St Fillan’s Cave is tucked away among the cottages overlooking the fishing village of Pittenweem. It’s a great spot to visit in the winter when the waves crash against the fingers of rock jutting out from the headland.
To visit the cave you have to get the key from the cafe or shop in the high street. Poor St Fillan would have been cold, but at least he would have been sheltered.
Pittenweem has a fantastic sweet shop called Nicolson’s. It sells soor plooms (sour plums), Irn Bru, tablet, Edinburgh rock and other Scots delicacies. The owner has an old black dog who shuffles in and out onto the seafront with a wrap of sparkly tinsel for a collar.
The villages up here, on the East Neuk, traded herring and salt with the Dutch and Baltic countries. You can spy the red tiles brought back and the hooks used for levering goods into the lofts far above the street.
Pittenweem is ancient. It’s name is Pictish and Gaelic and derived from the ‘place of the caves.’
The pastel cottages tucked away to the west, along the front, are wonderful.