Scotland’s Oyster Festival


Our celebration of Scotland’s wild, native oysters is back for its second year and our programme is bursting with fun, festivities and flavour!  Marking the start of the native oyster harvesting season, Stranraer Development Trust is bringing top chefs, inspiring speakers, amazing entertainers and some of the world’s leading oyster experts together for Stranraer Oyster Festival, a seafood celebration on the shores of Loch Ryan. 

Nestling under the sparkling waters of Loch Ryan is one of the last wild, native oyster beds in Scotland, fished sustainably by Loch Ryan Oyster Fishery Co. Ltd.  The area’s unique seafood heritage, the local cuisine, the stunning scenery and the vision of the Stranraer business community, collectively inspired the first oyster festival held in Stranraer in September 2017.

We wanted to devise a festival that involved and inspired our whole town, while creating a late summer tourism highlight to attract and welcome visitors to Stranraer. Food tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the UK and our stunning coastal location, combined with our bountiful local seafood, inspiring chefs and of course our native oysters, meant a seafood festival was the natural choice.

Stranraer is dramatically situated on the sweeping shoreline at the head of Loch Ryan. There could be no more perfect backdrop to an oyster festival than the beautiful view from the festival’s harbour location with its popular marina and then out across the loch to distant Ailsa Craig, and beyond to the Irish Sea.

The first Stranraer Oyster Festival in 2017 was a phenomenal success.  More than 10,000 visitors enjoyed our packed programme which featured a host of foodie events, performances and workshops. Celebrity chef demos, competitions, a plethora of children’s and youth projects that took place before during and after festival weekend, live music and a bustling festival market crammed with traders, some selling their excellent locally produced food and drink, others their stylish arts and craftwork resulting in a truly terrific weekend

Stranraer Oyster Festival also hosted the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship competition, which attracted chefs from all over Scotland to compete against the clock to be the fastest oyster shucker in the country!  Sponsored by Seafood Scotland, this is an energetic, risky and hilarious competition which will take place again on Saturday 15th September 2018.

There’s so much to see, do and enjoy at Stranraer Oyster Festival, we hope you will join us!