Cleek Cottage, in the charming and sleepy coastal East Neuk village of Earlsferry, beside Elie in Fife, is distinguished by two things: firstly, its fantastic position with regard to the golf links - you really can roll out of bed and on to the fairway - and secondly, its shedloads of character!
Within 4 minutes walk of the sea and a beautiful, quiet beach, it really is a most unique little house. The deceptive front doorway leads to the cosy sitting room, with stripped oak floor, pine panelled walls, open fire and jauntily furnished in blue and white to carry on the nautical theme. It has an excellent and spacious dining kitchen, a double bedroom and two further adult-size bunk beds up some steps in an alcove off the corridor (children will adore this while adults might prefer the sofa bed in the sitting room) and a smart bathroom with bath/shower. French doors lead from the kitchen to a sheltered, suntrap garden (furniture, barbecue), perfect for al fresco breakfasts or evening drinks.
Fife is, of course, the home of golf and a real mecca for followers of the wee white ball. Historic St Andrews itself is only a 20 minute away and every village along the coast seems to have its own course. Earlsferry was the home town of James Braid, 5 times Open champion, who described the 13th hole at Elie and Earlsferry as 'the finest in the country'. Even making allowances for local pride, that's quite a claim! The village must be one of the most child friendly in the country, with full programmes of tennis and golf specially tailored for them, and it is also easy to find creche facilities locally. Elie has a 9 hole course specially designed for children. The 19th hole of the Golf Tavern, serving food and, again, welcoming children is only about 20 yards along the road.
Golf apart, the East Neuk is a hugely popular venue for family seaside holidays, with sandy beaches, a great infrastructure in terms of shops, galleries, eating places and amusements. You can take boat trips from nearby Anstruther to view the seabird colonies on the Isle of May in the Forth, while Elie itself offers courses and instruction in all kinds of watersports, sailing, surfing, water ski-ing, cycle hire, tennis, etc.
The East Neuk villages, where little erstwhile fishermen's cottages cluster round their harbours, all have their particular charms. Nearby Pittenweem, for example, hosts a lively Arts Festival in August each year. Inland there are other attractions, such as watching cheese being made at the St Andrews Cheese Factory just outside Anstruther, visiting the Scottish Deer Park, Scotland's Secret Bunker, Kellie Castle, Falkland Palace and the like. You can walk the Fife Coastal Path, fish off the rocks or pier or simply laze in the sunny garden and relax.
Bed linen, towels and the first £15 of each of electricity and gas-CH are INCLUDED in the rental. One small dog is welcome by arrangement. Sorry no smoking. Wi-Fi is available, subject to provider. Reduced rates for a couple at Off Peak times.