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The East Neuk Good Beach Guide  
Pittenweem Harbour

Good beach guide

Fife's coast is predominantly rocky but nestled between the rocky outcrops and skailies there are hundreds of small sandy beaches and rockpools. You’ll also find manmade sea bathing pools close to many towns. Fife also boasts some wide expanses of beach and sand dune. While there are many more beaches than are included here, only those which passed the Marine Conservation Society water quality assessment are featured here.

Tentsmuir Sands and Kinshaldy Beach

Without question the best beach in Fife, probably in Scotland and possibly in the UK. Imagine 3 miles of golden fine sandy beach backed by the wilderness and nature lovers’ paradise of Tentsmuir Forest Nature Reserve. From the beach you can enjoy fine views north to Angus and south to the Lothians. Here you can watch colonies of seals on the sandbanks at close quarters and observe seaduck, waders and other wildfowl. Great for cycling and hiking too. Park in the Tentsmuir Forest car park (£1) and take a picnic with you. Other than the toilets and picnic tables in the car park area there are no other facilities. If you are of a sensitive disposition, don’t stray too far north on Kinshaldy beach or you are likely to bump into a naturist. And be warned. This beach is for sunbathing and paddling only. Being at the mouth of the Tay (shifts more water than the Thames, Severn and Trent put together) there’s a strong undertow which makes swimming hazardous.

Kinshaldy Beach Tentsmuir

Elie, Earlsferry and Ruby Bay beaches

If you need access to shops and pubs then go to Elie. The mile long crescent shaped beach which has been awarded the coveted EU Blue Flag is wonderful and safe for kids. Dogs are verboten during the summer so if you have your dog with you go to the adjacent Ruby Bay which also boasts a large car park. For more active entertainment, Elie Watersports will provide all you need for water-skiing, windsurfing and sea canoeing. On alternate Sundays the Ship Inn plays competitive cricket on the sands.

Elie beach

West Sands, St Andrews

Remember the opening slo-mo shots in Chariots of Fire? This is where it was filmed. 2 miles of golden beach again with EU Blue Flag status with sand dunes behind and behind those, the world’s most famous golf course - the Old Course. 70p entry to the car park and dogs permitted on the beach only beyond the 3rd roundabout. Good toilet and recreational facilities are on hand.

West Sands St Andrews

Kingsbarns Beach

At about 2 miles long, Kingsbarns beach is a walkers’ paradise. Backed by sand dunes and the famous Kingsbarns Golf Course. No commercial facilities but there are 2 picnic tables by the car park and quite disgraceful toilet facilities which seem to have been modelled on a piece of East German rolling stock painted green.

Kingsbarns beach

Billow Ness, Anstruther

Situated right next to Anstuther Golf Course, this tiny beach is perfect for kids with golden sand and rock pools to lark about in

Billow ness beach

Roome Bay, Crail

Not the most beautiful beach - fringe of sand with rocks into the sea - this is however ideal for small kids as there is a playground right by the beach and it’s five minutes walk from the centre of town. It’s also got a naturally formed paddling pool washed twice daily by the sea.

Roome Bay Crail

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