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Places to Visit

Crail Village and Harbour

With the location of Crail being nestled into the east coast of Fife it is said to be the one of the driest parts in Scotland. It therefore makes a great choice for a self catering holiday by the beach with 17 blue flag beaches to choose from in Fife.

Crail lies just 10 miles south of St Andrews and is a pretty little fishing village and harbour with several shops, cafés, hotels and beaches. There is a museum and heritage centre where you can learn all about Crail’s seafaring tradition, the 220 year-old Golf Club and the Airfield history. Each year, Crail hosts the Annual Arts and Children’s Festival and Garden Open Days where you can visit the lovely private gardens of the residents of Crail, and appreciate the breathtaking harbour views.

Crail has a more comely air, with its handsome merchant houses, tranquil streets and picturesque harbour whose ancient stone walls curl around protectively, embracing the boats that shelter there.

History of Crail

The settlement dates from as far back as the Pictish period. Well settled by the 800s, Crail was a thriving town by the 1100s and was made a Royal Burgh by Robert the Bruce in 1310. He also gave it the right to hold markets on a Sunday.

At one time, Crail was the most important sea port in the East Neuk of Fife, a centre for the export of fish, salt, mutton and wool to mainland Europe, particularly Holland.

Crail Aerodrome, to the north of the town, started life as a naval air station during the First World War. In the run-up to the Second World War it became HMS Jackdaw. Planes from the airfield took part in the final attack on the Tirpitz in 1944. Polish soldiers stationed at Crail during the Second World War helped the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh purchase the disused United Presbyterian Church (built 1859). In 1942, it become Most Holy Trinity Church. The Church has recently been renovated and contains an icon to Our Lady of Poland painted by one of the Polish soldiers. 

After the war, the airfield was taken over by the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Bruce. After closure, the Joint Services School for Linguists (JSSL) was based here in the 19 51 the British armed services to provide language training, principally in Russian, and largely to selected conscripts undergoing National Service. It was initially located at three main sites near Bodmin, Caterham and In 1956 the three were amalgamated at Crail. The school closed with the ending of conscription in 1960.

St Andrews

The town is named after Saint Andrew whose relics were supposedly brought to the town by Saint Rule.  Established in its present form in 1140 the town grew to become the ecclesiastical and intellectual capital of Scotland in the Middle Ages.  The university is the third oldest in the English speaking world and the third oldest in the UK.  Well-known previous students include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, JM Barrie, Douglas Haig, Alex Salmond to name a few. 

In St Andrews you will find a fabulous selection of shops, restaurants, hotels and golf courses, including the world famous St Andrews Golf Course. There are also museums, a Cathedral, Sealife Centre, and a cinema.

Things to Do in the Kingdom of Fife

Rock Ya Events

Fife offers a great range of things to see and do. For more ideas, we recommend Rock Ya Events Group from picturesque fishing villages to grand abbeys and everything in between. There's a wide range of tours and attractions on offer within easy reach of Beach House Walk.

Mountain Biking

There are some fantastic bike trails nearby and with bikes and helmets included within the cost of your stay at Beach House Walk, it's a great opportunity to get out and about and enjoy the peace and tranquility around the East Neuk of Fife. We recommend the Crail to Kingsbarns cycle path, with a starting point just minutes from the house. Fife Cycle Routes

The Fife Coastal Path

A long distance Scottish coastal footpath that runs from Kincardine to Newburgh. The path was created in 2002, originally running from North Queensferry to Tayport. Whether you are looking for peace and tranquillity or action and adventure the Fife Coastal Path can offer you this and much more. You can works parts of the route directly from Crail Harbour. www.fifecoastalpath.co.uk

Discovering Fossils

Crail is famous for the fossils that can be found nearby.  In fact, there have been some aincient fossils identified just 100 metres from our front door at Beach House Walk.  There are may fossils which can be found among the pebbles and foreshore exposures within each of the neighbouring bays west of the harbour including Kingsbarns Beach.  Find out more about fossils in Crail and fossils at Kingsbarns Beach.

Roome Bay Beach, Crail

Just a 2-minute walk and has many rock pools to explore and a children’s play area. The coastline is part of the internationally recognised Firth of Forth Ramsar site to protect wetland habitats and the species, which live and feed in these areas. www.VisitScotland.com

Kingsbarns Beach

This charming blue flag beach stretches for about 2 miles and is bordered by rolling sand dunes. It’s a very popular beach for walkers and the Fife Coastal Footpath passes above it. There is plenty of space on the beach for all the family and it is an ideal spot for a picnic. Kingbarns Golf Links, undeniably one of the finest courses in Scotland runs alongside the beach. www.visitscotland.com

Crail Pottery

Crail Pottery is set around a beautiful courtyard in the heart of historic Crail. Crail Pottery produces a diverse range of stoneware, terracotta planters, raku and bright hand painted earthenware. Every piece is hand thrown on the wheel, decorated, glazed and fired here in our workshops. www.crailpottery.com

Cambo Estate

A garden for all seasons. Discover the Secret Garden, a plantsman’s paradise hidden within ancient walls. Naturalistic plantings give a modern flavour to a traditional Victorian garden complete with box hedges, lilacs and roses galore and a burn running gently towards the sea. An oasis of peace and tranquillity at any time of the year, from pure white snowdrops in the spring to the late autumn grasses swaying in the breeze and catching the low sun, the garden offers respite from a busy world. www.camboestate.com

Boat Trips to the Isle of May

Anchored on the edge of the Firth of Forth, the Isle of May is a magical mix of sea birds, seals and smugglers. In early summer the cliffs are heaving with nesting sea birds in a noisy spectacle you can witness from the cliff top path. The island is also home to the unmistakeable puffin, a comical looking bird that dazzles visitors with its brightly coloured bill. There's a dark past here though, with monks, Vikings and smugglers on the list of previous visitors. www.isleofmayferry.com

The Scottish Fisheries Museum

Situated in a wonderful collection of historic buildings on the beautiful fishing harbour of Anstruther. A charitable trust which has become a national institution with an international reputation. www.scotfishmuseum.org

Kellie Castle & Gardens<

Kellie Castle in Fife dates from as early as the 14th century and has magnificent plaster ceilings, painted panelling and fine furniture designed by Sir Robert Lorimer. It also contains a long-concealed mural by the celebrated Arts & Crafts pioneer, Phoebe Anna Traquair. The grounds and garden could easily be a day out in themselves, with acres of woodland walks, a bird hide and an abundance of nature. www.nts.org.uk/Property/Kellie-Castle-and-Garden

St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company

Visit the farm, where you can watch the cheese-making in progress from their specially constructed Viewing Gallery. Complete your visit with a light lunch or fresh coffee and home baking in the ‘Butterpat’ Coffee Shop, with its splendid views down over the Firth of Forth. www.standrewscheese.co.uk

Scotland's Secret Bunker

The Secret Bunker lies 100 feet underground and is the size of two football pitches, one on top of the other so there is plenty of exploring to do! Come and discover how Scotland would have been governed from the depths of Fife and how they would have survived a nuclear attack from the most deadly bombs! www.secretbunker.co.uk

St Andrews Sealife Centre

Step into an underwater world of adventure and discovery. Come face to face with some of the most beautiful, fascinating and dangerous creatures of the watery worlds. From British sharks to spiders, lobsters to lionfish, poison dart frogs to piranhas, loveable seals and fabulous meerkats. Get up close and personal with daily interactive demonstrations which include penguin feeding, seal feeding, reptile and spider handling sessions and an informative talk and feeding sessions with the family of meerkats. www.standrewsaquarium.co.uk

St Andrews Beach

This beach is located on the south side of the old harbour close to the East Sands Leisure Centre. It is a sandy beach with a path on the inland side. Due to its close proximity to the harbour and sailing club, the beach boasts a lot of watersports including surfing and sailing.There are plenty of activities for children, including some fascinating rock pools at the south end of the beach. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the peak season. www.visitscotland.com

Elie Beach

Elie is 5 miles from Crail and is one of Scotland’s blue flag beaches with almost one mile of uninterrupted sand. There is an excellent sailing club, and a watersports facility where you can hire equipment or head out on an inflatable adventure trip. www.visitscotland.com

Falkland Palace & Gardens

Experience a day in the life of the Stuart monarchs at Falkland Palace, their country residence for 200 years – and a favourite place of Mary, Queen of Scots. Set in the heart of Falkland conservation village, and surrounded by extensive gardens, this partly restored Renaissance palace is the perfect place to while away an afternoon. www.nts.org.uk/Property/Falkland-Palace-and-Garden

The Scottish Deer Centre

Take A Walk On The Wild Side and visit one of Fife's largest visitor attractions. A big day out for the whole family. Get up close with all the animals and experience the wonderful birds of prey display. www.tsdc.co.uk

booking.com rating 9.2

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East Neuk 2016 Brochure

Guest Reviews

Visitors Book

Some recent comments from our Beach House Walk visitors book.

"We have had a fab time here. The house is so homely, with perfect location, ideal for walking to the beach and local shops. Highly recommended. The golf hotel 5 mins walk & bus stop right outside the house, just stick your hand out! We will return this year."...Jim & Jill Wood.