Crail and the East Neuk
The ‘East Neuk’ or ‘East Corner’ of Fife is one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is visited by many Scots for coastal and golf holidays. Crail is 10 miles along the coast from St.Andrews, the home of golf. It is 54 miles north-east of Edinburgh.
Take a look at our Pinterest page to see more pictures of Crail and the East Neuk (click on the word ‘Pinterest’ to go there).
Crail is one of the best-preserved East Neuk fishing villages. It has a thriving village community with a dainty bakery, excellent butcher’s, a traditional greengrocer’s, a fish and chip shop, a whole foods store, and 2 convenience stores.
There is a family-run pottery, a local museum and a couple of lovely tea shops as well as an inn serving lunch and dinner. In Crail itself there are three small sandy beaches, two of which are within two minutes’ walk of the cottage, while a five minute drive takes you to Cambo Sands, half a mile of golden sand fringed with snow-white surf.
Fresh crab and lobster are available from the harbour from April to September.
The village is connected to the other East Neuk fishing villages by the Fife Coastal Path which follows the coast from North Queensferry to the Tay Bridge and runs right by the cottage. It offers some spectacular scenery.
St Andrews is an historic university town and the home of golf. There are ancient ruins to wander around and two stunning beaches, including West Sands, two miles of pristine sand running alongside the Old Course. On the far side of St Andrews is Tentsmuir Forest, with its vast beach, seal colony, red squirrels, and white-tailed sea eagles.
Anstruther is a busy harbour and has a world-famous fish and chip shop. The Scottish Fisheries museum is here.
Pittenweem hosts an annual Arts Festival and also has a working port. Langoustines are landed here and shipped throughout Europe; you can often buy them straight off the boat – check docking times with the Harbourmaster and take a bucket.
St Monans has a renowned restaurant and a smokehouse. Good local fish can be purchased here.
Elie has water sports and two Blue Flag beaches as well as the famous ‘Chain Walk’ section of the coastal path.
The hourly Leven to St Andrews bus stops at the top of Shoregate, two minutes from the cottage, and visits the other villages along the route.
Background images: 1. Kingsbarns Beach (Cambo Sands) 2. Poppies on coastal path at Kingsbarns 3. Rumford, Crail 4. Coastal path, Crail 5. Elie