The quintessential British holidaymaker’s dream.
IDYLLIC & ECLECTIC
Elie is a quintessential seaside town in the East Neuk of Fife, bursting with character. One of a string of harbour villages in this historic corner of Fife, it dates back many centuries. It was the Victorian tourist trade that first made Elie a favourite holiday retreat, with the railway and the North Berwick and Leith steamers ferrying in affluent holidaymakers from Edinburgh and Glasgow to this beautiful curve of golden sand. Indeed Elie is still so popular that some call it the Rock of the North.
And yet Elie had thrived for centuries before, its sheltered 16th century harbour offering respite for fishermen before grain export from the fertile agricultural lands of the East Neuk took over, becoming the Royal Burgh of Elie and Earlsferry’s mainstay until the Victorian period when many of the village’s lovely merchant houses were built – some fine examples of which are now part of Elie Select’s portfolio.
WHAT TO DO
Elie still looks both to the sea and to the land, its beach the perfect spot for swimming and games in the summer or bracing seaside walks followed by a warming dram in winter. The historic harbour, updated over the centuries, is popular with yachts and small pleasure craft whilst the bay beyond throngs with windsurfers and bathers.
With five safe beaches to choose from (2 with ‘Blue Flag’ awards) and tennis courts, bowling and water sports on hand, visitors are never short of things to do, even if it’s just sitting in the Ship Inn’s garden watching the tide go in and out – sometimes at the heels of their famous beach cricket team.
The impressive coastal path, wonderful in all seasons, stretches for miles in both directions, with the added challenge of the local “chain walk” on the cliffs above the waves. The coastal path is the prime spot to see whales, dolphins, seals and other coastal wildlife, with plenty of places to stop to enjoy the view.
Elie also has two fantastic links golf courses, as you might expect in the East Neuk, claiming James Braid (1870-1950), celebrated golf course designer and five times winner of the British Open Golf Championship, as one of its own. The fine courses of Kingsbarns and St. Andrews are just a short distance drive.
WHERE TO EAT
Elie’s well-stocked Deli caters for picnics, dinners and ice creams, whilst the 19th Hole offers excellent fish and chips. Further afield, there is Michelin-starred dining at The Peat Inn and many other fine cafes and restaurants throughout the East Neuk.
The East Neuk of Fife has one of Scotland’s loveliest coastlines, with its string of delightful fishing villages and stunning coastal views.
You can walk its length along the fabulous Coastal Path or take a drive or bike ride along the coastal road. Golfers are spoilt for choice with superb courses from Kingsbarns to St. Andrews, and culture-lovers can enjoy its many arts events, from classical music at the prestigious East Neuk Festival in June to the Pittenweem Arts Festival in August.