Forres to Keith
The Moray towns of Forres, Elgin, Fochabers and Keith have historic sites, fantastic golf courses, beautiful beaches and malt whisky distilleries on their doorstep, and are within easy reach of tranquil hill and woodland walks. Head to one of Moray’s charming towns for a relaxing holiday amidst stunning scenery.
Self Catering Forres, Elgin and Keith
Travelling from Inverness along the A96, the Moray area unfolds from Brodie, gateway to the Culbin Forest and home to the beautiful Brodie Castle. The Royal Burgh of Forres is a short drive from Brodie and is a great base for exploring Moray, with Findhorn Bay and the Culbin Forest right on its doorstep, as well as a number of woodland and river walks. Follow the A940 south of the town to explore an incredible scenic area; a patchwork of forests on one side and the River Findhorn snaking along on the other. Randolph’s Leap is a wonderful place to view the river as it journeys down from the hills, squeezing through large rocks and swirling in inky pools. There are many lovely forest, hill and loch walks to discover, such as Blair’s Loch and Sluie’s Walk, and the long distance walking route, the Dava Way, also threads through this landscape.
From Forres you can continue along the A96 to Elgin, another Royal Burgh. Take the longer coastal route to Elgin via Kinloss, Burghead, Hopeman and Lossiemouth for lovely views of the Moray Firth and rolling countryside.
Elgin is a historic town, home to the remains of what was once said to be Scotland’s most beautiful cathedral. Referred to as the ‘Lantern of the North’, the cathedral was built in the 13th century and the west front, still largely intact, is the most impressive section of the ruins. Other historic sites nearby are Spynie Palace and Duffus Castle, both a short drive away. With a host of local attractions from Johnstons Cashmere Woollen Mill to whisky distilleries, plus its proximity to the stunning seaside town of Lossiemouth, there are plenty of delights to discover in the Elgin area.
Continuing along the A96, the charming town of Fochabers is tucked behind the bypass and has a number of attractions within its reach. Just before the A96 crosses the River Spey, you’ll find Baxters of Speyside, which has been producing soups, chutneys and preserves for 142 years. As well as browsing the shops and sampling the delicious soups and home-baking in the cafe, Baxters has sweeping views of the Spey as it winds out to the sea.
Spey Bay is the coastal area between Kingston and Buckie, and is worth a detour from the A96 at Fochabers. It is a wonderful place for dolphin spotting – the fantastic, and free, Scottish Dolphin Centre lies at the end of the B9104, watching the mouth of the river gape into the sea. Open from April through to October, the Dolphin Centre offers daily walks and tours, and there is an interactive visitor centre to explore.
Another way to reach Spey Bay, and soak up the spectacular river scenery, is on foot, following the path of the river along section two of the ever-popular Speyside Way.
The last Moray town on the Malt Whisky Trail is Keith, with its three distilleries and heritage railway to Dufftown. A lovely loop back to Elgin via Speyside can be experienced either by taking the B9104 from Keith to Dufftown, or the A95 from Keith to Craigellachie, with a number of distilleries to visit on the way. View our Speyside page for more information on the local area.