The delightful East Neuk of Fife fishing village of Pittenweem is not only full of history and charm, but it plays host to the amazing Art Festival each year.
If you are touring round Fife and especially the East Neuk, it's definitely worth a stop at this lovely little port. The whole area has breathtaking scenery, and although modern and up-to-date, sometimes it also seems to produce a 'slower pace of life' which leaves me feeling refreshed whenever I'm there.
Many of the other villages on the coast are used now for leisure crafts, but if you want to see a real active fishing village, then Pittenweem is the place to stop.
Getting to it is easy. You travel from the Forth Bridges along past Dunfermline past the town of Kirkcaldy and Leven, but it's just before you get to Anstruther . Of course, like all of the villages along here, it's only a short distance from the famous home of golf at the ancient University town of St Andrews. Anstruther is the place famed for its award-winning Fish and Chip Shop, but I have to say the 'Chippie' at Pittenweem in my opinion is equally as good.
This picturesque but vibrant fishing village has a long history. King James II of Scotland once described the East Neuk of Fife as a "Fringe of Gold on a beggars mantle"; and it's easy to see why.
May I also suggest you also check out the Things to do in Fife pages. It will help you with your plans not only on what to do in Pittenweem, but also I'm sure you'll find plenty of things for the whole family throughout the Kingdom.
Fishing Nets at Pittenweem
The Outer Pier was built in the mid 16th century which is when Pittenweem became a Royal Burgh: and Sir John Anstruther had the substantial Inner Pier built in 1771. During the 19th century when the fishing industry was at a great height, the West Pier was constructed.
An interesting fact if you like history is that Gyles House, on the edge of the harbour, is the former home of Captain Cook, who assisted in the flight of Charles the second to France in 1651.
It's a pleasant stroll round the harbour wall looking back to the town. I also enjoy watching the fishermen working on their boats or nets.
But of course as I said, Pittenweem is very much a working Fishing Community and the fleet of boats bring home the 'catch' and it's worth a visit to the fish market, even if you don't want to buy any.
All the fishing villages have these wonderful little 'wynds', quaint houses with pantiled roofs, and Pittenweem is no exception. From the harbour there are several wynds leading up to different parts of the town.
Harbour at Pittenweem
The village High Street has a number of shops and of course you will also find coffee shops and Art Galleries. Behind the church are the remains of of the old priory which once had underground passages leading to St Fillan's cave. The cave is a fascinating place which can be reached half way up one of the wynds.
If you ask someone to point you to "West Braes", you'll get some of the best views around from there. (Great for taking photographs or painting).
But what makes Pittenweem special is that it has attracted many Artists over the years. There are around 30 artists who live there and even more in the other East Neuk villages. This Artists' haven has hosted its own Arts Festival every year for the past 25 years(first week in August) which attracts artists and visitors from all over the country.
So if you love art and around in Fife during the first week of August, make Pittenweem one of your stops.
See also the following:-
Anstruther - Explore this lovely fishing village and treat yourself to some delicious Fish and Chips. Auchtermuchty - This lovely place (my home) is also home to a great Festival every year in August. Bridges - See the lovely and even awesome bridges that might be your way into the Enchanting Kingdom for things to see and do in Scotland! Falkland - Let the enchanting Falkland Palace transport you back a few centuries. Go for a walk up the Lomond Hills and stop for a 'yummy' bit to eat in Falkland. Glenrothes - Visit this New Town with all its amazing modern sculptures, or pop into the Markinch Highland Games. Kirkcaldy - The 'Lang Toun', one of the largest towns in Fife. Dunfermline - The ancient capital of Scotland, a modern city, yet bulging with history of Kings and Queens, as well as the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie. St. Andrews - The 'Home' of golf, and the oldest University in Scotland, wonderful beaches, and the the history of St Andrew and the saltire.
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