Fishguard consists of two little towns: the one high above the cliffs has the pubs and shops; the older lower town is clustered around the quayside and was famously featured in the films Moby Dick, and Under Milk Wood.
The large harbour, situated at Goodwick to the north west was planned as the major sea port at the end of the Great Western Railway; however, problems with silting put paid to this ambition so it is now a major ferry port for twice-daily sailings to Rosslare in Eire.
A high-speed catamaran also operates from here and can complete the crossing to Ireland in 2 hours. If you’re considering a day trip to Ireland, it’s wise to take precautions against travel sickness. The Fishguard and Goodwick Railway Station is also close to the harbour and has free parking.
Fishguard housed The Charterhouse, the first motorised lifeboat in Wales over 100 years ago. The original boat was at Bangor in North Wales and is now on display in the harbour here.
The Last Invasion
In 1797 the town was the site of the last invasion of mainland Britain but was saved by Jemima Nicholas, who captured 12 drunken French soldiers prematurely celebrating victory. It is now commemorated by a famous tapestry – often compared to the one in Bayeux – on display at the Town Hall where the Tourist Information Centre is also housed.
Music and Sustenance
Fishguard is a musical town with three festivals devoted to folk, classical music and jazz n’blues. Theatr Gwaun offers a varied year-round programme of film and live entertainment. Folk music is played regularly at the Royal Oak and the ever-busy West Wales Art Centre has a gallery, mini concert hall and gourmet food.
There is a market held in the Town Hall every Thursday and a farmers’ market every Saturday. Next door to the market is an old church hall which has been converted into a wonderful café bar and live music venue. Its name Ffwrn means 'oven' in Welsh in reference to the huge woodfired oven from which a delicious range of bread and pastries is produced. See their Facebook page for opening times and events.