Escape the festival: Sea and sand put Fife on the map for coastal break

Landyachting with Blown Away on West Sands, St Andrews. Location shoot with Channel 4 and VisitScotland in an interactive campaign for E4.
Landyachting with Blown Away on West Sands, St Andrews. Location shoot with Channel 4 and VisitScotland in an interactive campaign for E4.

North-east Fife is famous for its coast – glorious sandy beaches fringed with pretty towns and villages and days out that end with the quintessential serving of fish and chips.

The harbour towns of the East Neuk, with their distinctive crow-stepped gables and red pantile roofs, make picturesque destinations.

Each village has something that will make your day. Crail is the place to buy fresh crab at the harbour, while Pittenweem is where to discover the talent of the Kingdom’s artists, especially this weekend because its arts festival runs until Sunday.

At Anstruther – apart from its world-famous fish and chips – a tour of the Scottish Fisheries Museum will bring home the reality of the working lives of the fisherfolk. There are 15 historic boats and more than 66,000 objects which vividly paint the picture of life on boats.

One thing for the bucket list is a cross-Forth boat trip. The 45-minute crossings from Anstruther to North Berwick are organised by the Scottish Seabird Centre.

A walk along the stone pier in St Andrews recalls the generations of red-gowned students for whom the Pier Walk is a cherished academic tradition. In the university’s early days, the students would walk down to the harbour to bid farewell to the preacher who had travelled to the town by boat.

Today, it is either a Sunday morning spectacle or a late night escapade complete with ghost stories told as you pass the cathedral ruins on the way to the water’s edge.

A round of golf doesn’t have to be in St Andrews to have the sea air in your hair as you hit the fairways.

Almost within driving distance, Anstruther, Crail, Ellie and Kingsbarns all have fairways to test your prowess as the magnificent sea vistas distract you.