Historic Fishing Village and Great Golfing — this is Crail


Just 10 miles southeast of St. Andrews lies the historic fishing village of Crail. Along with a strong fishing industry, Crail enjoys a healthy portion of tourism. With so much historical architecture to enjoy and many great local attractions nearby, there are plenty of things to see and do in and around the town.

Beginning as early as the 11th century, Crail steadily grew into a trading post or royal burgh, eventually becoming one of the largest market places in Europe. Today, Marketgate, the street on which the market was built, serves as the heart of Crail.

Photo Courtesy of Irina Schell

For the golfer, Crail Golfing Society first formed in 1786 and is one of the oldest Golf Clubs in the world. Their oldest and most notable course, Balcomie is a traditional links course designed by Old Tom Morris. The course airs on the shorter side, but is still fun, relaxing and reasonably priced to play — great introduction for those who are not used to links golf.

Crail-Balcomie Course

If you are looking to get some real fresh air and a healthy dose of walking, the Fife Coastal Path is a great place to truly take in the sites of Scotland’s North Sea coastline. From where Crail sits on this 117-mile long pathway, one can take the trail south to Anstruther, an approximate 2 hour walk. This section of the pathway is considered one of the most popular sections with beautiful scenic views including the Isle of May and Bass Rock.


Photo courtesy of Irina Schell

Other popular attractions include the Crail Museum and Heritage Centre, Crail Pottery, a family run hand-thrown pottery shop and Crail Parish Church, where John Knox once gave a sermon in 1559, advocating against the once famous market for holding sales on Sundays.

Whether looking to expand on your St. Andrews trip, or looking for somewhere else altogether, consider making Crail part of your itinerary.

-Kelsey Powers