Things to do in the East Neuk of Fife.
For generations, the East Neuk of Fife has been the perfect holiday destination. And it's easy to see why.
The small towns of Pittenweem, Crail and Anstruther are just a short drive away from Grangemuir Chalet Park, Kilrenny Mill Caravan Park and Ashburn House Caravan Park. They're quite literally as pretty as a postcard and are full of interesting things to see, do and enjoy. Here you're also not far from the ancient town of St Andrews.
Places of interest are everywhere you look. And the breathtaking coastline and beautiful countryside are perfect for walks, whether it's a long hike or a leisurely meander.
Of course, a trip here wouldn't be complete without mentioning golf. This is the home of golf. There's a whole range of excellent golf courses within a 10 mile radius of Grangemuir, Ashburn house and Kilrenny Mill, including the Royal and Ancient courses at St Andrews.
Pittenweem is a beautiful harbour town. Located 11 miles south of St Andrews, It was granted the status of Royal Burgh by James V in 1541 giving the town the right to self govern and trade with other countries. This status meant that by 1587, Pittenweem had become the 12th richest town in Scotland.
A delightful place for visitors, locals and chocolate lovers alike! Indulge in their signature Belgian hot chocolates and chocolate cake. There is also a great range of gourmet paninis, crepes, teas, infusions and fresh coffee. There are also great gifts of artisan chocolates to be found. They even offer theme dinners, chocolate workshops and attend various farmers markets.
Tel: 01333 311495
Giving its name to Pittenweem, Pit meaning place and weem meaning a cave, St Fillan's cave has an important link to the Church and history as a whole. Entrance to the Cave is reached from Cove Wynd, the top of which is led from the East end of the High Street and comes out at the East end of the harbour.
Crail, meaning 'corner town', is the oldest of the East Neuk burghs, granted Royal Burgh status in 1310 by King Robert the Bruce. Crail was the gateway to European riches thriving on trading with Europe's Low Countries.
The influence of this European trade is shown in Crail's stone buildings.
St Fillan's cave
In the 7th century the cave was reached by boat as at this time the harbour did not exist and was no doubt a favourite place for smugglers.
A key can be obtained from the Cocoa Tree Cafe.
The harbour is home to one of Scotland's last remaining fishing fleets. The oldest pier is the outer one, with work commencing in the 16th Century, and the tower built in 1864.
Changing exhibitions show work by contemporary artists and craft workers based mainly in Scotland. Exhibitions feature traditonal and modern work by established and newly graduated artists. Resident artist Jan Fisher has work in most exhibitions and the gallery publishes a selection of her work as giclee prints.
Open 6 days 10am - 5pm (Closed Tues)
11-13 High Street
Tel: 01333 312255
Pittenweem is famously known for its Art Festival which takes place in August over 10 days. The town comes alive with all sorts of different artforms and there's always something interesting to see.
Pittenweem's mercat cross, the symbol of the burgh's right to hold markets and fairs, stands at the east end of the high street.
Walk along the shoreline from Pittenweem towards St Monans
and you'll discover St Monans Saltpans.
These were established in 1771, with 9 saltpans, a settling tank and windmill pump. Salt was Scotland's third most important export in the 17th Century and the Forth Basin, with abundant coal supplies and direct shipping routed to Northern Europe was ideal for production.
Open all year - free entry.
Windmill open - the public can borrow keys with a small deposit from the local Spar or Post Office Park in St Monans.
Fife Museum Service - Tel: 01334 659380
St Monans Saltpans
The harbour dates back to the 16th Century, when the curved pier was built. The straight west pier was added in 1826.
The 1690s white Custom House dominates the harbour.
Crail Museum & Heritage Centre
This visitor attraction gives a free insight into this ancient Royal Burgh. A great idea for where to visit in Crail.
Tel: 01333 450869
Established in 1965, Crail Pottery is set around a beautiful courtyard in the heart of historic Crail. It produces a diverse range of stoneware, terracotta planters, raku and bright hand painted earthenware. Every piece is hand thrown on the wheel, decorated, glazed and fired in their workshops.
Each pot is individually hand crafted, with its own unique character. Pop in and experience the warm and friendly family atmosphere at the pottery. Great for souvenirs and gifts.
The Crail Harbour Gallery & Tearoom
Set within a 17th Century fisherman's cottage, this fabulous foodery features original oak beams, flagstone floor and exposed stone walls.
An excellent reputation for freshly ground coffee, handmade cakes, panini lunches and salmon/dressed crab salad. You can't come to the East Neuk of Fife without sampling sensational seafood!
There's also a great
selection of unusual and
unique gifts to buy.
Sit out in the courtyard
with its spectacular
open sea views.
Open 7 days.
Tel 01333 451896
Renowned for its dramatic displays of snowdrops, the gardens at Cambo have some of the best herbaceous displays in Scotland. And they're constantly changing.
Discover their Secret Garden, a plantsman’s paradise hidden within ancient walls. Created by Head Gardener Elliott Forsyth, irresistable planting combinations feature drifts of bold perrenils and grasses in a style originally devised by Piet Oudolf.
There's an annual potager garden, and outside the main garden is a winter garden and beautiful North American Prairie which is developing. There is also acres of woodland to meander and explore with wonderful walks that lead to the sea.
Kingsbarns by St Andrews
Tel 01333 450313
St Andrews takes its name from the saint whose relics, according to legend, were brought to this magical place. In the Middle Ages, the town played a leading role in the affairs of Scotland, and its famous university was the very first in Scotland, beginning teaching in 1410. The beautiful ruined cathedral sits overlooking the water, and was first built in 1161.
St Andrews is also famed throughout the world as the 'Home of Golf' with more than 500 years of golfing history.
The British Golf Museum traces the history of golf, in both Britain and abroad, from the middle ages to modern day.
Fittingly located beside the R & A Club House, the museum features all aspects of the game, from the evolution of its laws and the earliest players right through to the players of today, from famous professionals to amateurs. Learn the fascinating and stimulating story of golf.
Delve deep into the lives of champions and discover championship history. You can even test your knowledge of the game.
British Golf Museum
Tel: 01334 460046
March to October
9.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Saturday
10.00am - 5.00pm Sunday
November to March
10.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Sunday
Set in 18 acres of impressively landscaped grounds, St Andrews Botanic Garden has won international recognition, yet remains one of St Andrews' hidden treasures. Although close to the town centre, its location among housing means that visitors have to make a small - but very worthwhile effort - to find it.
The garden has several main areas, ranging from the rock garden and scree, with pools and waterfalls, to sheltered paths through large plantings of trees and shrubs. Herbaceous borders provide summer colour and the large glasshouses contain cacti and succulents and a large collection of alpines besides other plants from warmer regions such as South East Asia. Whatever the season, there is always something to see.
St Andrews Botanic Garden
Tel: 01334 477178 / 476452
Scotland’s best kept secret for over 40 years, hidden beneath an innocent Scottish Farmhouse, a tunnel leads to Scotland’s Secret Bunker - 24,000 square feet of secret accommodation, the size of two football pitches, one on top of another, on two levels - 100 feet underground.
Had there been a nuclear war, this is where Scotland would have been governed from within.
Discover the twilight world of the Government Cold War. Take the opportunity to discover how they would have survived, and how you wouldn’t !!!…
St Andrews famous Old Course is very accessible. It is actually a public course on common land.
Watch golfers tee off beside the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Make sure you get your photograph on the Swilcan Bridge, where all the tournament winners are photographed.
Try your hand on the nearby Himalayas - a fun putting course for golfers, non golfers and children.
To book a round on any
St Andrews Golf course,
tel: 01334 474799
The Cathedral dates from around 1160, and was consecrated in the presence of Robert the Bruce in July 1318.
St Rule's Tower remains the most intact structure within the grounds. The view from the top is breathtaking, and the visitor centre contains a number of artifacts and helps to set the history of the site into context.
Visitors to the Cathedral today will enjoy the dramatic setting of the ruins (the Cathedral was destroyed by a mob roused by the preaching of John Knox in the town during the Reformation) and the sense of history which attaches to what was once one of the most important religious sites in Europe.
Tel 01333 451212
The snowdrops at Cambo.
Anstruther is a charming fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife, popular with day-trippers and holidaymakers. Located south of St Andrews, Anstruther is the largest of the pretty, old-fashioned fishing villages along the East Neuk.
Look out for puffins, seals and other wildlife on a boat trip to the Isle of May, running from May through to September.
This national musem is in a spectacular location opposite Anstruther harbour. This popular visitor attraction tells the story of the Scottish fishing industry, its boats, harbours and communities.
The Museum's flagship, REAPER FR958, is a restored Fifie sailing herring drifter built in 1902. The Museum has no less than 19 historic vessels.
If you're feeling peckish while you're here, head for the adjoining couryard patio - there's a Tearoom which offers a selection of hot and cold snacks, teas, coffee and homebaking.
No visit to Anstruther is complete without sampling the award-winning fish and chips at the Anstruther Fish Bar. The unique restaurant and takeaway has always been a favourite of local residents and tourists alike. in recent years this renowned eaterie has won a number of awards including UK Fish and Chip Shop of the year.
Situated on the attractive harbour front in Anstruther, you can enjoy your takeaway fish and chips on the seating area opposite the shop, while listening to the sounds of the sea and watching the local creel boat fishermen landing their daily catch of crab and lobster.
Their 52 seat restaurant offers fantastic views over the Firth of Forth and combines a traditional nautical theme with a typical seaside ice cream parlour, creating an informal, relaxed and friendly atmosphere for both diners in the restaurant and those waiting on their takeaway.
THE VINE LEAF
131 South Street
The finest seafood,
Scottish lamb & Game
Tel: 01334 477497
THE DOLL'S HOUSE
3 Church Square
& French cuisine
Tel: 01334 477422
THE PEAT INN
By cupar - Fife
Michelin Star dining
Tel: 01334 840206
There's simply nothing like the Crail Festival. Top entertainment. Brilliant events for all ages. From folk to rock, writing workshops to wonderful foodie fairs, sensational comedy to sandcastle competitions, it's an event that shouldn't be missed. Takes place over 10 days in July. Click here.
Anstruther Muster & Harbour Festival
Anstruther Muster is part of Anstruther Harbour Festival, a community festival which was previously the Anstruther Lifeboat Gala. The Muster is an exciting annual gathering of boats from Scotland’s East Coast and further afield.
Anstruther’s harbourfront comes alive with a Food Fair featuring East Neuk food producers, as well as craft stalls, fairground shows & children's events. There's also a rowing Regatta, with Scottish coastal rowing teams. There's even a classic boat rally.
The site of the Eden Brewery on the banks of the Eden Estuary has a long history of brewing and distilling. For most of the 19th century, the Haig Family operated a whisky distillery there. In 1860, they started distilling whisky elsewhere in Fife, and turned the site into a brewery and paper mill.
The brewery closed in 1882. The last brewery in St Andrews closed soon after, in 1902.
The paper mill closed in 2008.
After St Andrews enduring a period of 110 years with no local brewery, in 2012, the Eden Brewery began brewing again on the banks of the Eden, using the traditional methods of yesterday to brew the progressive beers of tomorrow.
Private tours of the brewery are available. Tour their craft brewery and you´ll see the brewers doing what they enjoy: crafting the best beer they can for people to enjoy. You´ll get a detailed history of the site. You´ll discover their brewing techniques. You´ll learn about their key ingredients. You´ll see why they opt for different malting processes. By the end of your tour, you´ll have had an inside track of why and how they do what they do. And you´ll see parts of the brewery not normally available to the public.
Naturally, you'll get a tasting session too.
Well worth a visit.
Established in 1926, this well-respected Crail butcher is well known locally as a source of quality. Their haggis is made on the premises, as are all the pies; meat is drawn from local farms, including Auchtermuchty beef and pork from Carnoustie and is properly hung and carefully butchered and trimmed. In-house sausages, burgers and black pudding are also available, and they sell a wide range of speciality marinated meats, jams, chutneys and pickles.
38 High Street South
Telephone 01333 450218
Opening times Mon/Tue & Thu–Sat 6.30am–1pm, 2–5pm; Wed 6.30am–1pm. Closed Sun.