The beaches are too chilly for swimming, but they're great for a brisk, scenic walk. The best nearby is Billow Ness Beach, a 10-minute walk east of the center.
The Scottish Fisheries Museum, St. Ayles, Harbourhead (tel. 01333/310-628; www.scotfishmuseum.org; bus: 95), is down by the harbor. It was expanded in 1999 to include a building that was a tavern in the 18th century, as well as several re-creations of restored fishing boats. Here you can follow the fisherfolk through every aspect of their industry -- from the days of sail to modern times. Associated with the museum, but afloat in the harbor, is an old herring drifter, The Reaper, which you can board. April to September, the museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5:30pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm; October to March, hours are Monday to Saturday 10am to 4:30pm and Sunday from noon to 4:30pm. Admission is £6 adults, £5 seniors and children. (Children 15 and under enter free if accompanied by a parent.) Last admission is 1 hour before closing time.
From the museum, you can walk to the tiny hamlet of Cellardyke, adjoining Anstruther. You'll find many charming stone houses and an ancient harbor where, in the year Victoria took the throne (1837), 140 vessels used to put out to sea. You can rent a bike from East Neuk Outdoors, Cellardyke Park (tel. 01333/311-929; www.eastneukoutdoors.co.uk), where rental rates are £17 daily and £37 to £60 weekly, plus a deposit. It's open daily April to September from 9am to 5pm; open by appointment only in winter.
The Isle of May, a nature reserve in the Firth of Forth, is accessible by boat from Anstruther. It's a bird observatory and a field station and contains the ruins of a 12th-century chapel as well as an early-19th-century lighthouse.
The May Princess (tel. 01333/310-103 or 310-054; www.isleofmayferry.com) is a 100-passenger boat that departs for the Isle of May from the Lifeboat Station at Anstruther Harbour every day, weather permitting, between April and September. One hour before departure, tickets go on sale from a kiosk beside Anstruther Harbour. The cost is £18 for adults, £16 for seniors and students, and £9 for children 3 to 16. (Credit cards not accepted.) Departure times vary with the season, the day of the week, and the vagaries of the weather, so call in advance before planning for the 4- to 5-hour trip. Between May and July, expect to see hundreds, even thousands, of puffins, which mate on the Isle of May at that time.
East of the harbor stands a stone structure known as the Lady's Tower, used by Lady Janet Anstruther, a noted 18th-century beauty, as a bathing cabana. Another member of the Anstruther family, Sir John, added the interesting bell tower to the parish church that stands in the center of the village. Beyond the lighthouse, on a point of land to the east of the harbor, lies Ruby Bay, so named because you can find garnets here. Farther along the coast is Fossil Bay, where you can find a variety of fossils.
To understand the villages of East Neuk better, visit the Crail Museum & Heritage Centre, 62 Marketgate (tel. 01333/450-869), which contains artifacts related to fishing and the former trading links of these tiny villages. Admission is free. June to September the center is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm and 2 to 5pm and Sunday from 2 to 5pm; Easter week Monday to Saturday 10am to 1pm and 2 to 5pm; April 1 to May 2 weekends 2 to 5pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.