A Stroll Along The East Neuk of Fife

A Stroll Along The East Neuk of Fife

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Away to the east of the splendours of Edinburgh, north of the Firth of Forth, operates a shoreline comprehensive of curiosity, not least the name, the East Neuk of Fife (Neuk signifies corner). 

A well-signposted coastal path means you can stroll proper out to the corner in question, and on a recent weekend stop by that was the highlight prompt by loved ones customers who reside around Scotland’s capital.

It commenced at the harbour in Anstruther, dominated by a chaotic RNLI lifeboat station. The volunteers are supported by a local community which has cared for shipwreck victims since Elizabethan situations, when the crew of a person of the few surviving ships of the Spanish Armada created landfall there.

It is a city of parts, Easter and Wester Anstruther, and Cellardyke, which have loved the prestigious status of staying Royal Burghs because the 16th century, and tales from their heritage are well-discussed in a collection of roadside boards.  

A more compact local community, Kilrenny, a little inland, was involved in the list of Burghs by incident in 1592 and put in the next century attempting to escape due to the fact of the cost of protecting privileges this sort of as a a lot more expensive neighborhood govt.

Cellardyke harbour

Head east from Anstruther’s harbours and a avenue lined with previous cottages delivers you to Cellardyke, whose harbour however has strains to dangle nets, despite the fact that they’re more utilized by locals for drying the washing these times.

The harbour was once as occupied as the neighbouring Anstruther but could not cope with the massive fleets of the herring trade, and is now a great deal much less applied.

Cellardyke pool

Cellardyke also has a large tidal swimming pool, established by natural means by the geology of a reef just offshore but enhanced with some concrete walls.

Once out of the cities, the shoreline walking is mostly amount but normally quite uneven, and supportive footwear is a have to.

Neuk post

Alongside the way you will find frequent posts exhibiting a reference amount and a “What3Words” place, which are applied by the Coastguard and lifeboat crews to assistance locate those people who do twist an ankle or even worse.

It signifies any one calling for assistance can come across the nearest article and then simply tell the crisis companies how much alongside the miles of shoreline they are, even if they’ve in no way walked it prior to.

Neuk box

The path is nicely-preserved by the Fife Coast and Countryside Have confidence in, with a gentle touch and vivid tips like these posts.  

Yet another is the way fish packing containers, washed up together the beach, are made use of by the public for accumulating litter like cans and bottles, and the flotsam and jetsam of the fishing sector, making the process of believe in workers and volunteer litter-pickers significantly much easier.  Probably as a end result the path was nearly devoid of litter – outcome!

Neuk caves

To your left are primarily very low cliffs, right up until you achieve the Caiplie Caves, a striking sandstone development when made use of as a shelter and place for prayer by pilgrims heading for St Andrews, and now a practical shelter in poor weather, pretty much whichever way the wind is blowing.

Out to sea is a watch across to the much aspect of the Firth of Forth, and the Isle of Could, the web-site of one particular of Scotland’s earliest church buildings and now a national character reserve.

Neuk Crail

A number of miles on the harbour town of Crail would make a excellent lunch prevent, with the nearby fishing catch of crabs and lobsters offered by the harbour.   

Crail lights

But as you stroll into the town seem out for this on your left, above the harbour.   Its colleague is to your ideal, fewer seen, down the slope: The pair are primary lights, helping guidebook boats returning in the dark along the safe route between the rocks into harbour.

The final couple of miles out to the Neuk alone starts with a extensive stretch by means of a caravan park, just before you achieve open nation once more.

Neuk pillbox

Lovers for military services heritage may possibly be alerted by the concrete pillboxes peeping around the best of the small cliffs every single now and then, that just out of sight is a large, but now disused, naval airfield.   

Regarded variously although in provider as HMS Bruce, HMS Jackdaw, RAF Crail and RNAS Crail, it boasts some of the finest preserved Second Planet War military services properties in Britain.   You may capture glimpses of the regulate tower and hangars, and the runways are even now there, as well.

Neuk end

To your right, the Firth of Forth is altering into open up sea as you reach the point, and on the land side this is marked by a low-developed lighthouse, a radio mast, and other properties.

But it is also a nature reserve, pointed out for a major wide range of seabirds, and our stroll back again, when we have been again on a wilder element of the coastline, was entertained by the purring coo of eider ducks.  It was a extensive walk – shut on 14 miles out and again to Anstruther – but well truly worth the effort.

Neuk banner