The tap-tap of woodpeckers and singsong of birds are the soundtrack to a stay at Kincaple, a quaint hamlet three miles from St Andrews. The two low, stone cottages – former stables – rest in the pretty, sheltered courtyard of Kincaple House, next to the Coach House where Claudia lives.
Inside each, it’s all top quality – Le Creuset in the kitchen, Villeroy & Bosch in the bathrooms. Relax by the wood-burning stove with a glass of wine, ears pricked for the rustle of sea breezes; deer, badgers, swallows and swifts, and perhaps Claudia’s two dogs, may come to call. You’re welcome to use the garden at the Coach House and there are woodsheds for stashing bikes or for children to use as a den.
Walk to beaches or count birds (or birdies – St Andrews Links is a putt to the east, the Bay a touch further). Ancient St Andrews town is close with its university, vast cathedral and many fine shops and restaurants, the East Neuk coastline a short drive.