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The Jigger Inn, St Andrews

Dynamic Day Trip: Fishing Villages of East Neuk

August 20, 2015

For those lucky enough to visit St. Andrews, by all means, you must play the Old Course, Kingsbarns and other great golf courses in the region. If you have some extra time in your itinerary or are accompanied by a spouse who doesn’t play golf, a fun-filled day trip is a superb way to enjoy the area. There are also some excellent golf courses near the villages for golfers to play while non-golfers enjoy sightseeing, shopping and dining. On a self-guided tour of the nearby fishing villages on the East Neuk of Fife you’ll see harbors busy with fishing boats, walk on narrow cobblestone streets, peruse art galleries and dine on seafood delicacies.

East Neuk is the name of the land that runs around the Eastern peninsula of the Kingdom of Fife. The region is only about a 15 to 20-minute drive from St. Andrews.

The picturesque villages look like they were created for postcards. Beautiful boat dotted coves will have you taking panorama shots and selfies the instant you arrive. If you go, here are some of the more prominent, interesting and fun villages to visit:

Anstruther — A wonderland of cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and quaint shops, this village is extremely walkable. For some of the best fish ‘n’ chips in the British Isles, the Anstruther Fish Bar is an absolute must stop. Anstruther is also home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum, which traces the fishing and boat building industry, and a bike shop where you can rent bicycles to leisurely explore the area.

Crail — Known for its exceptional fresh shellfish that’s caught and sold in the village, Crail has one of the world’s most photogenic small harbors. Things to do include the Crail History Museum, Crail Pottery and the Marketgate, once the largest medieval market places in Europe. A fun lunch is to buy lobster and crab from a kiosk and have an impromptu picnic on a nearby bench. For golfers, the Balcomie Links and Craighead Links at the Crail Golfing Society are exceptional plays.

Elie and Earlsferry — The village with two names combined in 1929. The harbor curves around the bay and the golden sand beaches and calm waters are great for swimming and windsurfing. The Elie Golf Club is an interesting layout designed in 1895 by Old Tom Morris and James Braid.

Kilrenny — Setback from the coast, this Dutch built village’s central point is the 15th century Parish Church. The streets leading to the church have several impressive 18th century houses and cottages. A great picnic area is the Kilrenny Common.

Pittenweem — The only village in the area with a working harbor, Pittenweem has a fresh fish market and lots of quaint shops on High Street.

St. Monans — At this ancient fishing village, you’ll find the ruins of Newark Castle, St Monans Church, which was built in 1362 and has stunning views of the Forth and a recently restored windmill overlooking the sea.