If you are visiting Pittenweem for the first time, don’t miss the hidden treasures to be found here and around the East Neuk. Enjoy our insider guide to how to spend time here!


Marius, Simona and all our local team at Premier Stays Fife look forward to welcoming you to the East Neuk…

Pittenweem might be small, but it is among the most active harbour villages along the East Neuk of Fife coastline. It’s bustling with fishing boats landing crab, langoustine and lobster.

The village of Pittenweem in Fife derives it’s name from a blend of Pictish and Scottish Gaelic. It translates as ‘Place of the Caves’.

Pittenweem is home to the Cave of St Fillan. Visitors can still visit the sacred spot where the 7th-century saint is said to have lived during his time in Fife.

Legend has it that the missionary hid away here, as he tried to convert the local Picts to Christianity around 1400 years ago. In the gloom of the cave, God helped St Fillan by means of a light which glowed from his left arm, as he wrote with his right.

Pittenweem Priory is built over the cave. It is linked to the larger Benedictine Priory on the beautiful Isle of May, just across the water. Since that time, the cave has been used for numerous purposes – as a store for smugglers and as a prison for witches during the witch hunts of the 17th-18th centuries.

Visitors can borrow the key to this historical site from the local artisan hot chocolate shop that’s not to be missed: The Pittenweem Chocolate Company and Cocoa Tree Cafe. You will find the cave set into the natural sandstone rock behind a small metal gate on Cove Wynd. The key can be borrowed for £1.

Beyond the caves, some gourmet faves

Besides Pittenweem’s harbour and St Fillan’s cave, there are a number of highlights tucked away among the cobbled streets . They are all too easy to miss, but well worth a stop off during your stay in the East Neuk.

Seek out The Dory Bistro and Gallery in Pittenweem for a delicious lunch using the freshest seafood. It’s often landed less than 40 metres from their front door in the harbour. They also make the most of meat from local Fife estates to create wild game dishes, alongside seasonal vegetarian options.

The walls of the restaurant and adjoining gallery are decorated with a range of paintings of local villages, coastal prints, and ceramics, for viewing and for sale.

The Dory Bistro and Gallery

The Fife Coastal Path handily takes you past the door of Nicholson’s Sweets & Ice Cream Shop in Pittenweem. Even if you are sightseeing Fife by car, this is another good spot to find along the shorefront and stock up on sweeties for the journey. They stock local gelato heroes ‘Janettas’ ice cream, fudge, tablets and postcards to send home.


If you visit Pittenweem in August, the Pittenweem Arts Festival, 6-13 August, is a major event in the East Neuk Calendar.

Some 20,000 people come every year to see the art on display. They take part in workshops and events across the week and beyond. Well over a hundred artists display their work around the winding streets, Mainly in houses but also in garages, halls – anywhere that can hang a piece of artwork! The atmosphere around Pittenweem is buzzing, and artists will never be far away to speak to you about their work.

Visit Pittenweem and the many other charming villages that line the beautiful coastline of the East Neuk of Fife. Find our other local area guides here.

Simona, Marius and all the team at Premier Stays Fife look forward to welcoming you.