Sunday, 11 August 2013

A short walk to Johnshaven Fish Festival

This weekend saw the annual Johnshaven Fish Festival taking place.  It's a lively affair with all kinds of fish and shellfish available to eat and to buy as well as lots of other local specialities. We set off to walk to Johnshaven from Gourdon, five kilometers north along the coastal path which follows the line of a former railway trackbed.

As well as good food and drink, there was entertainment ranging from a pipe band to a rock band.  The weather was dry - always a bonus for an outdoor event in Scotland!  The harbour area of the village was very busy.

We'll visit Johnshaven again soon when the NEOS arts festival is taking place; there are numerous artists and studios in this pretty village.

We bought a pair of Arbroath Smokies fresh from the smoker, a delicious smell of fish and woodsmoke drifting across the harbour ensured that this famous stall was kept very busy! A smokie is a haddock smoked by traditional methods, using oak chips here, and the fish has now attained protected regional food status, meaning that only haddock smoked by these traditional methods within a five mile radius of Arbroath can be truly called "Arbroath Smokies".  Once eaten, never forgotten - a Smokie is a delicious and healthy food.

I blogged about the building of this fine boat previously when she was in the early stages of construction.  After a few setbacks (the building beside which she was being constructed burned down - the rebuild job can be seen in the second picture of this post) she is nearing completion as a Creeler.

Her likely employment will be in working creels for Lobsters.  The nearby business was selling Lobsters straight from the boiler - we couldn't resist buying one for dinner....  After eating lunch bought from a harbourside stall we walked back to Gourdon with the mingled smells of Arbroath Smokie and fresh Lobster wafting from the bags we carried!

All ready for preparation.  A Lobster so very fresh needs nothing fancy, we simply opened it and......

....served it with fresh salad, lemon, wholemeal bread and butter and accompanied by a glass of chilled Prosecco.  Just delicious!  Having access to such good, local and fresh produce from mountain, farm and sea is one of the joys of living here. 

If ever a 10 kilometer walk was amply rewarded, then it was this one!


  1. Sandra and Kevin13 August 2013 at 21:50

    As two of the organisers of this event, we are glad that you enjoyed your day - it makes all the hard work feel worthwhile when you learn people are still continuing to enjoy the event. Thanks!

  2. Hi Sandra and Kevin,

    Thanks for stopping by! We've friends at Mill of Benholm and found out about the festival from them. We travelled from Alford and really had a good day - thanks to all who organised and took an active part in the event - we'll certainly visit iagain

    Kind Regards