After attending our friends beautiful wedding in the stunning setting of Crail at the end of last year, we were given a glimmer of the East Neuk of Fife and had been desperate to head back since so a few weeks ago we headed down the east coast of Scotland for the weekend. We spent the first day exploring St Andrews before heading to the beautiful Gatehouse Cottage which was our cosy little home for the weekend. I was mainly excited to explore all the historical harbours and seaside towns bursting with coastal cottages that the East Neuk is so famous for, and that scatter the whole coastline of the area.
On the first morning we woke up early to the most beautiful sunrise but with the wind howling all around the cottage. Definitely a day to get wrapped up warm for adventures by the coast! We drove down to the town of Earlsferry to start our exploring and work our way back up the coast town by town. The weather wasn’t really in our favour with freezing wind all day along with sunshine one minute and a torrential downpour the next, but nothing a couple of adventurers and some layers couldn’t handle! We parked the car at our first stop and headed out for a couple of hours wandering the beautiful streets and winding back lanes over to Elie which are adorned with the most charming coastal cottages painted in the dreamiest pastel hues. We then headed back along the beautiful beach as another rainstorm drew in and made it to the car just as the heavens opened!
By the time we got to our next stop of the day at St Monans the sun was splitting the sky! Perfect for more wandering and a lot more cottage admiring. Never have I seen so many pink houses!! It was absolutely blissful. I think St Monans was my favourite stop of the day, with its charming harbour and tiny winding streets giving me all of the heart eyes! We walked along the beach passed the old outdoor pool to St Monans windmill and climbed to the top for the most stunning view over the sea.
It was definitely time for a heat up after all that exploring and we found the perfect little pink cafe just at the right time. The Diving Gannet is just off one of the little streets by the harbour and is the perfect place for a tea and scone stop! A proper little seaside cafe with homemade cakes and tea served in spotty pots, this little place made me fall in love with St Monans even more!
The next stop of the day was Pittenweem, another little fishing village further up the coast. Again absolutely bursting with the most beautiful seaside cottages in every colour you could think of just across the road from a harbour full of dinky old fishing boats. We spent another hour or so wandering happily in the sunshine admiring the surroundings and dreaming up a life by the coast! It really was my favourite kind of day, just endlessly exploring with no real plan or time schedule! We headed back to our little cottage with very happy faces all round.
We woke up early on day two of our staycation and it was apparent that a storm was brewing. The wind was absolutely howling and we could hear the rain starting to fall on the cottage windows. Cosy scenes will always be my favourite so this was much to my delight! I threw on a jumper, lit the open fire and got the croissants into the oven for a Sunday brunch set up of dreams. We had a lovely slow morning, cooried up indoors listening to the elements outside.
The rain was not letting up, now resembling more of a monsoon, so eventually we braved it waterproofs and all. It was absolutely bouncing so we headed straight to Crail Pottery as I knew we could take shelter there for a good few happy hours! The place is a must visit whilst in the area, you can take a peek at the busy potters at work through the workshop windows and shop until your heart is content. The pottery creations are truly beautiful and are a great opportunity to take a little piece of the East Neuk home with you. And also, factory seconds!! Needless to say I filled my wee boots with mugs, trinkets and plates whilst fiancé patiently waited like a saint.
Even in the rain Crail is a beautiful place with the most charming houses and many a colourful door. We wandered until we were soaked to the bone which just made our trip to the gallery cafe by the harbour even cosier! We sat for hours nattering over pots of tea as the rain continued to pour outside. Perfection!
Our staycation in the East Neuk was everything I would have hoped for and more. It really is magical part of Scotland which is brimming with history, not to mention the cottages, and I already can’t wait to visit again soon!
Some other things we done and recommendations in the area:
A lovely seaside tea room The Diving Gannet, another beautiful tea room and gallery Crail Harbour Gallery, for lovely pub grub and drinks The Dreel Tavern, the local distillery (and how we spent the next rainy day!), Crail Pottery and St Monans Windmill.