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101 things to do in the East Neuk | Part 1

Eilidh, the owner of Morton of Pitmilly  luxury self catering holiday cottages, has put together her recommendations of 101 things to do when staying here in St Andrews and the East Neuk of Fife.

Fudge Doughnuts

Fudge Doughnuts

This is part one featuring the first 33 of Eilidh’s list.

How many activities can you tick off the list?

1. Enjoy a fudge doughnut from Fisher and DonaldsonFisher and Donaldson is a fantastic bakery and a local institution here in St Andrews. Their fudge doughnuts regular top the poll of favourite treats over on our Facebook page.

2. Visit the Secret Bunker. Located just outside St Andrews, the Secret Bunker was Scotland’s best kept secret for over 40 years, Hidden beneath an innocent Scottish Farmhouse, a tunnel leads to 24,000 square feet of Secret accommodation. Had there been a Nuclear War this is where Scotland would have been Governed.

3. Go to the ‘Anster’ Cheese Shop. ‘Anster’ cheese is hand-made on the farm – to a traditional recipe – by Jane Stewart, using unpasteurised milk from her husband Robert’s herd of home-bred Holstein Friesian cows.

Old Course Hotel Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at the Old Course Hotel

4. Have Afternoon Tea at a St Andrews Hotel. A traditional afternoon tea is a real treat, especially in the beautiful surroundings of our local hotels. Why not add a glass of fizz to make it an extra decadent afternoon!

5. Go for a walk on the West Sands. St Andrews. Made famous in the opening scenes of “Chariots of Fire”, the West Sands is an idyllic stretch of beach located only moments from St Andrews town centre.

6. Have a fish supper from Anstruther Fish bar. Award-winning fish and chips and fresh local seafood have always been synonymous with Anstruther – and the ‘famous’ Anstruther Fish Bar. No visit to Anstruther is complete without sampling their fish and chips!

7. Walk the Coastal Path from Kingsbarns to St Andrews. The Fife Coastal Path runs from the Forth Estuary in the south, to the Tay Estuary in the north and stretches for 117 miles. The path is clearly marked  and offers a range of walking experiences from the easy and level,  to the wild and demanding.  

8. Visit the St Andrews Botanic Gardens. There are some 8,000 species of plants, trees and herbs  on display, and there are few more tranquil places in which to spend a couple of hours, at any time of year.

9. Go to the Deer Centre in Cupar. See 14 species of deer from around the world at the Scottish Deer Centre, a unique wildlife park right here in Fife.

10. Visit St Andrews MuseumHoused within the striking Kinburn Castle which is located at the western edge of the town centre. A permanent “St Andrews A-Z” display relates the history of  the town

11. Watch for Dolphins in St Andrews Bay. Keep your eyes peeled and perhaps take some binoculars!

St Rules Tower

St Rules Tower

12. Take a trip to Cairnie Maze and Fruit Farm. One of the top fruit farms in Scotland. You can visit the tea rooms, children’s play area and a maze – plus pick your own fruit in season!

13. Climb St Rules Tower. At 33m tall, it’s quite a climb – but the view from the top is certainly worth it!

14. Visit the Cocoa Tree Café in Pittenweem. An enchanting, year-round chocolaterie and cafe in the heart of Pittenweem, one of the picturesque East Neuk fishing villages.

15. Sample the cheeses at Mellis’ Cheese ShopLocated in St Andrews this is a one-stop shop for dedicated cheese lovers featuring all types of farmhouse, artisan and speciality cheeses.

16. Go Wine and Whisky shopping at Luvians on Market Street. With a wide range of wines and spirits plus over 800 single malt whiskies including some of the very rarest in the world, this is a must visit store when in St Andrews.

17. Take some Golf Pro Lessons. There’s no better place to brush up on your swing than right here in the home of golf!

18. Catch a movie at the New Picture House Cinema. An independent cinema showing all of the latest releases.

19. Take an Isle of May boat trip from Anstruther. Isle of May is home to an incredible array of wildlife, up to 250,000 seabirds can nest on the Island including Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills and Shags – not to mention the Seals.

20. Have a day out at Muddy Boots. Farm shop, cafe and kid’s adventure play. They love what they make, grow and sell.

21. Go on a historic ghost tour of the Cathedral and Castle. The atmosphere is very different when visiting these historic attractions after dark – especially when hearing the ghost stories!

22. Look for the rare Fulmar birds of the Castle Sands cliffs. A close relative of Albatrosses, the Fulmar is a gliding ace, able to speed over the sea and near cliffs with scarcely a wingbeat.

23. Try some Kite Surfing on the West Sands. Kite Surfing is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK – great fun!

24. Have lunch with views in the Castle Course Clubhouse. As popular as the course itself, The Castle Course Clubhouse is well worth a visit, even if just to drink in the stunning views over St Andrews Bay. With a circular glass front and terrace, alfresco dining is available during the warmer months.

The Peat Inn

The Peat Inn

25. Enjoy dinner at The Peat Inn. beautiful 5 star Scottish restaurant with rooms near St Andrews is looked after by husband and wife team Geoffrey and Katherine Smeddle.

26. Go putting on the HimalayasRight beside the world-famous Old Course sits “The Himalayas” putting green (normally open April to September) where anyone and everyone can enjoy the experience of St Andrews golf, with absolutely no experience needed!

27. Get your photo taken on the Swilken Bridge. The Swilcan Burn is surely the most famous water hazard in golf, while the stone bridge that traverses it is the most recognisable of its kind in golf – a photo on this bridge is a right of passage for golfers!

28. Play a round of golf on the Old Course. It’s the Old Course, St Andrews, Home of Golf – need we say more?

The Seafood Restaurant St Andrews

The Seafood Restaurant St Andrews

29. Eat at The Seafood Restaurant, St Andrews. Since opening in 2003 this restaurant has been awarded the top restaurant in Scotland, top seafood restaurant & best wine list by the AA guide. Enjoy amazing views, great food & excellent wines.

30. Get some sweets from Burns Sweet Shop. A unique and old fashioned sweet shop which has been established for over 60 years.

31. Walk along the Lade Braes. One of the most popular things to do in St Andrews, whether by students, locals or tourists, is to walk along the Lade Braes. It also is a popular route for cycling or jogging for the more energetic.

32. Visit Craigtoun Country ParkJust 5 minutes from St Andrews, offering a wide range of attractions including acres of beautiful landscaped parkland, adventure playground, boats and pedalos, trampolines, bouncy castle, putting, crazy golf, pedal cars, cafe and one of Scotland’s oldest miniature railways.

33. See Sharks and Seals at the St Andrews AquariumAppropriately located beside the sea, overlooking the West Sands – head along and meet the Penguins.


We’ll be posting PART TWO of Eilidh’s list soon, so keep checking back for it. In the mean time you can keep up with Eilidh and Morton of Pitmilly on Twitter, Facebook and TripAdvisor.