Visit the East Coast’s best beaches and towns
While the West Coast has a wild, wind-lashed beauty and a string of magical islands, the East Coast wins every time when it comes to cute fishing villages and bucket-and-spade seaside towns – with no midges, even in summer!
Handily, the best bit of the East Coast, the East Neuk of Fife, is also the closest stretch of the East Coast to Lochend. Jutting out into the North Sea across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh, the East Neuk is only a couple of hours scenic drive from Lochend. With a string of pretty villages, beaches and great coastal walks, it is a brilliant place for a daytrip from the chalets.
It is possible to do the whole East Neuk coast in a day from Lochend, driving the 20-odd miles from St Andrew’s to Elie via a string of really pretty coastal villages, including Crail with its picture-perfect harbour, Pittenweem with its cobbled lanes and galleries, Anstruther with its knock-out fish ‘n chips and boat trips to Isle of May nature reserve.
Or you could just spend the whole day in St Andrew’s or Elie. The global home of golf, St Andrew’s is a magical, ancient town to visit even if you’re not interested in golf, with medieval ruins, majestic university buildings and miles of bonewhite beach made famous by the opening to the 1981 film, Chariots of Fire.
Less well known to tourists, but a real favourite with weekenders from Edinburgh, Elie is a beautiful, wee seaside town with a lovely Blue Flag beach hosting beach cricket at low tide in summer, a watersports centre where you can hire windsurfers, kayaks and dinghies, and bracing coastal walks.