Drive and discover
Written by Jeremy Hawkings
Enjoy some spectacular coastal scenery, find out how Scotch whisky is distilled, discover how cheese is made and gain some knowledge on Scottish architecture. For this route, start at The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa and take the A917 coast road past Kingsbarns where you will find Kingsbarns Distillery where there are a range of distillery tours, thereafter continue to Crail where you will find a little village with cobbled streets leading down to the miniature working harbour which has been portrayed by many artists over the years. Here you can buy freshly cooked lobster and locally caught crab. If you follow the B940 out of Crail you will come to Scotland’s Secret Bunker. Originally a Nuclear Command Bunker this is now a famous tourist attraction and well signposted from Crail.
A little further along the coast, you will find Anstruther, the largest of the East Neuk fishing villages and home of the Anstruther Fish Bar - probably the best fish and chip shop in Scotland. You can take a boat trip to the Isle of May where you will see puffins, seals, and other wildlife.
The next stop is Pittenweem where the fishing boats unload their catch early in the morning. The picturesque harbour has old houses with red pantile roofs and traditional crow-stepped gables. Kellie Castle and Gardens which date from the 14th century are nearby and well worth a visit. Just north of Pittenweem is St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company where you can visit their café and buy some of their cheese which is made on site.
St Monans is our next stop, the smallest of the East Neuk fishing towns with 17th and 18th-century pantiled houses. As you continue your trip you will begin to appreciate the unique and very special East Neuk architecture. The local parish church is worth a visit.
A short distance along the road is Elie, a popular seaside town with a good beach and two very good golf courses. Visit The Elie Deli for provisions for your journey and good Scottish food to take home.
Our final destination is Upper Largo, sometimes called Kirkton of Largo. Here you will find the church where Admiral Sir Andrew Wood, the Scottish sea captain, was laid to rest. There is a legend that the hill of Largo Law has hidden gold and silver buried in it. From Largo, which is the end of the tour, you can take the A915 east back to St Andrews or westward to join the M90.
First published 26 June 2019. Information correct at time of going to press.