About The Fish Quay


The fascinating North Shields Fish Quay dates back to the 13th Century. Amongst its many historical components is Clifford’s Fort, a Scheduled Ancient Monument located in the heart of the Quay, built in the 17th Century as part of a network of coastal defences.

Todays quay balances the working fishing industry along with a number of eateries and drinking establishments, an eclectic mix of small to medium sized businesses and an ever increasing number of local residents, which all makes the area the perfect place for a day out. Sample fresh fish and chips, fine dining in one of the many restaurants or simply sit back and take in a colourful slice of modern, Quay life.

The Fish Quay is a genuine rugged, hardworking area with commercial activity in the setting of a number of historic structures. It has its own character, as well as a personality that is conveyed not only by the sights but by the smells of the sea, the fish frier and the many restaurants, and the sounds of the boats’ engines throbbing and gulls crying overhead. Positive changes to the street-scene and an increase in the number and variety of new food and drink businesses has facilitated al fresco dining, when the weather permits, which all adds to the atmosphere.

The Fishermen’s Mission, along with an array of wet fish shops and processors, is a powerful reminder that the Fish Quay is still a working environment. Whilst the fishing industry in general may have declined across the region, the Fish Quay now has the bragging rights as being the largest prawn port in England.

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``From fish and chips to fine dining, al fresco cafe life, tapas and pizza... the Fish Quay provides mouthwatering quality, choice and value for everyone!``
North Shields Fish Quay

The Quay is steeped in a social history, which can be seen reflected in many of its fine heritage buildings, long running businesses and now through the hugely popular Old Low Light Heritage Centre, but inevitably is also subject to change. The early morning fish market continues to feed the national appetite for fish and the growing number of new restaurants is seeing mutual benefits.

Identified as a major area for regeneration with a commitment to preserve its unique character, the Fish Quay is a vibrant mix of community, culture and heritage and is unlike any other area in the North East.

From fish and chips to fine dining, al fresco cafe life, tapas and pizza, the Fish Quay provides mouth-watering quality, choice and value.

There’s a choice of eat-in and takeaway with excellent, traditional ‘chip shop’-style counter services and cafes at Oceans and Waterfront. Fish and chips are also available in a variety of styles from many of the pub and restaurant menus.

The Fish Quay area, formerly known as Low Lights, was the origin of today’s North Shields. Development up the banks from the river brought new streets including Dockwray Square and Howard Street which form the basis of the modern town centre. Whilst there are physical barriers between North Shields town centre and the Fish Quay due to the steep banksides, the aim is to encourage and promote linkages between the two areas for the benefit of the wider area.