Anstruther is a charming fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife, and part of the Fife Coastal Path, it’s about an hour away from Edinburgh, Dundee and Perth, and less than 15 minutes south of St Andrews. Anstruther is the largest in a string of pretty, old-fashioned fishing villages along the East Fife coast known as the East Neuk, especially known for its historical connection to the sea and the fishing way of life.
Anstruther, Cellardyke and Kilrenny have no shortage of things to do and places to explore, and spending a day, or even a weekend, is well-worth your time. A picturesque marina has anchored pleasure craft, while the sheltered harbour sees working fishing boats loading and unloading creels and traps. Three piers extend out into the Forth, bringing you even closer to the sea, as amateur fishermen cast out a line and hope for a bite.
Puffins, seals and other wildlife reside on the Isle of May, with May Isle Princess boat trips running from May through to September. The fascinating Scottish Fisheries Museum has rotating exhibits, special presentations and galleries illustrating the history of seafaring and fishing, a history going back hundreds of years as whaling boats lined the harbour, with herring boats eventually taking their place.
Cobbled side streets, “two up two down” fishermen’s cottages, houses with pantiled roofs and planted-up lush front gardens provide the walker — and the explorer — plenty of places to wander through, seeing historical buildings still in active use today.
After working up an appetite exploring the area, there are numerous places to enjoy a meal. The “Food & Drink” section details the variety of eating and drinking locales offered — including the Michelin-starred Cellar and the multiple-award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar. And don’t forget the Scottish Fisheries Museum, a popular light-bite choice as soups, light sandwiches, and homebaking can be enjoyed.
Just half a mile east of Anstruther is Cellardyke, a hidden treasure often overlooked by visitors. This picturesque harbour town was designated a Conservation Area in 1977, has beautifully preserved charming houses, and a harbour with old bathing pool. The nearby gem of Kilrenny -the “Kil-” early Gaelic meaning “church” — is highlighted by a church with a 15th century tower –and the nearby Skeith Stone, a carved stone with a marigold, possibly dating to the year 700, indicating this area was an early Christian sacred site.
Enough to see? Enough to do? Come see for yourself!!
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