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Here's why the Tarbert Seafood Festival 2017 will reel you in!

Here's why the Tarbert Seafood Festival 2017 will reel you in!
If you love the sea’s rich bounty then you’ll love the Tarbert Seafood Festival. Every year hundreds of people flock to this deliciously fishy festival in Tarbert, Kintyre on Loch Fyne to celebrate local seafood with a weekend of fish and fun. Satisfy your appetite with the very best of Scottish fish and shellfish – and much more besides. There’s live music, a carnival atmosphere and plenty of activities for all the family. The Tarbert Seafood Festival 2017 will reel you in … and most likely have you well and truly hooked for ever after!

Tarbert’s fishing fleet lands some of the best seafood in the world, plucked fresh from the surrounding cold Atlantic waters and sea lochs. The pubs and restaurants that surround the village’s natural harbour are great places to sample this super-fresh fish and shellfish. On the Saturday of the festival weekend, stalls line the harbourside throughout the day, showcasing the very best locally caught seafood. Try some culinary fishy delights including cullen skink, traditional Arbroath Smokies and other seafood favourites. And it’s not just seafood that’s featured. Tuck into an Argyll hog roast, sample a dram with Whisky West Coast and browse local art.

In the afternoon it’s time to learn from the best with seafood cookery demonstrations and cook-off sessions on the quay from midday. Join chef Mike Leslie of the Coachman Hotel in Killsyth as he rustles up some special tasters using the catch of the day. Then watch as local eateries battle it out in a Ready, Steady, Cook competition. You get to vote for your favourite dish!

Saturday afternoon entertainment centres around the Trailer Stage on the quay. Live music kicks off with Ceilidh's Homet playing traditional west coast ceilidh music. Don’t miss the crowning of the Seafood Festival Queen Jacquelyn Clark and her princesses Beth Johnstone and Robyn McFie. They’ll be brought across the harbour by boat and piped along the main street by the Mid Argyll Pipe Band. Then it’s time for the Festival Parade, one of the highlights of the weekend. Led by the pipe band, local majorettes, the queen and her princesses, floats, bikes, children – and anyone else who wants to join in – parade through the village. This year’s theme is ‘Nursery Rhymes’. Other entertainment includes Highland dancing demonstrations, The Absurdist Pipe Band and jaw-dropping bike stunts by the Clan Stunt Bike Team.

Traditionally Sunday is a family day on the quay with live music and lots to entertain the kids and adults. Head along to ‘Beer on the Pier’ from 2pm onwards to see The Democrats and GIRLBand Mania. You’ll also find live music and a good dose of west coast bonhomie in the pubs and hotels of Tarbert throughout the festival weekend.

If you fancy a stroll, head up to Tarbert Castle, a scheduled monument of national importance thanks to the major role which Robert the Bruce King of Scotland played in its reinforcement and enlargement in 1325. The castle location is a great spot for a (seafood!) picnic and there are way- marked walks further up the hillside, including the first section of the Kintyre Way. The views from the castle over Loch Fyne and Tarbert harbour below are magnificent. You could also explore Skipness, which is around 12 miles south of Tarbert at the end of the B8001. It’s a beautiful spot on Kintyre’s east coast over-looking Arran, with a castle, chapel and wonderful Seafood Cabin.

Tarbert is an excellent base from which to explore Argyll. The Kintyre peninsula stretches south from the town. The CalMac ferry to Portavadie connects Tarbert to the Cowal peninsula, while ferries to the islands of Islay, Jura and Gigha depart from close by. Head north to visit the historic wonders of Kilmartin Glen and drive onwards to Oban.

Tarbert hosts a number of other festivals and music events throughout the year, including the Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival, Tarbert Music Festival and Tarbert Book Festival.

Find out more about things to see and do in Kintyre & Gigha and Inveraray, Knapdale, Kilmartin & Crinan.
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