Having been busy with work related things for the last month it was great to make the most of a cold crisp Autumn day with a trip to the coast.
I had visited Crail on the coast of Fife several years ago, and I know that I had gotten some great photos from the harbour area. I had longed to revisit with a little more time and hopefully some blue skies to make make the most of the contrast between the buildings and the sky. As the day dawned cold and clear in Edinburgh, and with snow forecast in the Highlands meaning it was going to crisp and bright towards the east coast, now seemed a good time to make the trip.
Crail is the most easterly settlement along the south side of the East Neuk of Fife and it known for its shellfish; especially crabs and lobsters. These provide an excellent focal point of harbour photography and are frequently utilised for coastal images in much of Scotland.
Only ten miles from St Andrews, it has a much more relaxed feel, and it is probably as much now a holiday or weekend retreat as anything else. Settled back before the 800s it became a Royal Burgh in 1310, thanks to Robert the Bruce. It was once the bane of the Church as it held a Sunday market for many years in spite of their protestations and attempts to move it to a weekday.
The town is fairly interesting, but similar to a lot of small Fife coast towns, and it is the harbour that holds the main attractions for the photographer.
The harbour is best reached on foot after parking in the town centre, and this will involve a fairly brisk descent, although the cobbles can be avoided by taking the Castle Walk where you will get great views out to sea.
Although Castle Walk remains, sadly the castle itself does not. Cleared away in 1706, it is, from a purely photographic point of view, a bit of a disappointment not to have it to add into the scene. But, there are still a lot of wonderful opportunities for photographs around the harbour and town.
There is almost an element of film set about the harbour, and the quaint houses leading to it are appealing in themselves. The cobbles and painted buildings also appeal.
A number of small on-shore fishing boats still work out of the harbour, and there is a ready supply of crab and lobster which can be purchased. The town also boasts a number of small cafes as well as the fish and chip shop, mini-marts, and butchers.
It is a perfect retreat location that is ideal for a romantic getaway, or a day trip, and it convenient to Edinburgh and most of Fife itself.