Updated: October 10, 2023 | Has affiliate links

5 Beautiful Scottish Fishing Villages in Fife (with map)

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 Scottish 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 Fife fishing villages in Scotland.

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.

Fife Coast Map with Fife Fishing Villages
Fife Coast Map with Fife Fishing Villages
Blue:drive, Green: walk, Red: see

Coming from Edinburgh? Take a beautiful tour of Fife and St Andrews from Edinburgh. This is the easiest way to enjoy Fife and St Andrews from Edinburgh, without renting a car.

Based on our research, about an hour drive from Edinburgh we should find five small Fife fishing villages. 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 is the smallest of the Scottish fishing villages in Fife.
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 Fife fishing village in Scotland.

Cars are not allowed in the tiny harbor area, so we found parking in Crail, 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.

If you plan staying the night in Crail I recommend the budget friendly Golf Hotel for its charm charming, great location and available parking. For a more modern alternative but a bit pricier consider Balcomie Links Hotel.

2. Anstruther

Anstruther is the larger of the Fife fishing villages.
Dark clouds gathering over the marina at Anstruther.
See my photos from Anstruther

Anstruther is the larger of the five Fife 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.

Anstruther is a great place for exploring this beautiful area of Fife. If you want to stay in Anstruther overnight I recommend staying at The Royal Hotel for a charming and budget friendly place. For a more modern and right on the water location, The Waterfront will be perfect.

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.

If you want to stay overnight around St Monans consider the super charming and amazing Kilconquhar Castle Estate for a true castle experience. Located a bit further up the hill between St Monans and Ellie, Kilconquahar Castle is a great place for exploring this beautiful area of Fife.

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.

Plan Your Trip to Fishing Villages of Fife

Stay in Fife. 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.

Coming from 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 a rental car.

Rent a car in Scotland. Save up to 30% on 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.

Are Scottish Fishing Villages in Fife Worth Visiting?

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.

  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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