Exploring Scotland | The Pretty Pastel Streets of Pittenweem, Fife
Pittenweem is one of the most beautiful fishing villages in Scotland and is a must-visit if you’re planning a holiday in Fife. It’s known for its picturesque harbour and narrow streets packed with traditional restaurants, seafood restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops.
This is a place where the past and present collide. The historic buildings on Kirkgate date back to the 13th century, while the Tolbooth tower is a reminder of the 1704 witch trials. Most visitors to Pittenweem, however, come for the scenery, the stunning coastal views, and, okay, maybe the ice cream. Definitely the ice cream…
The Harbour Area
As well as being stunning in its own right, Pittenweem Harbour is also a great base from which to explore Fife’s charming fishing villages and beaches. St Monans and Anstruther are both within easy reach, and Loch Leven, with its atmospheric ruined castle, is only a short drive away.
The nearby village of Cove Wynd, is also worth visiting for its cave, which was the refuge of an Irish saint and was later used as a smuggling den and prison during the 17th century witch trials. There are some wonderful cafes in the area too, including Cocoa Tree Café, which has an excellent selection of cakes. You can also try some delicious hot chocolates here.
Unfortunately for us, ours had to be a flying visit to Pittenweem: we were literally only there for around two hours or so, and we almost didn’t make it AT ALL, because we woke up to fog so thick we couldn’t even see the top of the Queensferry Crossing as we were driving over it. Miraculously, though, the mist cleared almost as soon as we got to the other side, and Fife was filled with blue skies and people in shorts and t-shirts, which made me REALLY pleased I’d decided to wear a thick jumper under my jacket that day, but also relieved that I’d at least had the sense to leave the winter coats I’d brought along for Max and me in the car.
(I did put a t-shirt on Max under his jumper, but that’s his No. 1 Favourite Stripey Jumper he’s wearing, so he wouldn’t have taken it off even it it had been 100 degrees in the shade, seriously. We… need to get better at clothes, somehow…)
If you’re thinking of visiting Pittenweem, here’s some more info for you:
For a gastronomic treat, visit the small but mighty Pittenweem Fish & Chip Bar. This tiny, retro tavern serves some of the finest fish & chips in Fife.
Other notables include Nicolson’s Sweet and Ice Cream Shop, on Mid Shore for their awe-inspiring array of sweets and chocolate. Those who aren’t in the mood for a savoury supper may opt for a high tea at the Larachmhor, another quaint harbourside establishment.
The Dory Bistro & Gallery, meanwhile, features a light and airy bistro serving seafood dishes with a view, thanks to its enviable location by the village’s picturesque harbour.
Pubs & Cafes
Pittenweem might be a tiny village, but it definitely packs a punch (and yes, I am talking about the alcoholic kind here…).
The village’s genuine old fisherman’s pub, The Larachmhor, serves tasty burgers in its friendly bar and has plenty of whiskies, ales and gins to choose from. It’s also a great stop off point for ramblers on the Fife coastal path.
For a sweet treat, check out the independent Pittenweem Chocolate Company on the High Street. Or cosy up in the Cocoa Tree Cafe, which serves up the town’s best chocolate cake. Finally, Nicholson’s Sweets & Ice Cream Shop is a must for anyone who has a sweet tooth.