Traders in the forgotten heart of a Fife tourist haven are taking action to persuade people to wander further than its famous waterfront.
Anstruther’s High Street and Rodger Street are a treasure trove of unique and independent shops and eateries, ranging from a traditional ironmongery to purveyors of organic cotton.
However, many people are unaware or have forgotten they are there.
Most visitors to the East Neuk community stroll round the harbour, eat a fish supper and peruse the Shore Street shops but fail to take a few more steps to explore what lies beyond.
Fed-up business owners have called a public meeting to decide how put themselves back on the map.
Sandi Johnstone, owner of Nature’s Way, decided enough was enough after hearing a passenger on a bus complain that Anstruther had no shops.
She said: “We have lots of shops and really quite unusual shops, and we are all independent. I would hate to see them disappearing, that can’t happen to Anstruther.”
Emma Morgan opened Anstruther Ceramic Café only 12 weeks ago but is not as busy as she expected to be, despite a social media campaign.
She said: “There’s a severe lack of signage, we need something to encourage people to walk a little further and not think that Anstruther is just the shore and the chip shop.
“It’s not just visitors, we even get locals saying ‘we didn’t know you existed’.”
Traders have already suggested the introduction of more signs, pavement markings and use of the digitial iSign tourist kiosk at the Scottish Fisheries Museum.
They are being helped by East Neuk and Landward councillor Linda Holt, who said she had no idea until recently of the wealth of amazing little shops, both very old and very new, on what she said were extraordinary streets.
She said: “Traders in the High Street and Rodger Street are concerned that their streets get overlooked by people visiting the town as they invariably focus on the shore and harbour.
“While people flock to the chip shops and cafes on the shore, very few venture up the hill to discover the delights of the High Street and Rodger Street.”
The public meeting will be held at Anstruther Ceramic Café on Thursday at 5.30pm.