Fife Coastal Path: Cellardyke to Crail

Cellardyke bathing pool

On this walk (or actually, two walks) we left Cellardyke to the east, passing another of those old outdoor bathing pools. This one was apparently popular from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Nearby was the rather dilapidated looking East Neuk Outdoors – a few licks of paint needed I think.

This lady was gazing out to sea from her bench. Was she watching this little lobster fishing boat?

Or simply contemplating the view of the Isle of May, the Bass Rock, and North Berwick Law?

From here we looked back at Cellardyke:

There was bird life aplenty:

And as we neared Caiplie this rather large bull – fortunately behind a fence:

An unusual sandstone outcrop has eroded into Caiplie Caves (and arches) with early Christian crosses carved on the wall of the largest cave. We were fascinated by the shapes and colours here.

The distance from Celladyke to Crail is just under 4 miles and Caiplie is about the half way mark. On the first of these walks we had set out after lunch, and by the time we had finished exploring the caves it was gone 3 o’clock. No way could we walk to Crail and back to Cellardyke before dark (this was October) so we turned round here. A few days later, we walked out to the caves again, this time from Crail, another charming East Neuk fishing village which boasts one of the UK’s most photographed harbours.

We admired the village from its old houses (1632 is the earliest date I can read) to its topical take on the pandemic (masked garden ornaments).

So our two walks met in the middle which meant we had covered the whole section of the Fife Coastal Path from Cellardyke to Crail. Next time is also a tale of two halves with a garden and some glorious sand dunes.

PS in my last post, I mentioned the windmill and old salt pans at St Monans. I was interested to read a BBC article last week about Darren Peattie who aims to restore salt harvesting to the village, two hundred years after it ended, and also plans to reconstruct one of the nine old salt pan houses to turn it into a visitor centre.

53 Comments »

  1. The bull is a bit of a mean looking creature. I like the rock formations and the colours though I have to agree with Heyjude’s comment about the harbour – it looks nice enough but I’ve seen and photographed much prettier ones.

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  2. That little harbor looks difficult to get one’s boat in and out of. It’s quite charming so I can see why they want to promote it. The sea salt business might help with that. Thanks for the lovely excursion!

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  3. Sea salt is getting trendy again as is blue health therapy. Not been on that part of the coast for a few years now so I hope it’s still a quiet place. I must admit I was slightly scunnered when Countryfile featured Blue health benefits a few days ago on TV as I prefer my coastlines and beaches quiet and there’s not many empty places left in the UK to escape into now. That’s normally my guaranteed sunshine coast for summer visits so its strange to see it grey and cold looking.

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  4. Why is Crail one of the UK’s most photographed harbours? I mean it looks nice enough, but there are several Cornish ones I can think of which are much prettier. Thank you for showing me Bass Rock. When we were in Dunbar and North Berwick there was such a thick fog that we couldn’t see anything of this famous rock. I see from the map that it is actually closer to where you were.

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