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.

A Sea Loft in Cellardyke

In October we spent a lovely week in Cellardyke in the East Neuk of Fife. Our self-catering accommodation was called Sea Loft, which you can see in the picture below, taken from across the harbour. It’s in the larger building next to the pale yellow one, although our entrance was in the street behind. Each side of the house had a different address!

The streets in Cellardyke are very narrow – this was ours, and our apartment was accessed via the red door and up one flight of stairs.

From our front windows, we had good views over the harbour, including watching someone jump in and have a swim! He was wearing a wetsuit and only stayed in the water a couple of minutes, but he must still have been very cold.

Inside, Sea Loft was a cosy refuge with retro styling and some interesting artwork. Perfect for two!

Callardyke Harbour, originally known as Skinfast Haven, has evolved from a basic breakwater built in 1452. I’m not sure how far back the tradition of using it to hang out washing is – we were told which poles we could use, but didn’t make use of them. Our laundry might have ended up taking flight some days!

The streets in Cellardyke might be very narrow, but they are also very picturesque.

The old Town Hall (1883) has the Mercat Cross (1642) securely fixed to its wall.

And the War Memorial is on Toon’s Green on the edge of town.

The sharp eyed might have noticed that the opening shot of the town’s welcome board referred to Cellardyke as part of the Royal Burgh of Kilrenny. Kilrenny is a village a little inland from Cellardyke, and one sunny morning we took a walk up there. It was pretty too, with an interesting church and graveyard, and a woodland walk.

So this was our home base for a week. We had six days of coastal walking to look forward to – more about that soon(ish).