A Traws Cymru trip to fearless Fishguard
It’s nestled deep in the west of Wales, a beautiful retreat from the rigours of modern day life but with so much going for it – and that’s not just the two terrific Traws Cymru routes that serve this place so well, the T5 (from Aberystwyth) and T11 (from Haverford West). Fabulous Fishguard is well worth a trip for its combo of heritage, hustle, bustle, haut cuisine and high brow culture – oh and famous fortitude too!
Foes flight from Fishguard
Terrific tapestry depicts Fishguard’s finest hour
Lying on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Fishguard Fort is one of the historical key points of the Last Invasion of mainland of Britain, the only (and unique) event that the fort has faced! Its construction dates back to 1781 following an American privateer attack in 1779. In 1797 Fishguard Fort played a crucial role in persuading the French invasion force to avoid Fishguard Harbour, to land further down the coast towards Strumble Head. It’s easily accessible on a the T5 bus.
The fascinating story of the 1797 thwarted invasion is told in an embroidered tapestry which was designed and sewn by around 80 local women. It is in a similar format and shape as the Bayeux tapestry and like the Bayeux tapestry is 100 foot long. The tapestry was commissioned as a permanent legacy of the Invasion Bicentenary commemorations in 1997. It took four years to complete and is on permanent exhibition in a purpose built gallery attached to the Library in Fishguard Town Hall.
Stained glass St Mary’s beauty
St Mary’s Church was built in the centre of Fishguard town between 1855 and 1857. It is well worth a visit and has a great collection of stained glass windows and a balcony previously added to accommodate visiting fishermen. Unusually for an Anglican church, there is a baptistery pool under the floor in front of the rood screen. Also, folk can visit the memorial stone of Jemima Nicholas, the heroine of the failed French invasion. The church is open every day from 10 am until 4.30 pm and there is a service held on Sunday morning at 10.00 am.
Go to Gorsedd Circle for poetical balm
In 1936, Fishguard held the National Eisteddfod, a Welsh competitive festival of music and poetry. The Gorsedd Circle was built to commemorate the event. With only a 5 min walk from Fishguard Square, folk can visit the Gorsedd Circle and imagine being surrounded by poets and musicians! There’s also a pleasant view of Lower Town and another of Fishguard Fort on the other side of the bay.
A visit to the Sea Trust Marine Wildlife Exhibition in the Ocean Lab is not to be missed – to see what lies beneath the waves in the harbour and our Pembrokeshire coastal waters. The marine aquariums are fantastic and feature a surprising variety of colourful and weird fish, including octopus, crabs and lobsters. As well as the exhibition, the Ocean Lab houses Jude’s Café and shop. Meanwhile, maritime mystique also prevails in Fishguard with tales of smuggling abounding over the years.
The Fishguard Music Festival, a cultural gem in the Pembrokeshire region, captivates enthusiasts with its celebration of diverse musical genres and artistic expression. Held annually, this festival transforms the town into a harmonious haven, showcasing local and international talent and with a fun packed variety of genres including classical, contemporary, and traditional music, ensuring there’s something for every musical palate.
Step back in time
There’s an also a community project “Ein Haines” on Fishguard Square run by volunteers which celebrates our area’s rich history with old photos, maps, and memorabilia.
Visitors can browse several collections of old photographs and documents, particularly those relating to the arrival of the Fishguard railway and the construction of the modern harbour at Goodwick.
More than just seafood in Fishguard
Fishguard offers a variety of dining options, reflecting both its coastal location and Welsh culinary influences. The town’s restaurants often focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, providing a taste of the region’s flavours.
The Gourmet Pig is a cosy eatery known for its commitment to using local produce. It offers a menu that highlights seasonal ingredients and showcases Welsh cuisine with a modern trough, pardon, twist! Meanwhile, Peppers is a popular choice for those who need pepping up or have a craving for Mediterranean flavours – it serves dishes inspired by European cuisine. Cegin Kate’s Kitchen, meanwhile, embraces a homely atmosphere and this kitchen is renowned for its hearty, homemade meals. It’s a favourite among locals and visitors looking for comfort food and traditional Welsh dishes.
Other great places to eat include Hooked@31 which is ideal for seafood aficionados and specialises in fresh catches from local waters. You’ll be hooked on the menu which often features a variety of fish and shellfish prepared with a contemporary touch!
Finally, The Royal Oak is a traditional pub with a hearty, welcoming atmosphere and offers pub classics and a selection of local ales. It’s a great spot to experience West Wales life, while enjoying an awesome meal.
Tremendous Traws Cymru the gateway to top notch experiences
Fishguard is one of many brilliant places to visit that are part of the Traws Cymru network of fast, convenient, frequent and customer-centric bus services across Wales. They make it easy to combine scenery with fab destinations. It’s simple to enjoy the collection of great places to visit maybe over a staycation to this beautiful part of the UK or with a series of day trips. Bus services across Wales have never been so good, since the recent development of this simple but effective network of routes, where the customer service, as our reviewers at Great Scenic Journeys discovered, is top notch!
To plan your Fishguard adventure, check out the links below….