PITTENWEEM and the EAST NEUK
Pittenweem is a major centre for the fishing fleet, with a busy fish market. It is one of Scotland's best-preserved and most attractive villages, with many historic buildings The quirky layout of the centre, which formed over several centuries, with numerous 'Wynds' (alleys), is one of its particular charms. Few Scottish villages have so well preserved their ancient character.
The High Street and town centre are on the higher land and the harbour and shore on the town’s lower level. A royal burgh since 1541, its harbour was built in 1600 and the National Trust for Scotland has restored many of its houses.
In the cliff face beneath its priory is St Fillan’s Cave, the alleged retreat of a 7th century monk, whose bell and crozier are preserved in the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Pittenweem has bowling and tennis courts, children’s play and skateboard arena, sandy beaches and a wonderful Arts Festival in August. It’s also home to many artists and craftspeople.
Now well known for its annual Arts Festival as well as its fish, Pittenweem has built a reputation as a place to be creative, and the Arts Festival has grown year by year, with over 80 venues, halls, sheds and living rooms forming a network of galleries to display work by artists from well beyond Fife. Open Studio weekends now happen at various times throughout the years.
Local amenities in the village include the fish and chip shop, grocery store, post office, chemist, newsagent, baker, hairdresser, butcher and (as you would expect) fish shops. There are of course several permanent art galleries, a chocolate / coffee shop, restaurants and bars, and a splendid hardware and outerware store run by the Fishermen’s Mutual Society near the harbour.
Things to do in the area:
- Watch the unloading of the catch at the fish market
- Stroll to the top of the West Braes, where the view towards St Monans is stunning.
- Walk along the Fife Coastal Path towards St. Monans, stopping off to look at the old windmill by the saltpans
- Visit the Fisheries Museum at Anstruther – and don’t miss the famous Anstruther Fish Bar nearby.
- Take a boat trip from Anstruther round the Isle of May, a birdwatcher’s paradise. And then there’s the local golf
- Visit the walled garden at Kellie Castle, now a National Trust property
- Explore the Wynds of Pittenweem and peep into St Fillans Cave
- Have coffee or lunch at the Cheese Farm café behind the village
- Go to Elie and Earlsferry – try the Chain Walk
- Explore the ‘Secret Bunker’ on the road to St. Andrews, the underground shelter prepared for the Cold War.
- Play golf, In Elie, Anstruther, Kingsbarns or St. Andrews.
- Visit Crail and Pittenweem Potteries
- Visit The Cocoa Tree in the High Street
- Take a tour of Pittenweem's galleries