East Neuk Villages Attractions
Time seems to have forgotten these picturesque villages with their crooked fishermen's cottages and pretty gabled houses. It often seems that the artists, watersports enthusiasts and golfers have the place to themselves.
Lower Largo, Scotland
In the main street at Lower Largo (pop. 800) a bronze statue reminds passers-by of Alexander Selkirk whose fate inspired Daniel Defoe to write "Robinson Crusoe"; however Defoe's literary hero was English. Selkirk, who was born in Lower Largo in 1676, set off on board the "Cinque Ports" on a voyage across the Pacific. After a series of disputes with the captain, he was deposited on the island of Juan Fernandez 400 nautical miles off the Chilean coast. It was 52 months before he sighted a ship which took him back to England.
The resort of Elie (pop. 900) can boast a pretty harbor with gabled houses and a pleasant beach.
St Monance, Scotland
Among the pretty little villages on the southeastern corner of the peninsula are St Monance (pop. 1,300) with its interesting Gothic parish church and a number of charming little cottages (now very popular with artists) and Pittenweem (pop. 900) where rows of attractive houses encircle the old harbor and the parish church possesses a huge tower (1592).
The estate at Balcaskie was acquired by Sir William Bruce in 1665 and he promptly set about converting the medieval tower into a grand country house.
Isle of May
The Isle of May a few miles off the peninsula's southwest coast is a nature reserve with the second oldest bird-watching station in Great Britain. It has been run since 1934 by the Scottish universities. With such species as puffins, razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes to observe, ornithologists are always keen to visit the island.