Top 10 Must-Visit Fishing Towns & Villages in the UK

The UK boasts some of the most picturesque fishing villages you must add to your next fishing trip, each offering unique experiences for tourists. Here's a detailed guide to the top 10 must-visit fishing villages in the UK. Perfect for those looking for new spot to cast their line or for international travellers keen on exploring the charm and traditions of UK fishing.

1. Polperro, Cornwall

Polperro Cornwall Ideal for Fishing and Visiting

Polperro is a quaint fishing village known for its narrow, winding streets, historic cottages, and beautiful harbour. The village has a rich smuggling history, prominently displayed in the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing​​.

Fishing Experience: Polperro offers exciting sea fishing opportunities, with charters available for tourists. Fishing trips can target species such as mackerel, bass, and cod. Local guides are available to enhance the experience and provide insight into the best fishing spots​

Local Attractions: Polperro Arts Foundation, Ebenezer Gallery, and the historic Crumplehorn Inn and Mill​ ​.

Accommodation: Numerous self-catering cottages and lodges, such as those offered by Toad Hall Cottages​​.

Visit Cornwall - Polperro

2. Whitby, North Yorkshire

Whitby Fishing Port Harbour Perfect for Tourists

Whitby is a historic town famed for its maritime heritage and dramatic cliffs. It’s also known for inspiring Bram Stoker’s "Dracula".

Fishing Experience: Whitby provides excellent opportunities for both shore and deep-sea fishing. Tourists can join local charters for trips targeting cod, haddock, and other North Sea species. The town hosts several angling competitions throughout the year, attracting fishing enthusiasts from all over​.

Local Attractions: Whitby Abbey, Captain Cook Memorial Museum, and the annual Whitby Regatta.

Accommodation: Options range from quaint B&Bs to larger hotels with sea views.

Visit Whitby

3. Port Isaac, Cornwall

Port Isaac Cornwall - Perfect for Visitors

Famous for its picturesque harbour and as the filming location for the TV series "Doc Martin".

Fishing Experience: In Port Isaac, tourists can engage in sea angling and boat trips organized by local fishermen. The waters around Port Isaac are rich with species such as bass, mackerel, and pollock. Fishing trips can also include lobster potting experiences

Local Attractions: The village itself, with its narrow lanes and traditional Cornish charm.

Accommodation: Various holiday cottages and guesthouses.

Visit Cornwall - Port Isaac

4. Lyme Regis, Dorset

Lyme Regis, Devon. Perfect for Fishing Tourists and Visitors

Known for its fossils and historic harbour, Lyme Regis offers a blend of natural beauty and historic charm.

Fishing Experience: Lyme Regis is perfect for both shore and boat fishing. Visitors can target species like mackerel, bass, and flatfish from the Cobb harbour or join local fishing charters for a more adventurous experience. The town also offers guided fishing tours for those new to the sport​

Local Attractions: Lyme Regis Museum and the iconic Cobb harbor.​

Accommodation: From seaside inns to family-friendly hotels.​

Visit Dorset - Lyme Regis

5. Staithes, North Yorkshire

Staithes, North Yorkshire Ideal for Fishing Trips

A picturesque village with a rich fishing history and stunning coastal views.

Fishing Experience: Staithes provides excellent shore fishing opportunities, particularly for cod and mackerel. Visitors can also join local boat trips for sea fishing, where they might catch a variety of North Sea fish. The village's fishing heritage is evident in its well-preserved fishing huts and equipment​.​

Local Attractions: Staithes Heritage Centre and local art galleries.​

Accommodation: Cosy cottages and seaside inns.​

Welcome to Yorkshire - Staithes

6. Anstruther, Fife

Anstruther, Fife. Ideal for Fishing Trips

A vibrant coastal village known for its strong fishing community.

Fishing Experience: Anstruther offers a range of sea fishing experiences, including boat charters targeting cod, haddock, and mackerel. The Scottish Fisheries Museum provides an excellent overview of the local fishing industry. Tourists can also try their hand at lobster and crab fishing.

Local Attractions: Scottish Fisheries Museum and Anstruther Fish Bar.

Accommodation: Range of B&Bs and holiday homes.

Visit Scotland - Anstruther

7. Brixham, Devon

Brixham Fishing Port, Ideal for Fishing Trips

A bustling fishing port with colourful houses and a rich maritime history.

Fishing Experience: Brixham is a haven for deep-sea fishing. Charters are available for trips targeting a variety of species, including bass, mackerel, and even sharks. The local fish market is a must-visit, offering fresh catches daily and insights into the fishing industry.

Local Attractions: Brixham Heritage Museum and the replica of the Golden Hind.

Accommodation: Options include hotels and guesthouses with harbour views.

Visit Devon - Brixham

8. Crail, Fife

Crail, Fife, Scotland. Perfect for Fishing Trips

A historic village with a picturesque harbour and rich cultural heritage.

Fishing Experience: Crail offers coastal fishing opportunities, particularly for lobster and crab. Visitors can also enjoy boat trips that target various sea fish. The village's fish market is a great place to see the daily catch and purchase fresh seafood

Local Attractions: Crail Pottery and the Fife Coastal Path.

Accommodation: Traditional cottages and modern lodges.

Visit Scotland - Crail

9. Mevagissey, Cornwall

Mevagissey, conrwall. Perfect for sea fishing trips

A traditional fishing village with a charming harbour and narrow streets.

Fishing Experience: Mevagissey offers boat trips for sea fishing, where tourists can catch species like mackerel, bass, and pollock. The village also has a small fleet of fishing boats that provide insight into traditional fishing methods. Fishing off the harbour wall is a popular activity for visitors.

Local Attractions: Mevagissey Museum and the nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Accommodation: Holiday cottages and B&Bs.

Visit Cornwall - Mevagissey

10. Clovelly, Devon

Clovelly, Bideford, Devon. Perfect for sea fishing

Unique for its steep, cobbled streets leading down to the sea, and its historical significance.

Fishing Experience: Clovelly offers mackerel fishing and guided boat tours. The village's fishing heritage is celebrated through various local events and the Clovelly Maritime Festival. Visitors can also try their hand at crabbing from the harbour.

Local Attractions: Clovelly Visitor Centre and the historic donkey rides.

Accommodation: Historic inns and holiday cottages.

Visit Devon - Clovelly

These ten fishing villages offer a blend of historical charm, scenic beauty, and rich fishing experiences, making them perfect destinations for tourists. Whether you’re an avid angler or just looking to soak in the local culture, these villages provide a memorable UK fishing experience.

Travel Tips

Best Times to Visit: Spring and summer offer the best weather for fishing and exploring in the UK.

Packing Essentials: Waterproof clothing, sturdy walking shoes, and most importantly, your fishing gear.

Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on fresh seafood dishes and traditional Cornish pasties.

For more detailed information on each village and to plan your trip, visit local tourism websites or contact local visitor centres.

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