Here's our pick of the best places to go to get the freshest, tastiest, locally sourced fish. Words: Rachael Oakden

NOTE: ESTABLISHMENTS MAY OPEN AND CLOSE IN AN IRREGULAR PATTERN DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CONTACT INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES FOR THE LATEST UPDATES

FOR PLANNING AHEAD
Latimer’s Seafood Deli, Whitburn, Tyne and Wear
Sign up to receive Tweets from this award-winning fishmonger and you can get a virtual rundown of what’s on the fish counter before you plan your visit. Owner Robert Latimer is a former creel fisherman who was inspired to open his own shop and café when he saw how much native shellfish is exported to the Continent. He has also worked in aquaculture, which is why he insists on Freedom Food-approved fish reared in fast-flowing Scottish waters to produce Latimer’s succulent hot-smoked salmon.
Shell Hill. 8am-5pm (9am-4pm Sunday). Closed Monday (0191 529 2200, latimers.com).

FOR EATING
Cookie’s Crab Shop, Salthouse, North Norfolk
Book ahead to guarantee a table at this down-to-earth fish shop, which deals in wet fish, shellfish and smoked fish landed or farmed within a 20-mile radius. A typical November combo might include dressed lobster and crab, native oysters, mussels and smoked eel. Homemade hot food includes fragrant bisques and chowders – try the kipper and tomato soup followed by a haddock Florentine fishcake. Take away or eat in with a view: tables in the shop and its adjacent wooden shed overlook Salthouse marshes. Don’t forget to bring a bottle: corkage is free.
The Green. 9am-4.30pm, closed Monday (01263 740352, salthouse.org.uk).

FOR THE FRESHEST CORNISH FISH
Pengelly’s of Looe, Cornwall
Sisters Angie Harrison and Jackie Provost can be found at Looe harbour every morning at 6am, bidding for the cream of the catch from its small fleet of day boats. Their tiny shop is renowned for sustainably caught fish that is just hours from the sea: hook-and-line wild sea bass, lemon sole and mackerel that – contrary to popular belief – tastes best between Bonfire Night and Valentine’s Day. They sell local produce and Cornish condiments alongside their own fishcakes and soups, also for sale at their shop in Liskeard.
The Quay, East Looe. 8.30am-4pm (1pm Saturday). Closed Sunday. Mail order available (01503 262246, pengellys.co.uk).

FOR CRACKING CRAB
The Best Dressed Crab Ltd, Bembridge, Isle of Wight
This delightful family-run, waterfront business has now been established for 18 years. It specialises in the freshest finest crabs and lobsters, which are all caught locally. Sample beautiful dressed crabs served in their shell and ready to eat, fantastic whole crabs and amazing giant crab claws, fresh local lobsters, simply cooked, prepared or live. Local Bembridge prawns (an absolute delicacy) are available when in season.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Embankment Rd, Bembridge Harbour. Open 7 days including Bank Holidays (01983 874758, thebestdressedcrabintown.co.uk).

FOR SUSHI LOVERS
MacCallum’s of Troon, Glasgow
Get here early on Saturday to buy Monica’s freshly made sushi. Monica is the Japanese wife of James MacCallum, co-founder with his brother of this fishmonger. It’s more like a mini fish market than a shop, selling creel-caught langoustines, lobster and crab from Scotland’s west coast, alongside sashimi-grade fish including Scottish salmon, line-caught tuna, farmed sea bass, halibut and turbot.
71 Houldsworth Street. Tuesday-Thursday 8am-4pm; Friday 8am-5pm; Saturday 8am-2pm (0141 204 4456, maccallumsoftroon.co.uk).

FOR LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Britannia @ The Beach, Beesands, Devon
This café and wet-fish counter opens year round. Owners Nick and Anita Hutchings have their own craft and also buy direct from Dartmouth and Salcombe day boats, so their Start Bay crabs, diver-caught scallops, pollack, sea bass and monkfish travel from sea to shop in less than 24 hours. Sister company Britannia Shellfish sells clams, cockles and crustaceans via mail order.
Beesands, near Kingsbridge (01548 581168, britanniaatthebeach.co.uk).

FOR NATIVE SHELLFISH
Lanigans, Lytham, Lancashire
Lytham locals are proud of their third-generation fish shop — Andrew Lanigan sources native species from fishing ports all over the UK but his flagship product is the brown shrimp fished between Southport and the Solway on tractors and boats.
74 Clifton Street, 8am-5.30pm. Closed Sunday (01253 736203).

FOR SMOKED FISH
Jolly’s of Orkney, Kirkwall, Orkney
The oak-smoke scent of Jolly’s plump kippers transports you to the Orkney smokehouse where they are hung over real fires. The fishmonger next door sells smoked mackerel and salt ling together with shellfish, wet fish, local cheeses and meats.
8.30am-5.30pm (4pm Saturday). Closed Sunday. Mail order available (01856 872417, jollysoforkney.co.uk).

FOR WHITE FISH
The Whitby Catch, Whitby, North Yorkshire
When Whitby’s award-winning fishmonger was threatened with closure, its rescuer was the local Magpie fish-and-chip restaurant. The shop now sells fish pies, fishcakes and seafood salads from the Magpie’s kitchen, as well as its renowned variety of wet fish and shellfish from North Yorkshire’s historic fishing fleets.
1 Pier Road. 9am-5pm. Mail order available (01947 601313, thewhitbycatch.co.uk).

If you liked this round-up, check out our best ice-cream parlours or independent cafes by the sea. Keep up to date with our latest 10 Best features in the magazine.

10 BEST FISHMONGERS

1. Latimer’s Seafood Deli, Whitburn, Tyne and Wear

2. Cookie’s Crab Shop, Salthouse, North Norfolk

3. Pengelly’s of Looe, Cornwall

4. The Best Dressed Crab Ltd, Bembridge, Isle of Wight

5. MacCallum’s of Troon, Glasgow

6. Britannia @ The Beach, Beesands, Devon

7. Lanigans, Lytham, Lancashire

8. Jolly’s of Orkney, Kirkwall, Orkney

9. The Whitby Catch, Whitby, North Yorkshire