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Ideal for walkers to explore the coastal trails

St Monans is a village on the coast of the East Neuk of Fife between Elie and Anstruther. Sometimes called St Monance, it’s the smallest port in the East Neuk and looks every bit like the charming 17th-century fishing village it used to be.

The beauty of this historic village is in its location on the coastal path and its nearby ruins and historical landmarks. Alongside the harbour, church and stunning coastal views, you’ll find a castle, windmill, saltpans and more within walking distance, giving a glimpse into historic St Monans life as a salt production and fishing hotspot.

This small village is packed with things to do if you love the outdoors and getting in touch with history or nature. Newark Castle sits in ruins on the coastal path, and if you keep walking past, after around 45 minutes, you’ll reach Lady’s Tower in Elie. Closer to home is St Monans windmill and a tidal pool similar to the one in Cellardyke.

Then there’s the harbour – the heart of the village – with the heritage centre offering a wealth of information all about the area. You’ll also find the very fun welly garden and one of the pieces of the Scotties by the Sea art trail.

Explore St Monans

  • Why is it called St Monans?

    The St Monans name is said to hail from an actual St Monan from the year 875. Supposedly a hermit, they lived in a cave by the sea and were killed by Vikings, after which a shrine was built for them.

  • Does St Monans have a beach?

    There isn’t a beach at St Monans, but they have a coastal path running through the village and a tidal pool for wild swimming.

  • What is a tidal pool?

    Just like the one in Cellardyke up the coast, St Monans Tidal Pool is a seawater pool that forms with the tide. This tidal pool has been lovingly restored by the local community and is ideal for wild swimming due to it being free from harsh currents. However, it’s not continually maintained, so swimmers are advised to be careful and acknowledge that swimming in the tidal pool is done at their own risk.

    As with most tidal pools, there can be sharp rocks in the basin from the tide, so it’s recommended you wear protective clothing and hand or footwear to prevent injury.

  • Where is there to eat in St Monans?

    There are a number of nice restaurants in St Monans, including chip shops, Chinese takeaways, a bakery and a café. You’ll also find a corner shop for all your essentials, and the Bowhouse hosts regular markets just outside the village.

  • How to get to St Monans?

    St Monans is well-placed on the coastal path, so benefits from being on several public transport routes to and from Lundin Links and St Andrews. There is also ample parking and easy access for cars.