In the days when trading, fishing, and smuggling were the mainstays of Scotland, the villages clustered along the coast of Fife were like a door of opportunity opening toward the riches of the East. These fishing villages are part of the East Neuk of Fife (“neuk” is the Scottish term for “nook” or “cranny”), and King James VI once called it the “fringe of gold” surrounding the “beggar’s mantle” that was the rest of Fife. Today we’ll have a look at scenes from the East Neuk, and enjoy a taste of what life is like for its inhabitants!
The locals are passionately loyal to their homeland, even though it is not entirely certain what falls inside the boundaries of East Neuk. The general idea is that it includes the fishing villages along the most northerly shore of the Firth of Forth, and stretching a little further inland. This would include the villages of Elie and Earlsferry, Kilconquhar, Colinsburgh, St Monans, Pittenweem, Carnbee, Anstruther, Cellardyke, Kilrenny, Crail and Kingsbarns. Other towns (Lundin Links, Upper Largo and Lower Largo) have laid claim to the area as well, rousing strong feelings from the other villages.
Elie and Earlsferry
- Yep, it’s just one town. Elie was once a separate village from Earlsferry, but in 1929 they were merged into one village.
- The Elie & Earlsferry History Society has a section of their website devoted to old memories of the town, including this story of a simple man called Provost Don.
- Today the town is popular with tourists who swarm there in the summertime to indulge in sailing and golf.
|East Neuk Poppies 2, a photo by D.Y on Flickr.|
- This is one of the littlest villages in the area (approx. 9 miles wide, north to south), and includes the even smaller hamlet of Barnyards.
- It provides lovely views of Loch Kilconquhar (pronounced kinucchar).
|Colinsburgh Town Hall, a photo by Brian M Forbes on Flickr.|
- Another small town, Colinsburgh boasts two bars and two garages. One of the highlights is the Charleton Estate.
- If you’re interested in this place, feel free to browse the Annals of Colinsburgh: With Notes on Church Life in Kilconquhar Parish by Robert Dick.
- A darling little place with a sweeping harbor and an Auld Kirk perched dramatically at the very edge of the sea.
- The Fife Coastal Path runs through St. Monan’s. See more about this lovely path here.
- The picturesque windmill provides a subject for talented photographers.
|Pittenweem FIFE, a photo by G T B 2008 on Flickr.|
- The name of this village is of Pictish origin and literally means “The Place of the Caves.” The most famous cave is St. Fillan’s Cave, once the haunt of hermits and now a Christian shrine.
- This is the only village in the East Neuk which still has a working harbor. Fish vans carry the morning’s catch to distant parts of Scotland.
- The parish of Carnbee includes the hamlet of Arncroach and beautiful Kellie castle.
- This is a rural place, nestled in rolling farmland.
“Like” Picture Britain on Facebook for exclusive links, photos, and information! http://www.facebook.com/PictureBritain