Travel: A pet-friendly cure for January blues in East Neuk Fife.
So before I even had a chance to even think about saying the words “January blues”, I decided to get ahead of the game and spend a few days away. However, things are not as simple as they used to be. Now I am a dog owner so my Cavapoo, Max, should be considered when I book a trip.
Luckily, these days vacations with dogs are more affordable. We chose Crail in East Neuk in Fife, known for its picturesque fishing villages, sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, and stayed at the Sauchope Links Holiday Lodge and Caravan Park.
The site offers many options with tourist sites, campsites and glamping sites, as well as lodges and lodges.
It offers an outdoor swimming pool (in summer), a recreation room with billiards and table football, a children’s playground, a washing machine and a laundry service.
I’m not into camping, but I’m intrigued by Glamping Domes. Complete with a double bed and two camping mattresses, each dome can accommodate up to two adults and two children.
Outside there is a picnic bench and an open fire. The domes are set high on the deck to make the most of the views, and each has a wood-fired hot tub. (One pack of firewood is included in the price.) Because the domes have neither electricity nor bathrooms, you have access to the camper’s kitchen and toilet.
A three-day stay costs just £170 for a family of four, so it’s well worth checking out. But if camping is a bit too far, the site also offers great value for just £40 a night in one of the beach huts, which come with electric heating, TV, microwave and small fridge. They are also suitable for pets.
We stayed at Serenity Lodge, a modern two-bedroom cottage with Jacuzzi and breathtaking panoramic views of the Firth of Forth. The lodge, with two bathrooms and a spacious living room, was finished to a high standard and was spacious with a large deck board that offers views. Although the hot tub was a welcome addition, unfortunately the weather during our stay was a bit wild so we didn’t venture bubbles.
After we settled in, we walked around the historic fishing village of Crail, just a short walk from the site. It may be small, but it is a quaint town with some historic buildings and a small harbour. It has a heritage center (closed for the winter but due to open Easter 2023), local shops, as well as local eateries. Bank and shop are also available.
We stopped at The Golf Hotel for lunch at the pub. The listed 16th-century building serves daily meals including local fresh seafood and local meats. It was nice to warm up by the open fire in the pub which is also dog friendly.
After lunch we went down to the harbour, which can be reached on foot through steep cobbled streets. We even saw some wild swimmers brave the cold and windy weather to swim in the afternoon.
If golf is your thing, Crail Golfing Society has two golf courses, Craighead Links and Balcomie Links, with the added bonus of sea views from every hole. And, of course, the famous St. Andrews golf course is just 15 minutes away.
A short drive from Crail is Anstruther, the largest of the fishing villages along this stretch of the Fife coastline. Of course, you can’t visit this village without tasting a quality fish dinner at the Anstruther Fish Bar, which has won a number of awards, including UK Fish and Chip Shop of the Year.
Anyone interested in history and heritage should visit the Scottish Fisheries Museum. This award-winning national museum tells the story of Scottish fishing from ancient times to the present day.
In spring and summer (April to September) you can sail from Anstruther on the passenger ship May Princess offering pleasure cruises to the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth. The island is home to an incredible array of wildlife: up to 200,000 seabirds nest on its shores, including 90,000 puffins, as well as large colonies of guillemots, auks, kittiwakes and cormorants. (The best time to observe puffins is from April to mid-August).
On land and back to Souchop, we hiked the Fife Coastal Path, which can be appreciated from the spot. The path runs from the mouth of the Forth in the south to the mouth of the Tay in the north and extends for 117 miles. This marked path can be explored in small sections and pass Crail and other fishing villages including Ely and St. Monance. History is everywhere, from the winding mechanisms of former coal yards to ruined castles and Pictish and prehistoric carvings that adorn the Wemyss Caves.
Despite the wet and windy weather, we managed to enjoy the best of what the area has to offer and we will definitely be back in the summer to enjoy more.
We stayed at the Serenity Lodge with two bedrooms and a jacuzzi. Prices from 200 pounds per night.
Special Offers: Save up to 20% for holidays 2023 when booking by February 28th. In addition, pets stay free of charge at all accommodations where pets are allowed.
For more information visit www.largoleisure.co.uk or call 01333450 460.