Colourful houses facing the shore at Pittenweem
Pittenweem harbour
Old building at Pittenweem Harbour
Pittenweem
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Of all the quaint little towns in the East Neuk of Fife, Pittenweem is probably my favourite. You wouldn't think there was much between them; they all sit by the sea, have charming old cottages with crow-stepped gables and red pantiles, and fishing boats that bob around on the waters of a harbour. But when in Pittenweem I definitely sigh with contentment a lot more than I do when in the other towns. At the west end of the town there is a curvy row of colourful cottages facing defiantly out towards the sea, as if saying, 'You might be a big wet dangerous thing but we're stout and firm and you shall not pass.' And it is that very sea that is the life-blood of Pittenweem. The town probably has the largest working harbour in the East Neuk, where they do still catch lots of fish and crunchy things with spindly legs.
The area at the east end of the harbour, not far from St Fillan's Cave, is as pretty as pretty can be. I was surprised to find the cave up a wee lane. For some reason I half expected it to be down on a rocky shore, and no doubt it did at one time sit by the sea. Saint Fillan seemingly came to Scotland long long ago, along with his ma, his brothers, and his uncle, who was also a saint. Saintishness obviously ran in the family. He apparently used to do some writing in the dark gloomy cave by a light that strangely glowed from his left arm. All of which kinda makes me think that maybe he'd caught his robe in the flame of a candle and was in fact on fire.
COLOURFUL HOUSES IN PITTENWEEM
THE HARBOUR AT PITTENWEEM
PITTENWEEM HARBOUR AREA
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How to
GET THERE
You can get a bus to Pittenweem from Edinburgh. The journey takes about 2 hours. There is also a bus from St Andrews.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo