Fife Recce Part 2 - Anstruther's Secrets
The minxes had such a good sleep on their first camping trip of the year that they didn’t wake up till 7am – a luxurious lie-in! That morning, I really noticed how grown-up and responsible they’d quietly become.
On previous camping trips Jon and I have suffered mornings of downright drudgery – trying to feed hungry, grumpy kids whilst also packing absolutely everything up on very little sleep yourself, usually in the rain and wind, and while trying to stop the kids from braining each other (the sport they’ve been playing all night long). Well, not that morning! We’d all slept well. Perhaps we’ve finally got the comfort levels right in the tent, with foam jigsaw flooring, roll- and air-mats, decent sleeping bags and the luxury of our normal pillows?
Maybe we even slept too well – Midi decided to do a Highland Fling over her fishing nets to the consternation of her sisters. “People can *see* you!” hissed Mini. “You’re holding your hands wrong”, noted Maxi.
Jon took over the cooking (porridge for everyone, with or without some tiny jars of jam; hot chocolate or coffee; fruit) and food prep (boiled eggs for later to go with the pancake mix I’d made up before we left) while the *minxes* packed up the sleeping bags, foam flooring and tent with very little help from me. Mini was proud as punch at this newly-granted independence. Jon and I saw the dawning of a new age of Easier Camping Trips. Maybe one day we’ll arrive on a campsite, we adults will sit down and crack open a lemonade, and the minxes will set up camp themselves. Maybe.
So, stuffed and happy after breakfast and all packed up, we set off for Anstruther to explore the town. Straight away, the girls were distracted by 2 things: an ice cream shop with an enormous selection of flavours and a plaque on the wall telling them about the planet Jupiter. Over her morning ice-cream, Maxi established that the plaque was part of a series of astronomical information signs about the solar system. Even better, the drawings of the planets and their relative placement on the sides of the walls were to scale! The girls scurried back and forth on the main street trying to find the remaining plaques, wanting to find out whether Pluto was included or not.
The minxes then voted to head to a beach immediately, but I wasn’t really taken by the water’s edge around the busy, albeit pretty harbour. I like quiet! So I persuaded them to follow me along the route of the Fife coastal path out of Anstruther and on through Cellardyke towards Crail. It took us down some narrow pavements and past some old, old buildings. The girls started to chunter about the mile-long walk till Maxi happened upon a huge statue of a puffin. By the time that unexpected joy had started to wane, I could see a playground coming into view beyond the end of the houses. I could also see a caravan park (Kilrenny Mill Caravan Park). I explained to the flagging kids that walking up there would probably be worthwhile because caravan parks are generally built on nice and accessible bits of coast that are usually clean and interesting.
Sure enough, there was the remains of an old lido in the rocks. Tempting though it looked, the kids decided to burn off some steam at a brilliant adventure playpark sandwiched between the old lido and East Neuk Activity Centre. Although the bouldering, archery, etc. all looked brilliant, we needed to save our money to keep the kids in ice-creams…
We wandered down to the clean beach and played our usual beach game: find sea glass and make a rainbow out of colourful rocks. It didn’t take long! It was a brilliant beach for sea-glass. Maxi even found a little nugget of bright red sea glass that she secretly hopes is a ruby.
Before long, though, we had to walk back in search of lunch. Oh, the wails of tired, hungry girls who didn’t want to move on! I tried to jolly them with a photo showing how 2 of them matched me in walking-in-summer-all-day footwear (we’re all big fans of Teva Tirras) but I suspect at least 2 of them are now at an age when that’s embarrassing rather than funny.
We had to move the car from the short-stay carpark, so decided to drive a little further along the coast to Crail to see what we could find there. See Part 3 for what we discovered there!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Hello! I’m Jay, married to Jon, living in North East Scotland with our 3 daughters: Maxi (10), Midi (8) and Mini Minx (6).
Favourite place in the world:
It’s hard to choose between the stretch of Moray Firth coast between Findhorn and Cullen, and Westray (a northerly Orkney island). Both have an amazing diversity of beautiful coastlines in a small space (empty, clean, sandy beaches; crystal-clear rockpools; crags, cliffs and stacks), fascinating wildlife, friendly people and endlessly interesting weather. Bar visits to friends and relatives, we’ve taken all our holidays in Scotland, north of where we live, for many years. We’ve still barely scratched the surface of this beautiful country.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Rock-pooling and scrambling on local beaches; camping; walking in the gentler local hills; foraging for fruit and jam-making ingredients; and growing our own fruit and vegetables against the combined deterring efforts of our cat and the weather.