Elie / Earlsferry is a picturesque seaside village with plenty of character. The village is sandwiched between a long sandy beach on the south side and both a nine and an eighteen hole golf course on the north. With five beaches to choose from (one with 'Blue Flag' award), tennis courts, bowling and water sports all on the doorstep you are never short of things to do. The impressive coastal path stretches for miles in both directions from which you may see whales, dolphins, seals and other wildlife.
The Royal Burgh of Elie and Earlsferry in Fife dates back to the fifteen hundreds when the harbour was used for exporting grain. Several merchant houses then appeared and later in Victorian times the area became a favourite holiday retreat for Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Granary still sits in pride of place at the end of the pier and is now a beautifully converted building of 6 apartments. We are fortunate to have a good selection of family-run shops supplying all day-to-day needs plus a couple of gift shops. There are also a number of cafes/restaurants in Elie and the surrounding area providing everything from pub grub and excellent family meals up to Michelin star standard. Elie is one of the several coastal villages situated in the East Neuk (or Corner) of Fife. It is surrounded by historic sites and some information on some of the other villages can be found in the links below.
As the closest neighbour to Elie at 2 miles as the crow flies, St Monans makes a lovely walk along the coast for lunch at the East Pier Smokehouse or Craig Millar restaurant, both offering beautiful views out to sea. Wander around the old streets and take in the beautiful ’Auld Kirk’ which is thought to be the closest church to the sea in Scotland, first built in the 14th century. Another noteworthy historic site is the Newark Castle and Doocot which is on the coastal path between Elie and St Monans about 0.5miles from the latter. The village is a beautiful place to explore with plenty of cobbled streets, narrow wynds, red pantile roofs and crow stepped gables.
Nestled between Anstruther and St Monans, Pittenweem is the only remaining fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife. The village hosts a thriving harbour with fishermen hauling in their catches in much the same way as they have for centuries. If you like fish you will be spoilt for choice at the daily fish market or in the local fish and chip shop if you prefer it ready made. Pittenweem has also become a little art haven over the last ten or so years now supporting a number of small galleries and a well known arts festival every August. It is a lovely place to visit and take in a bit of the culture of the area.
Situated between Crail and Pittemweem in the eastern corner of Fife, Anstruther or ‘Ainster’ as it is locally known, is the largest of the east Neuk villages with a population of around 5000. The village sits around a functional harbour which is more utilised by pleasure vessels than fishing boats nowadays. In its hay day it was the capital of the Scottish fishing industry until the plentiful shoals of herring disappeared in the mid 20th century. Pop along to sample a fish supper from the famous fish and chip shop on the waterfront and sit out to take in the harbour activity. There is a fisheries museum with lots of interesting historic information of the fishing industry in times gone by to the present. Anstruther is the easiest point to take a trip out to the Isle of May to view the puffins and other amazing birds on this beautiful wildlife sanctuary.
Just a few miles East of Anstruther, Crail is a charming historical port containing a harbour which is one of the most photographed places in Scotland. As with all of the coastal villages the best way to explore is on foot. Park up and walk down to the pedestrian only harbour and soak up the atmosphere of the old fishing village. Wander through the streets lined with 17th and 18th century houses and look for the lintels above the doors marking the old owners’ initials or wedding dates. There is also a lovely working pottery just a few minutes up from the harbour, housed in a beautifully restored building.
At 20 minutes drive from Elie, St Andrews is well worth the trip. There are countless historic sites to take in including the Cathedral and Castle ruins, and the famous University buildings still in use today. Many golf enthusiasts are drawn to St Andrews to see or play the World famous 'Old Course'. As well as all the historical and sporting sites, it is now a very good shopping town in its own right. With a plentiful supply of cafes to quench any thirst built up by walking up and down the beautiful cobbled streets.