5 Beautiful Scottish Fishing Villages in Fife (with map)

Updated: April 27, 2020

Anstruther is a picturesque small fishing village in FifeFife is a historical County in Scotland. Where the River Forth meets the North Sea you will find five beautiful fishing villages in the Firth of Forth, as the Scottish call this area. Read along and follow me as we go down to each of the tiny harbors of these beautiful Scottish fishing villages.

The Scottish coast of Fife is rugged and beautiful. In addition, small fishing villages are scattered all the way north to Saint Andrews. Come along as we’re visiting my favorite fishing villages in Fife. This is my favorite day trip from Edinburgh.

What to Expect when Visiting Fife Fishing Villages?

Our plan for the third day in Scotland was to drive north from Edinburgh to St. Andrews.  Whenever we take a longer road trip, we look for places to stop on the way to our destination.  Stopping frequently was a must especially because our children were smaller.

Map of Scottish fishing villages close to Edinburgh
Map of Scottish Fishing Villages close to Edinburgh
Blue:drive, Green: walk, Red: see

Based on our research, about an hour drive from Edinburgh we should find five small fishing villages in Fife. We came to these villages after spending an entire day walking through the streets of Edinburgh.

Coming from a large city we were very pleasantly surprised about these quaint and cozy villages. We loved the village atmosphere and enjoyed some really good fish and chips for lunch. Let’s visit these lovely Scottish fishing villages together from north to south.

With our map in hand we put our kids in our rental car and drove over the Firth of Forth over the impressive Forth Bridge into the Kingdom of Fife. So let’s explore together the beautiful fishing villages of Fife starting from the North and working our way South.

1. Crail

Crail, Scotland - Amazing blue sea water showing reflection of colorful village houses.
Crail, Scotland – Amazing blue sea water showing reflection of colorful village houses.
See my photos from Crail

Crail is the smallest of the five villages and the coziest. This tiny fishing harbor is not even open to car traffic, unless you are a resident. However, we parked our car on top of the hill and easily walked down to take in this beautiful site.
Crail, with its colorful tiny houses, against the backdrop of blue water, seemed taken from an impressionist painting. Small and perfectly quiet during the weekend, Crail was our favorite fishing village in Scotland.
Cars are not allowed in the tiny harbor area, so we parked higher on the hill around Castle and Rumford Streets (click for map location) and walked along the old castle walls for breathtaking views of the coast.

2. Anstruther

Anstruther, Scotland - Dark clouds gathering over the marina at Anstruther.
Dark clouds gathering over the marina at Anstruther.
See my photos from Anstruther

Anstruther is the larger of the five fishing villages, with a vibrant harbor area complete with an award winning fish and chips place as well as a fishing museum. This was not a quiet place as lots of people came to visit for the weekend.
The fish and chips we had at Anstruther Fish Bar was fresh and absolutely delicious. Even our kids ate a really good portion and loved it. Since we visited during a national holiday, the Anstruther Fisheries Museum was free and we really enjoyed this small but lovely historical place.

We found plenty of parking in Anstruther right on the waterfront.  There are several parking areas across the road from the Fisheries Museum, or you can simply park on the street. During any sunny weekends you have to be patient as parking can be harder to find.

3. Pittenweem

Pittenweem, Scotland - Walking down towards the harbor.
Pittenweem, Scotland – Walking towards the harbor area.
See my photos from Pittenweem

Pittenweem, being smaller, was quiet and relaxing and had no problems finding parking in Pittenweem. We enjoyed the harbor area and the views of the sea.

4. St. Monans

St. Monans, Scotland - People walking toward the village on the beautiful coastal trail.
People walking toward the village of St. Monans on the beautiful coastal trail.
See my photos from St. Monans

St. Monans is my favorite Scottish fishing village. Coming into town, we parked our car right by the lone church overlooking the sea. The view of distant ruins and the fishing village nearby gave us an amazing feeling of the Scottish countryside. For a very picturesque view, we found parking in St Monans by St Monans Church and walked a bit on the beautiful Fife Coastal Path. Then we drove into the village and found parking easily by St Monans Harbor.

5. Elie

Elie, Scotland - Lighthouse across the bay from the harbor.
Elie lighthouse across the bay from the harbor.
See my photos from Elie

The southernmost of the five fishing villages is Elie. In addition, Elie is the only one with a large beach area and lighthouse.

Is it Worth Visiting Fishing Villages in Fife, Scotland?

Absolutely! Especially if you’re looking to visit villages. However if you looking to visit cities with a lot of interesting things to see in museums and restaurants, these fishing villages in Fife are not for you.

Plan Your Trip through Fife, Scotland

Find a budget hotel in the Fife area of Scotland. This beautiful rural area is close to both Edinburgh and St. Andrews. As a consequence, both cities serve as a good home base for exploring this beautiful coastal area of Scotland. You can also find great hotels in Edinburgh.

Take a beautiful tour of Fife and St Andrews from Edinburgh. This is the easiest way to visit Fife and St Andrews from Edinburgh, if you don’t want to deal with having a rental car.

Find a good deal for a rental car in Scotland.  You need a rental car if you want to visit smaller places like these fishing villages. We picked up our rental car at the Waverly train station in Edinburgh and used it throughout our tour of Scotland.

My guide for visiting fishing villages in Fife is part of my series about 4 days in Edinburgh.

  1. Walking tour of Edinburgh
  2. 5 beautiful fishing villages in Fife
  3. Walking tour of Saint Andrews
  4. Walking tour of Stirling
  5. Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
  6. 8 beautiful castles near Edinburgh
  7. 6 day trips from Edinburgh
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