THE ROCKS is the perfect base for a golfing tour and The East Neuk of Fife the ultimate golfers’ paradise.
There are views from the house to Elie and Earlsferry golf course, and some of the most famous golf courses in the world are only a short drive away.
St Andrews is the home of golf and where the game and spirit of golf have evolved over six centuries. St Andrews is only 12 miles from THE ROCKS.
There are 10 golf courses in St Andrews, including the famous Old Course where the game was first played. All details of the 7 St Andrews Link courses are available on www.standrews.org.uk. In addition to the 7 courses within the St Andrews Link Trust, there are 2 courses at The St Andrews Bay Club – the Kittocks Course and The Torrance Course, which is also a British Open qualifying course. The 10th course sits above St Andrews – the championship Dukes Course.
Elie and Earlsferry golf course is open to guests and offers a charming introduction to traditional Links golf www.golfhouseclub.co.uk.
There is also a 9 hole course in Elie and Earlsferry – known as ‘the wee course” which is ideal for beginners and children www.thepav.co.uk/golf.html
Other recommended courses within 20 minutes from THE ROCKS, include Kingsbarns (www.kingsbarns.com) a host course for the Dunhill Cup, Balcomie (www.crailgolfingsociety.co.uk), Ladybank (www.ladybankgolf.co.uk) and Lundin Links (www.lundingolfclub.co.uk).
These are just a few of the courses available – golfers will be spoilt for choice and should review www.scotlands-golf-courses.com when planning their itinerary.
Not to mention golf, there are unlimited sporting activities within Elie and Earlsferry itself.
Elie Harbour is a centre for water sports. Canoes, windsurfers, dinghies and pedal boats can be hired from Elie Water Sports www.eliewatersports.com. Sailing classes are also available for all ages.
In addition to the 9 hole golf course, Elie Sports Club and Pavilion has tennis courts, a bowling green, a golf driving range and putting green – www.thepav.co.uk. The pro shop stocks and rents all necessary equipment and attire. Golf and tennis lessons are also available for all ages, year round; with special group classes for kids run throughout the summer months.
THE ROCKS sits on The Fife Coastal Path www.fifecoastalpath.co.uk. This is a fantastic route for walking, running or biking. The path is marked from The Forth Road Bridge all the way to the Tay Bridge, covering 81 milesand meanders along the Fife coastline past unspoilt beaches, castle ruins, local villages and golf courses.
There are fabulous walks in and around Elie and Earlsferry and it’s 3 main linked beaches – Elie Beach at THE ROCKS, West Bay by the golf course to the south west and Ruby Beach at the lighthouse to the north east.
All visitors are encouraged to take a walk north east to the harbour and beyond to the Lighthouse and The Lady’s Tower, and south west to Chapel Green and beyond to West Bay.
The Lady’s Tower was built around 1750 as a summer house for Lady Anstruther who liked to bathe naked in the bay below. It is reported that a bellman was sent around Elie to warn the villagers to keep away! The beach between the Lady’s Tower and the lighthouse is called Ruby Bay and you can still find Elie rubies in the sand (or are they garnets?! – geologists cannot agree).
Elie lighthouse has now shone every day for over 100 years and celebrated its centennial anniversary in October, 2008.
Chapel Green dates from 1093 and the site offers the best view back along Elie beach to the harbour, lighthouse and the Lady’s Tower beyond.
At the end of West Bay is the start of the chain walk, which is a series of chains attached to the rockface of Kincraig Point that takes you around the point to Shell Bay that stretches to the villages of Upper and Lower Largo.
Elie High Street offers charming old-fashioned shopping. You can get all your provisions from the local baker, green grocer, delicatessen, newsagent and chemist. We encourage you to support the local shops.
There are also a couple of gift and coffee shops in the village.
There is an award winning Farm House shop just 2 miles outside of Elie and Earlsferry – www.ardrossfarm.co.uk. The local produce – meat, vegetables and fruit – are highly recommended.
The butcher in Crail, the fishmongers in Pittenweem and St Monans, and J Mellis cheesemonger and Janettas ice cream parlour in St Andrews are great local speciality shops.
The larger town of Anstruther, and the hub of St Andrews offer wider shopping including supermarkets and high street retailers and golf shops.
The nearby villages of St Monans, Pittenweem and Crail have become local arts and craft centres. Crail Pottery is a family owned business that has been operating for more than 40 years www.crailpottery.com and is definitely worth a visit. Pittenweem has numerous small galleries including The Fisher Gallery www.thefishergallery.co.uk.
Bars & Restaurants
No stay at THE ROCKS is complete without visiting some of the local restaurants. The local seafood and summer fruits are delicious.
Try picking your own strawberries and raspberries at the local farms throughout the summer months – www.cairniefruitfarm.co.uk.
An absolute must is a “fish supper” from Anstruther www.anstrutherfishbar.co.uk. This is a local legend and has won The UK Fish and Chip Shop of the year in 2008 and 2009. Guest can sit in, eat by the harbour or take home.
Guests should also try the local crab claws and lobster available from the hut at Crail harbour.
For finer dining, guests are recommended to visit The Peat Inn www.peatinn.co.uk. Bookings are essential year round.
Elie and Earlsferry also has a good choice of places to eat out locally, if you do not wish to drive.
The Golf Tavern (also known as The 19th Hole) overlooks the golf course and offers local ales and tasty bar meals. The Ship Inn www.ship-elie.com is famous for its beach cricket matches and has great food and wine including outdoor summer BBQs on the patio over looking the beach.
There is also fine dining available within the village at Sangsters on Elie High Street www.sangsters.co.uk.
Things to do
There are many places of interest throughout the East Neuk of Fife and ancient town of St Andrews, with many local festivals, especially during the summer months.
The East Neuk Music Festival www.eastneukfestival.com in mid July hosts concerts and poetry readings in some very beautiful and unusual local buildings.
The Pittenweem Arts Festival www.pittenweemartsfestival.co.uk in early August has work displayed throughout the village, not just in the galleries but also in local homes and gardens, and features work from over 100 artists.
There is fun for all the family at The Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, The Secret Bunker outside Crail and the aquarium in St Andrews.
The Scottish Fisheries Museum www.scotfishmuseum.org is set on the harbour front in Anstruther and tells the history of Scottish fishing from the earliest time to the present.
The Secret Bunker www.secretbunker.co.uk is under a local farmhouse and was only recently opened to the public after being kept secret by the UK government for over 40 years. This was built after World War II, during the Cold War, and would have been where Scotland was governed from during a nuclear war.
The aquarium in St Andrews www.standrewsaquarium.co.uk is right on the beach – directly behind the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and has stunning views down the famous West Sands, with a fantastic collection of sea life and especially friendly seals.
We also recommend a boat day trip to the Isle of May. The Isle of May is a National Nature Reserve and is the home of incredible wild life and the best place to see Puffins in the UK. The Isle of May can be reached by ferry from Anstruther www.isleofmayferry.com.