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North Shields Fish Quay


North Shields Fish Quay dates back to the 13th Century and has a fascinating history. In 1225 a village of shielings (fisherman's huts) developed where the Fish Quay stands today. North Shields took its name from the shielings and the fact it stands on the north bank of the River Tyne. There are a number of historic buildings, notably Clifford's Fort, built in 1672 as a coastal defence against the Dutch. Significant investment and regeneration has rejuvenated the Fish Quay in recent years. It is still a working quay today and has a thriving business community and is popular with visitors.

Traditional seafood businesses, many who have been on the quay for years, including wet fish shops operate alongside newer businesses including web design and marketing and public relations companies. There is a vibrant social scene on the Fish Quay with a wide range of places to eat, from traditional fish restaurants to stylish brasseries. You can even enjoy fish and chips out of the wrapper overlooking the River and watching the ships pass by. There is also a good choice of pubs both old and new that will always make you feel welcome serving real ales and fine wines.

Perfect for a leisurely stroll or a voyage of discovery on its history, the Fish Quay is a short walk from North Shields town centre and is also served by bus routes. The promenade that stretches east from the quay towards the Mouth of the River Tyne is a nice walk with superb views of the river entrance, the piers and Collingwood Monument. It eventually brings you to a headland known as the Spanish Battery where the magnificent Tynemouth Priory & Castle comes into view. 

The history of the Fish Quay is told through a series of interpretation panels from the ferry landing to Clifford's Fort explaining the history of many landmark buildings, telling some interesting stories and explaining how the Fish Quay developed from humble beginnings to the present day. Look out for some marine buoys, now part of North Tyneside Council's public art programme. The reclaimed buoys have been painted and now act as way markers for the National Cycle Network routes that pass along the Fish Quay. 

The climb up the stairs from the Fish Quay to Tyne Street is rewarded with magnificent views up and down the river. A short walk away is Dockwray Square where there is a statue of comic legend Stan Laurel. Stan lived in North Shields as a boy where his father was a theatre manager.



Map & Directions

Road Directions

From Newcastle follow the A1058 Coast Road to Billy Mill roundabout. Take the 3rd exit, the A1108 to North Shields along Regent Terrace and Billy Mill Avenue. Head straight across the next roundabout and follow the road as it bears to the left on the A193 Albion Road. Turn right at the traffic lights on Coach Lane and take the first exit left at the roundabout along the A187 Prudhoe Street. At the next set of traffic lights turn right down Borough Road heading towards the River Tyne. Follow the road to the left and onto the Fish Quay.From the South (Tyne Tunnel) take the first exit on the A19 North and turn right on the A193. At the next roundabout turn right and left at the next roundabout on the A187 Howdon Road. Continue on the A187 into North Shields to a set of traffic lights and turn right down Borough Road heading towards the River Tyne. Follow the road to the left and onto the Fish Quay.From Whitley Bay seafront head to Tynemouth following the seafront bearing right onto Front Street. Turn left at the junction on the A193 Tynemouth Road. After approximately half a mile turn left down Tanners Bank passing underneath the Metro rail line on to Union Quay.

Public Transport Directions

North Shields Metro Station, in the town centre, is a 10 minute walk away from the Fish Quay. There are a number of buses that operate from the town centre via the Fish Quay.The Shields Ferry (passenger only) operates a regular service between North and South Shields.

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  • Celebrity connection - There is a statue of Stan Laurel in Dockwray Square overlooking the Fish Quay. Stan lived in North Shields as a boy where his father was a theatre manager.

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