This charming coastal village on Fife’s Coal Coast is, like its neighbours Coaltown of Wemyss and East Wemyss, a conservation area. Many of the oldest buildings in West Wemyss have been beautifully restored, including the cottages by the harbour and the historic tollbooth, which dates back to the 1700s.
Originally a cluster of cottages built for Wemyss Castle’s servants, by the 16th century, West Wemyss was one of the Fife coast’s most prosperous Salt Touns. Then, a couple of centuries later, the white gold of salt was replaced by the black gold of coal. In the 19th century, so much coal was mined by the Wemyss Coal Company, an underground railway was built to take it from the mines to West Wemyss Harbour.
West Wemyss Walk Inn is a popular café and is next door to Auld Wemyss Ways Heritage Centre. This small but very interesting heritage centre reveals many fascinating stories of the history, industries and families of the Wemyss villages. There’s also a moving memorial on the seafront – a poignant reminder of the five heroic residents of West Wemyss who died in 1941 while preventing a mine coming ashore.