Four have fun in Fife
Sauchope Links Holiday Park , based in Crail, Fife has been the base for our last week of adventure and learning. The holiday park is tucked away at the end of the village and ideally placed on the waters edge, overlooking the picturesque Firth of Forth.
Gravel caravan pitches, bordered by immaculate grass patches line the rocky beach and allow residents to admire the beautiful views; gaze at the hypnotic tides and observe the abundance of sealife. A wide variety of seabirds pass over head, dive dramatically into the water and wander the rocky ledge a few metres in front; the eclectic soundscape of birds provide a pleasant background throughout the day. Seals are also regular visitors to the area and heads occasionally pop curiously up out the water to stare back.
As well as welcoming caravans and motorhomes, the site also caters for campers wishing to stay in tents or ecopods and more long term residents of static homes. The centrally located reception provides a friendly welcome and wealth of information. For families with young children there is also the appeal of a swimming pool (open during summer months), a playground and a games room.
The Fife Coastal path passes through the site and provides quick access in both directions. The Coastal path east leads into the village of Crail and beyond. The short walk into Crail is a must. We regularly nipped over the hill to the next bay for a morning dip in the sea and on a few occasions visited the harbour as the tide was coming in to go crabbing. The coast is a favourite with with fossil hunters and Crail offers some unique fossil finds; at the end of the beach near the rocks there are the fossilised remains of tree trunks, bark and root fossils and the tracks of arthropleura (large two-metre long centipede-like crustaceans). Although not initially obvious it is a fun family challenge to hunt them out.
Further along the coast in an eastern direction is Anstruther. This is a popular seaside resort and definitely worth a visit. The local RNLI is based in Anstruther and at one end of the harbour, where the lifeboat is housed, there is a small museum; reading about the history and amazing feats of bravery is fascinating and humbling. The award-winning Fish and Chip shop across the road is very popular; people come from far and wide to queue for their meals. Upon reccomendation from a few locals we timed our visit well and managed to have a delicious fish and chip meal without queueing.
Isle of May
The Anstruther harbour is the location from which the boat ride over the Isle of May can be found (http://www.isleofmayferry.
com/); this is highly recommended. The boat (ferry or rib ride) goes once a day between April and October and provides an insight into the sealife on the Nature Reserve. During both journeys to and from the island information is broadcast over the speaker and then upon arrival the resident rangers continue the wealth of information. The best times to visit the island are in May and June when the seabirds are nesting but also near the end of the season when the pregnant seals are preparing the give birth. You might be lucky enough to catch a glimspe of white seal pup lounging on the rocks or bathing in calm waters.
St Andrews – Golf and Ice-cream
Taking the coastal path from Sauchope Holiday Park in a westward direction will lead you towards the land of golf. The path is nestled between the sea on the right and a succession of links golf courses. It is eight miles to walk to St Andrews with beautiful views on a clear day. Alternatively (and to return) regular bus routes pass between Crail and St Andrews, stopping off at well-known links course venues such as St Andrews Bay and Kingsbarnes. Whilst St Andrews is synonymous with golf, the university also plays an important role. For tourists, St Andrews offers a haven of cafes, restaurants and shops. One particular shop to visit (and everyone has heard of it locally) is Janetta’s ice cream parlour where a vast selection of delicious flavoured ice-creams and sorbets are on sale. The local flavour is something called Scottish tablet – a medium-hard fudge – that is mixed with vanilla ice-cream.
For the more adventurous, Blown Away should fit the bill! Two Scottish lads have set up a business on West Sands that give taster sessions in SUP, kayaking, land yachting and zapcatting. We tried land yachting – an exhilirating experience for all the family. Each of us got to sit in a land yacht and fly around a figure of eight course, trying not to capsize. The conditions have to be perfect and they certainly were.
Although West Sands at St Andrews is a large and beautiful expanse of sand, we were recommended another beach further north – Tentsmuir. A short drive north of St Andrews, up the East coast leads to the National Nature Reserve of Tentsmuir where there are a selection of walks along the beach, through the forest or by the estuary and lochs. See the Tentsmuir webpage.
A week at Sauchope Holiday Park and the surrounding area was easily filled with exciting, interesting and memorable experiences. The area caters for the needs and interests of all ages. We had a fabulous time and will be returning again later in the year.