St Monans

The next leg of the walk goes from Elie to the fishing village of St Monans, a distance of just over two miles. Just before the village is reached, the path skirts the ruins of Newark Castle.

A little further on and the path enters St Monans. St Monan may have been an Irish missionary a compatriot of St Aidan; there was a shrine to him on the shore by the 9th Century. The shrine was said to provide healing powers attracting pilgrims to the area. Over time the area grew which provided shelter and souvenirs to pilgrims travelling to St Andrews.

The old Kirk at St Monans is another ancient building steeped in history. David II of Scotland ordered that it be built after he survived a storm on the Forth in 1362. If the door to the church is open then have a look inside and you will see two models of ships hanging from the roof either side of the transept – an indication of this area’s strong connection with the sea. From the church the path follows a lane between some houses before running around the side of the harbour of which the central pier dates from 1596. The town’s motto - Mare Vivimus, means “we live by the sea”. From the harbour is a good place to photograph the pink, blue and yellow houses that fringe its side. After walking around the harbour area, turn left up the hill that passes the Green Café. This small communal café is run by the locals and is very good value.