When King James VI described Fife as a fringe of gold, it was perhaps the East Neuk of which he was thinking. Golden sands and rocky inlets are the setting for a string of maritime villages, all with their own typically Scottish character and flavour. White-washed houses, pantiled roofs, crow-stepped gables, fishing boats, lobster creels stacked on weathered quaysides, swooping gulls… they all come together here in a blend that is truly unique.
From the rock pools of Kingbarns to Lower Largo, birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, whose real life castaway story was the basis for Robinson Crusoe, the East Neuk takes in Crail, Cellardyke, Pittenweem, Anstruther, St Monans, Elie and Earlsferry, all with their own picturesque harbours, characters and sights.
You can explore the East Neuk by car, but a better way is to go by foot. Stretches of the Fife Coastal Walk allow the visitor to gain views not accessible from the road. One of the best stretches lies between Pittenweem and Elie, with two ruined castles, an abandoned salt works and a windmill to see on the way, and the village of St Monans at the half way point provides an unresistable excuse to stop off at a hostlery for refreshments. Other attractions in the East Neuk include boat trips to the bird sanctuary on the Isle of May, the Scottish Fisheries Museum at Anstruther, Kellie Castle, and the Secret Bunker. There are also excellent watersports facilities at Elie.