Bicycles in bloom

The pretty seaside town of Pittenweem sits on Scotland’s east coast, in the Kingdom of Fife.


With its red-roofed, white-washed buildings and quiet streets, it’s a delightful place to take a stroll and relax on a sunny day.

Last year, as part of Pittenweem in Bloom, a curious selection of old bicycles appeared throughout the town.


Fisherman’s bike near the harbour.


A cheery chap with a sack of potatoes outside the church.


A bike selling eggs, although they’d all been snapped up when I walked past it.


Little red bike that had apparently just come in from a swim.


An artist’s bike with paintbrushes sticking out of paint pots attached to the frame.

Not all of the bikes were the right way up.


Upside down bike harnessed to a tree in the main street.


A question many bicycle owners consider at some point in their lives.

And at least one little bike had jumped up above street level.


A surprisingly musical bicycle down a side street.

Pittenweem’s attractive ice cream shop had a bike secured outside the front door (you can only see the back wheel of it in the picture, I’m afraid).

This next one had been fixed up with an unusual (if not terribly practical) set of square wheels:


“The Flintstone Flyer”, a square wheeled oddity.

It was such a gloriously sunny day when I was snapping away at all these bikes that I felt I was somewhere considerably more exotic than the east coast of Scotland.


A moment of disorientation – have I been transported to a Spanish island?

All of this bicycle business was pretty exhausting, but luckily revitalising victuals weren’t far away.

At the excellent Cocoa Tree Cafe, I fuelled up on an exquisite chocolate cake and a pot of cardamom tea:


My treat came with a jug of single cream and I was very pleased with the little slug that formed when I poured the cream over the cake:


My delightful assistant sated her hunger with a cream scone:


*   *   *   *   *

If you’re ever mooching around in the Fife area wondering how to fill your time, I heartily recommend a trip to Pittenweem.

A walk along the sea front makes for a pleasant bit of exercise, and while you’re dondering along be sure to keep an eye out for this appealing local resident.




48 thoughts on “Bicycles in bloom

  1. brilliant idea by Pittenweem – the recycle cycle is particularly relevant to me as I seek to replace my own bike. Make for very colourful feature which I image people would travel to see when word gets out – and what a gorgeous Day Lorna

    • What a lovely idea for your daughter’s wedding. I think it was a brilliant notion someone had in Pittenweem, it was a real treat to wander round and see so many decorated bikes. I believe there are about 70 all told.

  2. Lovely pictures and place Lorna! You really explore these hidden gems! I foresee travel catalogue for the coffee table! Cheers ….the chocolate cake looks delightful 🙂

    • Thanks Aparna, you’re spot on, it’s a real gem of a place. It would be easy to fill a coffee table book with pictures of Pittenweem, everywhere you look there seem to be photo opportunities. That chocolate cake was extremely good.

  3. I have a jigsaw puzzle featuring Pittenweem on the shelf still to do. I thought it looked like a nice kind of place. Now it’s definitely on my to go list.

  4. What a charming place and I like the idea of a Cocoa Tree Cafe. Your snacks look very yummy.and I love the owl! Hope spring has sprung where you are.

    • That cafe is rather special and it’s attached to a chocolate shop, so a wonderful place to visit. The owl is nice, isn’t he? Spring is springing here, I’m happy to say. I hope it’s the same with you.

  5. wonderful photos, Lorna. I would love to visit there. It’s lovely. Interesting idea with all the bicycles. Are they always in the village or is it like an exhibition, just there for a short while? The chocolate cake and tea look marvelous.

    • Thanks Alison, I hope you get the opportunity to visit. The Fife coast is full of little gems like Pittenweem. I don’t know if the bikes are always there, or if they’re put away for the winter and brought out again in the spring and summer. I imagine they might come and go with the seasons. The tea and cake was a very welcome refreshment, and jolly nice, too.

  6. Haha, what a lovely post! Love this, Lorna. So many flowery bicycles! I wonder who or what what sparked that idea? They’re so pretty! I have never been to Pittenweem but it looks beautiful – almost tropical, as you say, with the palm tree. And your chocolate cake… bliss! 🙂

    • Thanks Jo, it’s great the way the community embraced someone’s idea and made it into such a feature of the town. If you visit Pittenweem on a sunny day like this it really is cracking. The Fife coastal path passes through it, so you can walk from one town or village to the next if you’re feeling energetic. And then, of course, there’s the lure of a lovely tearoom such as the Cocoa Tree where you can treat yourself after all that exercise.

  7. So very charming! I always fancy a scone when I read your posts and now I fancy a sojourn to a little seaside town. Love the bicycles & I too would gladly take home some farm fresh eggs too! Along with potatoes…along with an icecream 😉

  8. What a clever idea! I’ve seen vintage bicycles reused in a whole variety of ways before, but never so many in one place and perhaps none so pretty!

    I spent most of my childhood summers holidaying in these parts and this post has left me feeling very nostalgic and longing for a visit!

    • I’m glad to have brought back happy memories from your youth. The bicycles of Pittenweem are particularly notable for their profusion, as well as their flowery decoration. It’s a lovely idea, it really gives the town a special flavour, I think.

    • I’m with you, Finn, but if only the weather was guaranteed to be that good all summer. Mind you, then it wouldn’t be as quiet and laid back as it is. That Flintstone’s bike was a most creative invention.

  9. I badly want the square wheel bike and the slug cake. I want to eat the slug cake riding the square wheel bike. A precarious but delightful thought.

  10. I love the recycle cycle theme…charming seems the perfect description. And boy do I love a cream scone…yours here reminded me of one I had is a small village in the Yorkshire Dales years ago…lovely.

  11. What a delightful jaunt. I love all the bicycles decked out with flowers; what a fun and sunny idea. Really, I don’t know how anyone could be in a bad mood after visiting such a happy place. Now if only I could eat that chocolate cake and cardamom tea right off my screen! Happy Easter to you and yours, Loverly Lorna. xoxo

    • Thanks Lucinda, and a very happy Easter to you and yours, too. I hope you get plenty of treats this weekend. I’m glad you enjoyed the beautiful bicycles and the rather cheeky chocolate cake. 🙂

  12. This is a spot we used to visit when I was a child. Thank you for stirring up more fond memories Lorna. Your pictures are beautiful and it was obviously such a lovely day.

  13. How very beautiful! I once walked from Anstruther to Pittenweem, pushing a cranky baby in a buggy – have no recollection of Pittenweem itself. I must try to have a different experience there soon.

    • Did you walk along the coastal path? I hope the cranky baby had been lulled to sleep by the time you reached Pittenweem. It’d be nice if you could update your memories of the area with a less stressful experience, and perhaps a visit to the Cocoa Tree cafe.

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