When you hear the word glamping, you think lots of mud, wellies, sun showers and nasty loos? On a recent trip to Elie in Fife, Scotland, I discovered that glamping is quite unlike what I imagined and it is quite civilised.
Catchpenny Safari Lodges is a new accommodation option when visiting this part of Fife. They call it glamping but it was not what I expected, it was much much better.
The name Catchpenny is from an old Pub that used to stand on this site but sadly does not exist anymore. In the old days, people weren’t allowed to drink in villages. The Catchpenny pub was built in between Elie and St Monan’s.
This new venture, with 8 spacious canvas roofed safari lodges, was built on a stretch of land on the beach in Elie, with the best view of the Firth of Forth and the Isle of May. On a good day, you can see the dolphins playing in the water.
Each cabin has 2 “bedrooms” and sleeps six. One has twin beds with a king sized bed built into a little platform between the room and living room. The other has a king sized bed. High quality linen and towels are supplied. Instead of doors, each “room” is divided by just a piece of canvas. The interiors are spacious and comfortable and it is easy to forget you are in a tent until it rains.
Each cabin has a proper bathroom with a walk in shower, plenty of hot water, flushing loos and even heated towel rails.
Every kitchen has a gas hob, pots and pans, crockery, cutlery and BBQ equipment including BBQ forks for smores.
The lodge is heated by a wood burner in the living area. For townies, this is a novelty but a bit of a challenge as we need to learn to light the fire. If you are there in late spring, Scotland can still get quite cold, especially in the evenings. Bring layers or you can wrap up in one of the throws they provide at the lodge.
In case you want to cook with live fire, there is a fire pit outside for BBQs. Firewood is provided to start you off but you can replenish this from the farm shop next door.
Things to know before you go glamping at Catchpenny
- There are very comfy beds with good quality linen, extra throws and hot water bottles are provided too.
- It is a tent with just a sheet of canvas separating you and the elements and being Scotland, it can be cold, especially in the evenings, so bring lots of layers.
- Every cabin has a cosy leather sofa and arm chairs, there is also a dining table that seats about 8. It’s very homely.
- You will need to have a good supply of firewood for the wood burning stove and the fire pit outside. You can get this at the Ardross Farm Shop next door.
- Every lodge has it’s own wind powered energy source.
- The cabins are lit by electric light.
- On a warm day, you can sit on the porch and watch out for the pod of dolphins that live in the Firth.
- There were USB plugs so you can charge your phone and devices. As the voltage generated is not too high, there are no 3 pin plugs and there isn’t enough power for much else and certainly not for a hair dryer.
- There is no wifi so its a good excuse for a digital detox and get back to nature.
Things to do around Catchpenny Safari Lodges and Elie
Walk the Fife Coastal Path
From Catchpenny, you have direct access to the Fife Coastal path, just a few steps down towards the beach. Turn right on the path and this takes you to Elie Harbour, the beach and the village. On the way, you can see the Lady’s Tower built for the Laird’s wife who wanted to swim naked in the sea.
The Elie Chainwalk is one of the most unique features of the coastal path. You will find this west of Elie, a short walk from the beach. The chains are secured into the cliff face around Shell Bay. You can access the chains via the Shell Bay Caravan Park. There are 8 chains in total and some are vertical with a 10m drop. If you are thinking of attempting this, do wear the right gear and heed all the warning signs at both ends of the chains.
Turn left and the path leads you on the pretty fishing village of St Monan’s. Both villages have pubs and restaurants if you don’t fancy cooking.
Across the road, you will find Bowhouse, where they host monthly markets with local artisan food producers and makers. It will soon be home to many small food producers as they have converted the old barn into units of industrial working space which is rented out to small businesses. Think of it as the Maltby Street of the North.
Exploring Elie in Fife
Elie is such a beautiful little village and because of this, it is one of the favourite places for second homers. The village population dwindles out of season.
Elie boasts of the only beach cricket club in the UK. They often have fixtures on this beach over the summer. If golf is more your thing, there is a course in Earlsferry, just next door to Elie.
Elie is a historic town and these are some of the beautiful sights of Elie.
Elie Castle Elie Fife
Step into the footsteps of the Pictish People in Fife
For history buffs, on one of the nearby fields, they found old Pictish caves when they were ploughing the fields. The caves are believed to be where the people hid when the Vikings attacked.
I’ve never heard of the Pictish people but they have lived in this part of Scotland since that late Iron Age. Up in Arbroath, you can follow the Pictish trail to see the old stones. One of them is found inside someone’s old cottage but you can see it by making an appointment. The guide in Arbroath Abbey is really knowledgable about this so if you visit there, do ask her about it.
For more to do in Fife, read this on Things to See and Do in Fife Scotland.
EatCookExplore was a guest of Catchpenny Safari Lodges in Elie