Pittenweem, Scotland-As Pretty as a Picture

Hi Readers, I hope everyone is doing well. Today we are going to jump in our car and head about fifty miles to the northeast of Edinburgh, Scotland, to a delightful little village on the Firth of Forth. Our destination is Pittenweem in Fife, and it’s just as pretty as a picture.

Pittenweem, Scotland on the Firth of Forth.

Pittenweem is a real charmer. A mishmash of houses with red pantiled and gray slate roofs and Dutch-inspired crow-stepped gables dot the village surrounding the picturesque, working harbor. The homes are a lovely contrast to the blue waters of the Firth beyond.

A narrow street in Pittenweem, Scotland.
A partially crumbling building.
A narrow street between two stone walls in Pittenweem, Scotland.

Quaint shops, galleries, and eateries line the historic village streets. During the short time we were there, we popped into Cuppa for a spot of tea and a scone and then into The Cocoa Tree Shop for a few gourmet chocolates to take home. Yummy on both counts!

A coffee shop in Pittenweem, Scotland.
A storefront in Pittenweem, Scotland.

A thriving fishing village, King James V declared Pittenweem a Royal Burgh in 1541. Today the town continues to be an active marketplace. Fishing boats pull into port each morning with their catch of the day, and fishermen sell their haul out of sheds at the harbor market. I would love to experience that, as I suspect it would feel a little bit like stepping back in time.

Fishing boats in a harbor.

One of the main focal points of the village is the Pittenweem Parish Church.

Pittenweem Parish Church in Scotland.

This impressive medieval church was founded sometime in the 13th century, with most of the existing structure dating to the 1600s. We did not go inside, but from the outside, it was wonderfully atmospheric – especially when viewed from the far side of the kirkyard.

An atmospheric church and graveyard in Pittenweem, Scotland.

Like any proper Scottish town, Pittenweem has tales of witchcraft and executions. Several witch trials took place in this village in the early 1700s. According to the historian Lizanne Henderson, the events surrounding the case of the Pittenweem witches were “one of the most extraordinary and truly horrific outbursts of witch persecution.” Fortunately, it was the last significant event of witch-hunting in Fife. Thank goodness!

Should you ever find yourself motoring along Scotland’s east coast, do make a point of stopping in Pittenweem as well as the other charming fishing villages that are nearby (Crail, St. Monans, Anstruther, and Elie are especially lovely). Whether you are just there for an hour or two or plan to spend a few days, I promise you will not be disappointed.



*Photo of the boat that says ‘Crusader” courtesy of Pixabay.

8 thoughts on “Pittenweem, Scotland-As Pretty as a Picture

  • Beautiful photos, Wendy. Pittenweem is a wee gem of a place, and I think it’d be a lovely spot to base yourself in for a holiday. Are you thinking of staying in one of the self-catering places down on the shore?

    • Thank you, Lorna. Yes, I have seen two or three properties on VRBO that look really cute. Pittenweem seems quiet and peaceful and has so much charm. And it’s only five minutes to the Ardross Farm Shop! We are also considering Inverness or Pitlochry. Do you have a favorite among the three?

      • That’s an interesting trio you’ve chosen. If it were me I’d probably chose Pittenweem, but all of them have their own selling points. I know Pitlochry quite well as my parents lived there for several years, and it’s certainly surrounded by some lovely scenery, but it tends to be very touristy in the summer (which you might like, if you’re going at that time of year and enjoy mingling with the crowds). I don’t know Inverness that well, but it’d be a great jumping off point for places further north, including the Black Isle (have you been there?) which is an area I particularly like. It’s also the ideal spot if you want to do a bit of Nessie spotting. 🙂 What sorts of things are you planning to do on your next holiday?

      • Thank you for telling me about the Black Isle. I did some research and it looks like the sort of place we would LOVE. My husband and I are not into the tourist crowds at all. We prefer the quiet, lesser known places. We like to plant ourselves in a great self-catering home and basically “live” there for two or three weeks. Castles are always top on our list as well as scenic drives, exploring small, quaint villages, and great food (including farmer’s markets, as we cook all our own breakfasts and dinners). We’ve talked about maybe visiting the Edradour distillery. We’re planning to visit again in May 2019. I truly cannot wait.

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