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Kingsbarns Distillery

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The story of Kingsbarns Distillery is closely linked to golf - unsurprising given its proximity to St Andrews. Local golf caddie Douglas Clement noticed the curious dearth of distilleries in eastern Fife, despite a wealth of potential clients who flocked to the region to play the links game in its purest form. Poor in money but rich in contacts, he gathered capital from wealthy golfers to set up his own distillery. Money ran out but the venture was sold to the Wemyss family and construction started in 2013. Kingsbarns is therefore one of Scotland's youngest distilleries; production only began in 2015, meaning whisky can't be legally bottled until 2018. In the meantime you can taste a varied selection of Wemyss Malts - blends from elsewhere in Scotland - at the end of your guided visit. Tours also take in an excellent film and exhibition area, as well as the production area which is housed in a single room. We wouldn't recommend Kingsbarns as our favourite whisky tour: whi…

Dunino Den

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Dunino Den fits comfortably into the "unusual" category of places to visit across Scotland. Here in a strip of natural woodland - rare in eastern Fife - a pre-Christian ritual site is found alongside a deep section of the Kinaldy Burn. The nearby church graveyard contains an ancient sculptured stone and part of a Neolithic stone circle, so it's tempting to suggest that the location has had significance since at least Pictish times. The den itself, accessed by a woodland path, is on two levels. On the upper level is a rock-cut well and nearby carved footprint. Some sources claim this spot was used for human sacrifice by druids. Unsettling enough, but uneven stone steps descend to a natural, burnside amphitheatre with Celtic knotwork and crosses carved into the rock walls, and hundreds of coins wedged into nearby cracks. Offerings of ribbons, buttons and other craftwork have been left hanging from trees, though there were fewer of these on our visit than appear in some ph…

Cellardyke

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Today, Cellardyke tends to be overshadowed by larger Anstruther. The boundaries of the two villages merged a long time ago and it's Anstruther that's hoovered up most of the shops and services. But Cellardyke is actually the older settlement and was a busy port during the 18th century herring era, only superseded by Anstruther after the harbour (also called Skinfast Haven) suffered storm damage in 1898. The quays now lie mostly empty save for the odd washing line or wandering seagull. Few tourists make the trip here, leaving quaint cottages with exterior staircases and house cats peering from the windows for those in the know to enjoy. By the way, Cellardyke is a corruption of silver dyke: a reference to the glimmering herring scales caught in the nets that were once hung out to dry on the harbour walls.


Name: Cellardyke ★★☆☆☆
Location: G.R.: NO 577039 ///boasted.available.builder


Within walking distance

>> see separate post for Walk: This little piggy went to Crail★★★☆☆



St Fillan's Cave

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Think for a minute about where the village of Pittenweem got its name from and you might realise that "weem" is an adaptation of the Gaelic "uamh", meaning cave. Pittenweem actually means place of the cave, and indeed there's a sizeable subterranean chamber under the hillside off Cove Wynd, the alley connecting the village harbour to its High Street. This chamber is St Fillan's Cave, a natural cavern probably carved by an underground river thousands of years ago. The miracle-working Saint Fillan is believed to have lived in the cave in the 7th century, reading and writing in the gloom with the help of a luminous left arm. Inside, you can visit the stone altar, explore a dead-end passage and see the steep steps creating a former entrance to the cave from above. The cave is still a minor pilgrimage site, with Christian services occasionally held under the rock roof.

Name: St Fillan's Cave ★★☆☆☆
Location: Cove Wynd, Pittenweem village centre, G.R.: NO 55002…

Pittenweem

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With red-tiled roofs, picturesque harbour, narrow streets and views across an azure Firth of Forth, Pittenweem is as cute as you come to expect from this corner of Fife. Uniquely among the East Neuk ports, the fishing industry is still alive and well here, with a fish market still auctioning off the day's catch each morning. Above the dockside, houses tumble down the hillside from the High Street above, where most of the village's services are located and with only slightly less chocolate-box charm. Speaking of chocolate, head to Pittenweem Chocolate Company's shop and café for delicious cocoa-related products, including outrageously indulgent milkshakes. You can also collect the key for St Fillan's Cave here: more about this intriguing spot on its own page (link below).


Name: Pittenweem ★★★☆☆
Location (High Street): G.R.: NO 548025 ///image.alike.passes


Within walking distance

>> see separate post for St Fillan's Cave★★☆☆☆


Nearby

>> see separate post for

Anstruther

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Anstruther (pronounced something like AN-ster) is one of the biggest and most popular of the East Neuk fishing villages, sprawling along the Fife coast and encompassing a trio of old settlements. In the middle, busy Anstruther Easter is the largest of Anstruther's three parts. Its large main harbour is now the domain of pleasure craft, long since replacing herring vessels which used to underpin the economy; in spring and summer it's also the departure point for boat trips to the seabird colonies on the Isle of May. The extensive Scottish Fisheries Museum is a reminder of bygone times, just across the road from the harbourside. At low tide you can cross the Dreel Burn on stepping stones at beach level to reach Anstruther Wester with its colourful church and cottages - a couple of the latter have beautiful shell mosaics adorning the walls. Roads also link the two, with further attractive narrow streets extending east to Cellardyke, which gets its own page. Back at the main harb…

Scottish Fisheries Museum

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With thousands of miles of coastline, the sea has inevitably played a big part in shaping Scotland and its economy. It's fitting that the country's main museum telling the story of the fishing industry can be found on the harbourside at Anstruther, one of the most attractive of Fife's East Neuk fishing settlements. The museum's scale isn't apparent from the outside, so don't baulk at the admission fee; after paying, you soon find that the museum stretches across several different buildings with about a dozen different rooms. Exhibits are sensibly displayed in chronological order, starting with "primitive" early vessels, moving through sailmaking and the herring era, towards steam and finally modern fishing. There's a general focus on Scotland's east coast, but occasionally the net is cast wider to include the rest of the British Isles and other North Sea countries. The highlight is the cavernous Zulu Gallery, housing the deckless hull of the