Written by Taylor Shelby on 18 Mar, 2005
A little bit south of Anstruther and a very short bus ride is the tiny fishing village of Pittenweem. The unusual name translates into "place of the cave" and is named for the famous cave of St. Fillian, which he used as a chapel…Read More
A little bit south of Anstruther and a very short bus ride is the tiny fishing village of Pittenweem. The unusual name translates into "place of the cave" and is named for the famous cave of St. Fillian, which he used as a chapel in the 600s. It is said that he wrote his sermons on the walls of the cave, the only light coming from his arm, which miraculously illuminated. You can see the cave today on Cove Wynd - it has an iron gate with a big white cross on it. The door is kept locked, but you can request the key from the Gingerbread Horse Cafe just up the road.
Pittenweem is a very active fishing village. From about 8am, the tiny little harbor is crammed with fishing boats and a lively fish market takes place. Walking down by the water, you pass many local specialized shops, like the baker and the butcher that have been serving the town for generations. It seems like you have somehow gone backward 400 years.
The city is very rustic and impossibly charming. The little houses built close on steep hills are almost Dutch in origin. It is not what I would envision for a Scottish village. There are many times when you will turn a corner and the hill will fall so sharply that you are looking over the red-tiled roofs down to the sea. The homes and buildings have all been painstakingly restored, mostly by the National Trust for Scotland.
There are a couple of large features to the cityscape. One is the original city tollbooth, and the others are local parish churches. Some of the churches have ancient and beautiful graveyards.
There is little to do in the town besides walking around. We passed a couple of small art galleries that had beautiful paintings of the local surroundings, and there were a couple of small restaurants. Pittenweem isn't really a place to come and do things, however. You should really just relax, take a stroll, and take in some of the local color that you may have missed.