Fishguard is a coastal town in north Pembrokeshire at the southern end of Cardigan Bay. Its name in Welsh, Abergwaun, reflects its position at the mouth of the Gwaun river; its name in English derives from the Old Norse Fiskigarðr – ‘fish-catching enclosure’ – and reveals the town’s long history as a trading port. Goods such as limestone, coal, slate, wool and foodstuffs all passed through its harbour.

The prosperity of the port attracted the attention of raiders: in 1779, the privateer Black Prince captured a local ship, demanding a £1,000 ransom. When the townspeople refused to pay up, the ship bombarded Fishguard, damaging local houses and St Mary’s Church (which was subsequently renovated and is home to some fine stained-glass windows). Castle Point Old Fort was built in response to this episode: it was from here that the Welsh allegedly fired cannon at French forces[R[1] in the ‘Last Invasion of Britain’ in February 1797. Led by the Irish-American William Tate, the French Légion Noire landed at Carregwastad Point on 22 February. They were about 1,400 strong, but badly organised, and surrendered unconditionally on Goodwick Sands on the morning of the third day.

Famous names of Fishguard include the writer and historian Richard Fenton (1747-1821), whose Tour of Pembrokeshire introduced early tourists to the megaliths, churches and monuments of his home county. The Welsh writer and witty observer of rural life D.J. Williams was a teacher here (1885-1970). Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor came here in 1971 to star in the first ever film adaptation of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood.

As the old port declined in the nineteenth century, the arrival of the railway in 1906 brought transatlantic liners to nearby Goodwick (Wdig), where a new harbour was built and from where Stena Line now runs its passenger service to Rosslare.

Use the Port Places App to explore Fishguard or take a Last Invasion Tour.

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Things to See and Do

Almost 200 years after the events of the Last Invasion, the community came together to create a tapestry that commemorates the story. You can visit it in the Town Hall.

There are many local cafes and restaurants. The Royal Oak, a pub and restaurant, has been operating in Fishguard for almost 200 years. It is believed that it was here that the French and the Welsh signed a peace treaty after the attempted invasion in 1797, though at this time it was a regular house, rather than an inn.













Theatr Gwaun is a wonderful arts and performance space at the heart of the community. On your way from the Royal Oak you can visit Pepper’s Gallery or the lovely Seaways independent bookshop next door.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

The 299 km of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path can be accessed along the coast here, or even a section of it if you are not quite up to the total distance

Discover Other Ports

Dublin Port
Pembroke Dock
Rosslare Harbour