Cellardyke Harbour by Justine Marjoribank
Turas Math Dhut - Cellardyke Harbour, Scotland
In the current economic climate European adventures and tropical destinations may seem far out of reach. Yet for most people, now more than ever a break is desperately needed. A good voyage requires certain components: entertainment, attractions, fine food, interesting culture, high-quality accommodation and, of course, sunshine. Is it really possible to find all this in the UK? Cellardyke is a forgotten gem in the East Neuk of Fife, offering a diversity of activities and traditions. Nestled behind Anstruther, it maintains its own microclimate, allowing for beautiful sunshine even in March!
Cellardyke has not changed since Justine Marjoribank's depictions in the late 70s. Upon arrival I was stunned by the picturesque harbour and the curious, solitary washing line filled with white sheets swaying in the sunshine.
Wandering through narrow, cobbled streets I was fascinated by the exquisite shell displays on residents' windowsills and the spectacular view of the ocean in the alleys between the houses.
Ascending an aged staircase, following the enchanting song of wind chimes, we arrived at an elegantly furnished cottage named 'The Doocot'. Up a further staircase was a lovely, sunny garden complete with a swing seat and magnificent views. Watching the sunset, you really could be on a Mediterranean island, with blue oceans stretching out of sight- incredibly romantic!
Anstruther is a short walk away with an assortment of essential shops and bars. The coastal walks are simply breathtaking along to Pittenweem, which has the most charming, old-fashioned sweet shop on the high street, and a plethora of art galleries.
You cannot leave Fife without visiting St Andrews, which is a fifteen minute drive away. Host of the Open Championship this year, it is perfect for golf enthusiasts. There is also so much culture to explore with St Andrew's Castle and Cathedral, and even the university buildings are historically striking.
- www.easyjet.com Flights to Edinburgh are relatively cheap and now allow increased amounts of carry-on luggage. Travel from Edinburgh to the East Neuk of Fife is simple to plan with destination postcodes at www.transportdirect.info . The X60 bus runs from Cellardyke, throughout Fife. Visit www.stagecoachbus.com for times and fares.
- www.thedoocot.com. Not only are the landlords very helpful with directions and local advice, they are also incredibly thoughtful: the bottle of Merlot and snacks upon arrival were a delightful surprise! They also offer an extensive DVD collection and a Welcome Pack with all the information you could ever need.
- The Dreel Tavern is thirty seconds walk from the cottages on Dove Street. It is a wonderfully friendly and homely restaurant with a surprisingly diverse range of both food and alcohol. www.thedreeltavern.co.uk/ The seafood throughout the coast of Fife is incredible, but the scallops at the Dreel Tavern are outstanding.
- The Scottish Fisheries Museum is worth a visit for any avid historians or fishing fanatics. www.scotfishmuseum.org/ Next door is the world famous Anstruther Fish Bar, which amongst many awards, was voted the Best Fish and Chip shop in the UK 2009 www.anstrutherfishbar.co.uk
- Many thanks to Justine Marjoribank for her beautiful painting, Washing at Cellardyke Harbour. You can see more of her work at www.just-art-online.co.uk/HTML/JustineLandscape.html
Emily Rycroft (follow Emily on Twitter @emily_rycroft)