One of our favourite walks whilst staying at Sandcastle Cottage is the walk along the coastal path from Roome Bay to West Ness. This walk takes in some of the most visited and much photographed parts of Crail offering superb views across to the Isle of May and Berwick Law.
Start the walk from Sandcastle Cottage down the path leading to Roome Bay beach past the recently restored 16th century Doocot. Roome Bay is one of the best places in Crail to catch the sunrise but you have to get up very early. At this point you have a choice you can walk to the other end of Roome Bay and enjoy the full sweep of the bay and views back towards Crail or you can carry on along the coastal path towards the Castle Walk. Look out for wildlife on the way we have often spotted Cormorants, Eider Ducks, Oystercatchers and Herons on the rocks. As you climb the steps there is a board at the top giving you some of the history of the Kings Mills in Crail.
On Castle Walk itself there are a number of benches to sit and admire the views across to Berwick Law and East Lothian Coastline, the Isle of May, Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills. At the far end of Castle Walk below the turret you will find a picture board showing all these landmarks. Next to this is a 17th century sundial which was moved from the harbour to this site in 1833.
As you turn the corner look over the railings. This is a favourite spot for Fulmars nesting in early May. This is also a favourite photo opportunity.
Stop for a coffee !
Proceed down the steps towards Shoregate and Crail Harbour. At this point you can stop for a coffee at Crail Harbour Gallery. Whilst drinking your tea, coffee and cake you can enjoy the views out towards the Isle of May. There is also an ice cream shop at the harbour selling freshly made ice cream and named Brodies Grannies (after a small dog named Brodie I am told). However a visit to Crail Harbour would not be complete without trying freshly cooked crab or lobster from the Crab Shack. There are picnic tables available where you can sit and eat.
Crail is still a working harbour with several small fishing boats and creels stacked up on the pier. Look out for Lobster Cottage and the large white Custom House. Before you leave the harbour take a stroll along the beach. in the rocks at the far end is the carboniferous tree trunk which was the subject of a David Attenborough program. The beach was also visited by Landward where they were cooking wild cabbage.
Don’t forget to look back!
To leave the harbour follow the steep path known as the Hens Ladder or Bankhead Brae. This takes you back to the main road. However as you climb don’t forget to look back as there are some good views to be had of the harbour, the pier and the beach.
Follow the road along for approximately 100 yards then take a small path between a row of cottages and the stone built terrace. As path takes a right turning look over the short hedge for another view of the harbour. At the end of the path you will come to West Braes where again you are treated to some spectacular views of the harbour. This is a favourite place for photographers. Proceed along the road past a small cottage on the left and a row of stone built terraced houses on the right. Follow the sign for the Fife Coastal Path down towards the shoreline and West Ness. At this point in the walk we were lucky to catch a Kestrel hovering above us searching for prey. Again don’t forget to look back towards the harbour, castle walk and the way you have come.
At West Ness and the end of the walk you will find a small secluded beach where you can sit have a picnic or just enjoy the excellent views towards the Isle of May.
For details of other walks see our blog on the Fife Coastal Path where you will find details on the walks from Crail to Anstruther, Elie to Anstruther or Crail to St Andrews.
For more walks around Crail see our blog Things to do on a Lazy Day in Crail
Other links to places mentioned in this blog
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