Anstruther (pronounced locally 'Ainster') is one of the picturesque fishing villages strung along the coast in that area of Fife known as the East Neuk (corner), about 11 miles from St Andrews. To the east, it runs into the sleepy adjoining village of Cellardyke, which is all unspoiled charm, with narrow quiet streets and its own harbour and little beach.
The houses here are almost all erstwhile fisherman's cottages, and arguably none has a better position than Fisher Cottage, a 200 year-old dwelling which, with its south facing garden, backs right on to the shore, with amazing views over the Firth of Forth.
Inside it has been refurbished with the greatest care to ensure that modern convenience has blended perfectly with the retention of olde worlde charm, with superb use of beautiful wood ( much of it driftwood from the beach fashioned by a local craftsman) to make furniture and ornaments which are quite unique and of striking originality. Like most of these cottages it is on three floors (the second floor in these houses was generally used for drying nets!). On the ground floor there is a cosy, beamed open-plan kitchen-sitting room with original range and French doors to a conservatory dining area overlooking the garden. On the first floor is a twin bedroom and bathroom and on the second floor is a fabulous double bedroom with en suite shower room and a balcony to take full advantage of the breathtaking views.
To the rear is an enticing enclosed garden with various sitting areas, and of course at the end, you have the sea just over the wall. Both the quality of the accommodation and its wonderful situation make Fisher Cottage a truly unique and unforgettable holiday cottage.
Fife is known not only for its attractive scenery, but also for its golf courses. Every village seems to have one, many of which are practice courses for the Open when it is held at St Andrews, so are of excellent quality. Inland, there are historic houses such as Kellie Castle and Falkland Palace to visit, or, for something different, Scotland's Secret Bunker, a unique legacy of the Cold War, may be visited just outside the town. Nearby too, is the St Andrews Cheese factory, where you can watch the cheeses being made. You can even try your hand at sea fishing on the foreshore at the end of the garden!
There is an Outdoor Pursuits centre beyond Cellardyke Harbour offering canoeing, kayaking, archery, etc for all ages, while nearby Pittenweem hosts a world-renowned Art Festival in August each year featuring local art, crafts, glass and wood and invited well-known artists.
The Fife Coastal Path offers great opportunities for walking, and bird-watching, while the quiet non-too-hilly lanes of the hinterland are ideal for cycling. There are boat trips to see the seabird colonies on the isle of May, and, from the cottage, you may also be lucky enough to see a passing dolphin!
The beautiful old town of St Andrews is within a 20-minute drive and should not be missed, and from there you can head across the Tay Bridge to Dundee, Angus and beyond. For a day in the city, take the train from Kirkcaldy across the Forth Bridge and into Edinburgh. Boredom is not an option at Fisher Cottage.
Anstruther boasts Scotland's best fish and chip shop (official!) and other good restaurants and hostelries. It is also home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum.
Bed linen, towels and the first £15 of gas and first £15 of electricity are included in the rental. Sorry, pets are not accepted and smoking is not permitted in the cottage.
Accommodation (sleeps 4):
- Open-plan kitchen-sitting room with wood burning range and TV/DVD, radio/CD player, gas cooker, fridge, washer/drier, microwave, etc.
- Conservatory/Dining room
- Twin bedroom
- Bathroom with bath, WC and wash hand basin
- Double bedroom with en suite shower, WC and wash hand basin