thrilled that this event goes far beyond being a food fair for seafood, exploring boat building, and filling the air with the sound of folk music and sea shanties.

“We are very excited to be welcoming the 2022 MasterChef winner, Eddie Scott, and Simon Crannage, Executive Chef from Grantley Hall, to the demonstration kitchen, and will be hosting an exclusive preview of ‘A Whitby Trilogy’ by Dogwood Productions, three short stories taken from a show they have written for the RNLI Centenary celebrations in 2024, performed in venues around the town.”

Alongside the songs and food, Whitby Museum, this year celebrating its 200th anniversary, will be running a family-friendly Treasure Trail throughout the weekend. 

Whitby’s shipbuilder, Parkol Marine, will be offering guided tours of its boatbuilding yard between 1pm and 4pm each day.  

The traditional skills of pot making, net mending and crab and lobster dressing will be on show throughout the weekend in the Fish Craft Tent. 

Whitby Library is hosting a full day of events on Saturday, from 9.30am to 4pm, and The Captain Cook Museum will be explaining the life of a seafarer, in a special exhibition gazebo.

“With creating a sustainable fishing industry so high on the agenda for all coastal communities, we’re delighted that Whitby Lobster Hatchery will be offering tours of their facility from 11am to 3pm – a fantastic way to see how they plan to repopulate the waters around Whitby with 100,000 baby lobsters each year,” adds Cllr Derek Bastiman, executive member for Open to Business.

This year’s Fish & Ships Festival is sponsored by Quayside, who will be supporting the RNLI through a variety of fundraising initiatives, and the award-winning Magpie Café. The full programme of events is available online at