Crail, a fishing village in Fife, Scotland

Last Saturday, after visiting Cambo to buy some snowdrops we ended up nipping along the coast to the old fishing village of Crail in what they call the East Neuk of Fife, just to have a walk around the place. Below is a photo of the bay, it was a nice bright day and the sea was very clear, but of course it was chilly.


The photo below is of the harbour from above, these coastal villages are all built on cliffs really so they are always very hilly. It’s just a wee harbour so the boats aren’t big. I think it’s only at nearby Pittenweem where they still have the fishing trawlers in the harbour.


No two houses are the same and they’re all very higgledy-piggledy, it’s all so quaint. Again there are the red pan-tiles on the roofs as well as the slate, something which you see all over Fife. The pan-tiles came from Holland as ballast in trading ships, so it’s a similar landscape to Holland. The crow-stepped gables are another feature of old Scottish buildings, the birds are making good use of the roofs for perching on, they must have been getting heat from the roof I think.


You can see the lobster creels piled up close to the gable end of this house, if it wasn’t for the cars this could have been a scene from a couple of centuries ago.


There seems to be quite a good lobster business going on but I doubt if it’s as busy as it was. These East coast fishing villages used to be really thriving but the fishing has not been as good in recent years. By the looks of this though it might be on the up again. I suppose it all has to do with fishing quotas nowadays.


Crail is a lovely place to visit and has the usual tea-rooms, a pottery, an art gallery and some food shops, including an organic food shop.

8 thoughts on “Crail, a fishing village in Fife, Scotland

  1. Charming.

    BTW – wanted to ask – is Valentine’s Day a ‘thing’ in Scotland? I can’t imagine that it would be, but wondered.

    • Pearl,
      Yes Valentine’s Day is big here for those of a romantic leaning and there seem to be plenty of them, we gave up on it about 38 years ago though, after we got married! We do not do that mother/daughter/children Valentine’s gift thing though which I think you do in the US.

  2. I’m so envious of all the lovely old villages you can easily drive to. What a beautiful bay. I think I’d move to Crail in a heartbeat. Did they have a bookstore?

    • Joan,
      No I don’t think they do have a bookstore, the nearest one is probably St Andrews, but that’s not very far to go, about 10 miles away I think and there are quite a few book shops there – new and secondhand.

  3. Lovely photos! Your trips all around your area make me think I should do more day trips around where I live. A few years ago I moved from the Maryland suburbs of Washington D.C. to the Virginia suburbs but haven’t really properly explored much of Virginia since I’ve moved.

    • Christy,
      Thanks. I think it’s probably a lot easier for us as the distances involved here are so much smaller than you would have to travel. Mind you we’ve lived in the east of Scotland for more than 30 years now but there are still places that we haven’t been to nearby. I would love to explore Virginia I bet there are loads of interesting places but I hate the thought of travelling over that pond.

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