Crail Harbour where you'll find the lobster and crab shack for the freshest local shellfish.
Sandcastle Cottage is in the lovely East Neuk village of Crail, Fife, with easy access opposite the cottage to the Fife Coastal Path. No pets allowed, making it ideal for those who seek a pet-free environment.
We’d love to welcome you to Sandcastle Cottage, so just check that the dates you require are available and send us an enquiry. We offer weekly lets or short breaks starting on a Monday or a Friday.
We hope that you will feel at home at Sandcastle Cottage, and enjoy exploring the local area. You’ll find lots of ideas here for things to do around the East Neuk of Fife.
On the ground floor of Sandcastle Cottage you will find a living room with comfortable furniture, oak tables, TV and DVD player and a selection of books and games. There is a pebble and driftwood effect gas fire for chillyRead more
Sandcastle Cottage is the ideal place to choose for a short break as we offer either weekend breaks from Friday to Monday, or mid-week breaks from Monday to Friday throughout the year (except July and August).
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Helpful suggestions for things to do on a visit to Crail.
As a special feature for the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we thought it would be good to start very close to Sandcastle Cottage, and take a look at the architectural styles in the street where the cottage is situated. Nethergate in Crail is one of the principal streets of the village, and we found a paragraph about the street in a guide to the architecture in Fife. The book was published in 1988, and it was interesting to note the changes since then as we walked along the street taking photographs of the buildings which are commented on. Should you wish to consult the book, it is by John Gifford and is called “The Buildings of Scotland Fife”.
The author notes about the picturesque small town of Crail that “Fishing… gradually declined in the C19, and by the 1950s the letting of houses or rooms to holiday-makers had become ‘almost the keystone of Crail’s economy’.”
The 16th century Doo’cot situated by the path to Roome Bay is described as a “the beehive PRIORY DOOCOT, smothered in cement. Then THE PRIORY, a light-hearted baronial villa by Thoms & Wilkie for Samuel Brush of Dundee, 1915. An odd but effective composition, white-harled and red-tiled, complete with gabled tower and circular turret.”
Further along the south side of Nethergate is Downies’ Terrace, which is described as “dated 1878, is a more serious baronial joke, each front door crowned with its own variation on the chimney-gable theme.”
The Legion Hall in the centre of the street has had various different uses in its time, as it is listed as the Public Library (originally Burgh School) – built 1824, possibly by Robert Balfour, and our guide notes that “the gabled porch, with ball finial, dates from the radical reconstruction by John Gosman, mason and John Balsillie, wright, in 1852.”
Crail Pottery in the narrow wynd which forms the end of Nethergate is noted as having “a square eye in its gable, half-dormers and a half-basement, the front door reached by a double forestair”.
See more photos of our architectural stroll along Nethergate on Flickr.
Come to Sandcastle Cottage and explore the architecture of the East Neuk in 2016. Just check the dates you require in the “Book Now” calendar.
For those who’ve left it to the last minute to book a self catering holiday, all you need to to do find out when Sandcastle Cottage is next available is put the dates you require into our Book Now box (to the right or scroll down if on mobile) for an instant quote. We’re only 10 miles from St Andrews, and situated right by access to the Fife Coastal Path at Roome Bay in Crail, so you’ll find plenty to do in the area. We’ve included links to some of the key events and festivals happening around Fife this year for you to enjoy. We look forward to welcoming you to Crail.
3 or 4 night breaks starting on a Friday or Monday are available at Sandcastle Cottage in the spring season. A lovely time to take walks on the Fife Coastal Path, and enjoy our early Festivals:
Cambo Snowdrops – 31 January – 13 March 2016
Fife Jazz Festival – 5 – 7 February 2016
Stanza Poetry Festival – 2 – 6 March 2016
East Neuk Open Studios – 21-22 May 2016 and 27-28 May 2016
Open Studios North Fife – 7 – 9 May 2016
Crail Food Festival – 10 – 12 June 2016
St Monans Small Gardens – 19 June 2016
Cupar Arts Festival – 18 – 25 June 2016
Ceres Highland Games – 25 June 2016
A weekly minimum applies in July and August, with breaks usually starting on a Friday – although with a Monday start an 11-night break is possible, or a 10-Night break Friday – Friday – Monday.
East Neuk Festival – 25 June – 3 July 2016
Crail Festival – 20 July – 31 July 2016
Crail Small Gardens – 16 & 17 July 2016
Balcaskie and Kellie Castle Gardens – Sunday 24 July 2016
Kingsbarns Small Gardens – check around the village in July for exact dates
St Andrews Highland Games – Sunday 31 July 2016
St Andrews Lammas Fair Market – 5 – 9 August 2016
Pittenweem Arts Festival – 6 – 14 August 2016
Autumn short breaks
Even on a short break, you can manage to walk a couple of sections of the Fife Coastal Path, with the help of the Stagecoach 95 Coastliner service (hourly) to bring you back to base at Sandcastle Cottage. We offer 3 or 4 night breaks as well as weekly breaks starting on a Friday or Monday.
St Andrews Voices – 20 – 23 October 2016
St Andrews Day Events – St Andrew’s Day is 30 November, so check the Visit St Andrews website for details of events around that time. There are usually events running throughout November in the lead-up to the celebration.
Christmas shopping in St Andrews or at special events throughout the East Neuk in November and early December. Christmas in Crail or a quiet place to escape and enjoy a peaceful New Year?
What’s On in Fife
For more information about events and festivals happening around Fife, check:
February brings the first school holidays of the year, with schools throughout Scotland having a half-term break. Some have a long weekend, and others take a full week.
Choosing to take a short break in a self-catering cottage might be an option for a change of scene for the family, and at Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, we offer flexible start and end dates, for example, a 3-night weekend break or a 4-night midweek break. Here are some ideas of what you might do on a short break in February.
Some years ago, the Snowdrop Festival at Cambo House was established, and more recently Snowdrops by Starlight. A walk through the woods towards the sea at Cambo is particularly lovely when there are so many different varieties of snowdrops and other spring bulbs to see. Cambo Snowdrops runs from the end of January to mid-March. We visited Cambo Estate during the Christmas holidays, and were amazed to find so much colour as we walked through the walled garden. A warming cup of coffee at the gift shop was also most welcome. I took some photographs and our daughter put together a slide show for you to enjoy.
Other ideas we’d recommend for your February half-term break:
- Beach walks – no matter the weather, just wrap up well and wear your wellies. We particularly like Kingsbarns and Elie for long stretches of sand. A trip to Elie can be combined with a visit to Ardross Farm Shop for some quality farm fresh food, or stop at the fish sheds at St Monans and bring back some smoked haddock for a tasty Cullen Skink
- Coastal path walks – the Fife Coastal Path offers several short stretches which even the youngest walkers in the family can enjoy – try Pittenweem to Anstruther with a visit to the Cocoa Tree for a reviving hot chocolate
- Staying cosy by the fire – full central heating and a pebble and driftwood effect gas fire means even if the weather outside is chilly, you’ll have a warm place to read, play board games and have family meals
- Visit the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther – it’s much bigger than it looks, and often has special exhibitions on in addition to the permanent collection
- Look after the ‘inner you’ with some tasty food from our local shops – even in winter, you’ll find Penman’s the Butcher open and selling good quality meat and deli items. One of their famous steak pies provides a family meal with little effort, and Greens in Crail has seasonal fresh fruit and veg – with local options grown at Barnsmuir Farm just outside Crail
- Bring your camera! Crail is just as beautiful in winter as at other times of year, and there is much to see and capture with your lens. Here’s a selection of shots taken in January.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas for things to do on a weekend or mid-week break in February. To find out what’s available at Sandcastle Cottage, simply enter your preferred start date in the search box (top right). We look forward to welcoming you to Sandcastle Cottage in Crail.