CrailCrail has probably the most scenic harbour of all the East Neuk fishing villages and is popular in summer with photographers and artists. The town is extremely photogenic and it is best seen on a clear late summer’s day especially with the red poppies that grow wild around the grassy fringes of the path. Every morning as the sun rises the lobster fishermen leave the harbour and head up the rocky coast to check their pots for crabs and lobsters. Most of the produce is packed in ice and sent south, but you can still buy fresh lobster at the harbour.

Crail is another ancient settlement – the Pictish Sauchope stone which stands in the town’s Victoria Park is testament to that. There was also a castle at Crail, built by David I in the 12th Century. This stood above the high stone wall that rises above the harbour. There is no trace of the castle remaining now however and only the street names (Castle St and Castle Terrace) give an indication of what used to be there. In 1310 Robert the Bruce bestowed Royal Burgh’s status upon the town and the Mercat cross can still be seen at the car park on Marketgate.  The Tolbooth on Marketgate houses the Crail Museum and Heritage Centre and also the Tourist Information Centre.  Just along the Marketgate on the left is Crail Kirk where you can see (just inside the gate) the “blue stane”. The second piece to this stone (or another like it) lies on Balcomie beach at Fife Ness. It is said that the devil through the stone from the Isle of May at the church but the stone split in mid air. .

 

Buy the guide to the Fife Coastal Path here