Historic Harbour Village in Scotland's East Neuk
Crail is the oldest and most photographed of the East Neuk villages. Indeed there's no doubt that Crail is one of the most picturesque and charming fishing villages you’ll ever visit.
It is the most easterly village in the East Neuk of Fife, located only 10 mins drive from St Andrews and just over an hour from Edinburgh. Crail makes a great base for a holiday in Fife and despite its proximity to the central belt of Scotland it could not feel further from life's stresses and strains. The photo which is the view down to the harbour from Harbour House garden pretty much sums it up.
Also on our door step are some of the world's oldest and top rated golf courses including Crail Golfing Society, Kingbarns and The Old Course at St Andrews.
Things to do
On your doorstep is of course Crail itself. The Heritage Walk through the village can begin on the doorstep of Harbour House & Cottage taking in Crail Castle nestled behind the Castle Wall on the coastal pathway, the 16th Century Doocot in Roome Bay, the Dutch Tower on the Tollgate, St Mary’s Church where John Knox preached in 1559 and the of course the Harbour, built with the help of trading partners in the Netherlands amongst other notable landmarks.
The quaint High Street also provides all that you will need during your stay – an excellent local butcher, greengrocer and delicatessen, wholefood shop, pharmacist and convenience stores and cafes. The art gallery on the High Street, the Crail Gallery and Tearoom on Shoregate and the Crail Pottery on Nethergate are well worth a visit. The Lobster Shed at the Harbour sells lobster during the summer months and is a treat not to be missed.
The many beautiful villages of the East Neuk lie along the coast, easily accessed by car or local bus. Elie, Cellardyke, Pittenweem and Anstruther are just a few minutes drive from Harbour House and Cottage. All hold a charm of their own with their own unique history. The harbour and fishery museum in Anstruther, provides further insight into the fishing history of the area.
The historic university town of St Andrews is a 15 minute drive away. Historic buildings and ruins, expanses of stunning beaches, numerous cosmopolitan shops, restaurants and cafes and golfing opportunities just part of its charm.
Golf is at the heart of the area. The Crail Golfing Society is the 7th oldest golf club in the world and every village boasts its own stunning golf course – Elie, Kingsbarnes and Anstruther to name but a few. Along with the many courses in St Andrews, the Old Course perhaps the most famous, the area is a paradise for golf lovers.
But golf is not the only activity! Crail and the surrounding area have much more to offer – stunning coastal and beach walks, lazy days on one of the many local beaches, exploring the rock pools and ancient fossils and venturing along the bike trails are amongst our favourite things to do in this wonderful part of the world.
Nature lovers will delight at the Cambo House snowdrops and wonder at the sealife on display around the Isle of May where seasonal boat tours are available. For a glimpse of bygone days, Kellie Castle and Gardens is short drive away.
The Secret Bunker museum gives an insight into more recent history and along with the old WW2 airfields and Leuchars base demonstrate the interesting role that the military has played in the area.
Eating out rates very highly in our favourite things to do, and Crail and the surrounding area do not disappoint. Whether you love good home cooking or fine dining out, there are both quality ingredients and fabulous restaurants on your doorstep.
Amongst our personal favourites are the Peat Inn for a special celebration, Forgans, St Andrews for relaxed dining and the Crail Fish bar for unbeatable fish and chips (we think even better than our famous chip shop neighbour in Anstruther!)
St Andrews boasts a range of international restaurants, catering for every taste and style so there is certainly something for everyone.
I hope that our love of Crail and the East Neuk shines through in some of the information we have provided. It is by no means a complete list but certainly hope that it will start you on your journey.
We began with day trips from Edinburgh and holiday weekends and are so proud to now have a little foothold in this special place. We hope that you too will enjoy quality family time and the simple pleasures of life in this beautiful, unspoilt part of the world.