Scotland's Only Wild and Native Oysters Press Shot

Our Story

credit: Kim Ayres

About Stranraer Oyster Festival

Six years ago Stranraer Oyster Festival burst onto Scotland’s event scene with a bang. 

Developed and delivered by community organisation Stranraer Development Trust, the festival is credited with ‘changing the story’ of Stranraer, from one of economic decline, to one of tourism potential.  

Loch Ryan is home to Scotland’s last remaining wild, native oyster fishery, and the festival celebrates the town’s oysters in a three-day programme that attracts thousands of people.  

The 2023 festival programme includes cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs Michael Caines and Tony Singh, live music, extreme pond dipping, an artisan market, the Big Oyster Bash, children’s entertainment, a massive oyster bar and a spectacular firework display over Loch Ryan.

The Festival also hosts the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship – also known as the ShuckOff – where chefs and seafood professionals will battle it out to win a place and represent Scotland at the World Championships in Galway, Ireland, in late September.

Stranraer was formerly the main ferry port for Northern Ireland. The economic impact of the move of the ferries to nearby Cairnryan in 2011 was deeply damaging to local businesses, and the community has worked hard to fight back.  Stranraer Oyster Festival is one of the community initiatives now transforming the fortunes of this scenic coastal town. 

Romano Petrucci, Chair of Stranraer Development Trust, says the importance of the festival to the town cannot be overstated. 

“In a very short period of time Stranraer Oyster Festival has become a hugely important part of Stranraer’s identity, and a real focal point for celebrating the very best that Stranraer and the wider Galloway area has to offer. No one should ever doubt our community’s ability to create, produce and deliver the very best, and the very best is what we will always seek to deliver.”