Elie has been a favoured holiday destination for a century and more. The only sandy beach on this stretch of the Neuk, it’s popular with families and those who love big skies and wide open spaces. At one end of the beach is the little harbour and the Ship Inn, famed far and wide for its cosy fires, great food and beach terrace – oh and the regular fixture list of beach cricket that has seen legends of the game such as Richie Richardson, Shahid Afridi, Allan Donald and Curtly Ambrose play 20 overs before the tide rolls in.
At the other end is Earlsferry, a gorgeous little community that is home to The Golf House Club of Elie. James Braid, that legendary Open champion and course designer, was a local here and learnt his trade on this challenging little links. The Ship Inn’s sister pub the Golf Tavern is here too.
Dotted throughout the village are a number of little shops selling art, curios and ice-cream. Elie Deli is a wonderful purveyor of food, drink and freshly brewed coffee. Sangster’s is a Michelin-starred restaurant with a classical French Scottish menu and a welcoming, homely atmosphere.
A little out of town but unmissable for anyone who loves their food, the Ardross Farm Shop is simply one of the UK’s finest food stores. Specialising in traditionally-reared beef and fresh, seasonal vegetables from their own farm, they also have a wonderful selection of artisan foods, from venison and lamb to jams, ice creams, beer and wine. Oh and they do fantastic homemade gourmet freezer food – which we’d be delighted to have in your freezer for arrival.
The Elie & Earlsferry Local History Society has a wealth of information on the two villages. And if you’d like to take a stroll through time, you’ll also find a number of fascinating walking tours on their website.