View of old houses in the harbour area of St Monans - May 2012
Red pantiles at St Monans
The historic kirk at St Monans
St Monans
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I don't know how to spell St Monans. Local signage and tourist brochures have it as St Monans, yet some Ordnance Survey maps and my old trusted 'Blue Guide to Scotland' has it as St Monance. The town is exceedingly beautiful, with pink-coloured cottages around a harbour. And yet, for a place that may be described as a small town, there is actually very little in the way of facilities, and by that I mean cafes and inns and shops, and so on. How, I often wonder, do the people who live in such places actually live their lives? There is no butcher, no shoe shop and no hardware store; merely a few corner mini-market places where locals undoubtedly pay more than normal for their grub. But there's more. Everything seemed shut when I was there. I arrived at around 3pm on a Friday afternoon to find the one cafe shut, the windmill shut (could have got a key in town and walked back if I'd felt the need, but didn't), the historic kirk shut, and some sort of Heritage Collection also shut. And this was in May. There were tourists with big disappointed faces wandering around wondering what sort of backward backwater they had stumbled upon. I mean, villages and towns don't need tourist attractions to be popular. Sometimes the general feel of the place is sufficient to make visitors happy. But for goodness sake, you've got to try to give them something that might make them hang around for a little while, spending money and all that. At the very least, let's start sticking signs in windows and on doors giving opening hours. That would help.
VIEW OF THE HARBOUR AREA
OLD ST MONANS HOUSES
ST MONANS' HISTORIC KIRK
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How to
GET THERE

You can get a bus to St Monans from Edinburgh. The journey takes about 2 hours. There is also a bus from St Andrews.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo