My husband and I try to have one child-free day together every couple of months (and are thankful to the grandparents who allow us to do this!) and our last was a day in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife.
A few years ago, when I had just discovered I was pregnant with my daughter, we spent a long weekend in Elie. I love this gorgeous seaside town with its lovely sandy beach and buckets of coastal charm. During our stay we walked the Fife Coastal Path from Elie north through St Monans to Pittenweem. I adore these picturesque East Neuk villages (I particularly loved St Monans) and so with a day to ourselves last month we decided to head back to Fife to walk some more of the Fife Coastal Path.
Our first stop was Balgove Larder, just outside St Andrews, for a morning coffee. I could have stayed there for hours – the shop was packed with all my favourite kinds of things (books, plants, soaps, candles and lots of gorgeous home ware) and the farm shop was also very tempting with its lovely local produce. And the Flower Shed! Luckily for my wallet we were going to be out all day and couldn’t really buy any fresh flowers to leave in a hot car.
From St Andrews we wove down the coastal route to Crail, where we left our car and hopped on a bus to Pittenweem. We headed straight to the Pittenweem Chocolate Company for lunch (their hot chocolate is divine) and had a quick peek in nearby St Fillan’s Cave, an ancient cave linked to the monks of the Isle of May (you get the key from the Chocolate shop). Apparently ‘Pit’ was Pictish for ‘place’ and ‘weem’ meant ‘cave’ so Pittenweem translates as the ‘place of the cave’.
We then set off on the 8 mile walk from Pittenweem through Anstruther to Crail. I just love the Fife Coastal Trail and exploring the scenic villages along the way.
We soon arrived in Anstruther and enjoyed wandering around the lovely streets before happening across the Anstruther Harbour Festival where we stepped on board an old herring-fishing boat.
It took us about an hour to walk from Pittenweem to Anstruther and another two hours to walk from Anstruther to Crail. I particularly loved the views to the Isle of May and Bass Rock.
It’s a lovely sight as Crail appears around the corner, with the white-washed cottages tucked around the picturesque harbour. By this point we were tired and hungry, and headed straight to the harbour in search of seafood.
We stumbled upon a lovely cafe just on the hill on the way down to the harbour, called Crail Harbour Gallery, with decking for alfresco dining. We managed to grab a table overlooking the sea and tucked into fresh crab, bread and salad whilst drinking in the sea views.
We also enjoyed a browse in the Crail Pottery, where I could have bought everything!
I hope we will explore the East Neuk again soon – I love the Coastal Path and the characterful villages strung along it. It’s an area that, quite simple, feeds the soul (and has amazing seafood to boot!).