NewsCelebrating Moray food from field to plateBattle of Mortlach being marked 1000 years onWildlife tourism worth 65 million pounds a yearRoyal approval for distillery expansionDistillery weighs in with games boost Tourism chief highlights key role of guest housesDouble joy for Aberlour in whisky awardsMoray Way walkers' map launchedMake a connection with Moray heritage
Elgin is a shining light in the north of Scotland.
This market burgh is at the heart of both farming and fishing communities in Moray and is well worth spending time exploring and getting to know.
The High Street is pedestrianised so you can indulge in plenty of window shopping without having to look out for cars. Hidden side streets are also full of little shops and businesses, and South Street which runs parallel to the High Street is a major shopping area in the town.
To discover some of Elgin’s history, head towards the white walls of Braco Banking House at the east end of the High Street. You can’t miss it with its low lintels and crow stepped gables.
This is one of the oldest buildings on the street and dates from the 17th century. The town museum is right next door and as well as its exhibitions, holds activities, workshops, conferences and courses centred around its many treasures.
One of the most important sites is Elgin Cathedral – known as the Lantern of the North and an oasis of calm. It is set next to Cooper Park where you can feed the ducks at the pond, marvel at the Biblical Garden, trampoline, or play crazy golf, bowls and tennis.
The cathedral ruins are extremely atmospheric. Explore all the nooks and crannies in the tower and in the main transept.
The octagonal chapter house still has a roof and is particularly peaceful. Outside in the crypt, robed dignitaries stare impassively at the clouds above them.
The tower was renovated by Historic Scotland and you can climb to the top to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Elgin.
The creation of Elgin’s Biblical Garden, the first of its kind in Scotland, is appropriately sited adjacent to the Cathedral. It displays all 110 plants mentioned in the Bible.
Nearby, the Moray Motor Museum tracks the evolution of the automobile and has a great collection of old vintage cars which have real character.
An absolute must for luxury lovers is a visit to Johnstons Cashmere Visitor Centre, which offers the finest cashmere knitwear and tells the story of its processing from fibre to garment, through its audio-visual presentation and its guided tours of the mill.
As well as the attractions within Elgin, there is plenty to see just outside the town.
Driving out of Elgin towards Inverness, stop at Glen Moray Distillery for a tour of this busy working distillery and sample the “welcoming malt”.
Among the eerie beech and birch trees of Spynie Woods, you’ll find Spynie Castle, once one of the finest castles in Scotland. This fantastic ruin includes the massive keep of Davy’s Tower, Scotland’s largest tower house.
Just a few miles further out of Elgin, Pluscarden Abbey is one of the last functioning monasteries left in Scotland. The Benedictine monks tend this spiritual haven and visitors are welcome to join them in daily worship.
Explore further afield and discover other villages and towns with their own unique character and realise just how diverse this area of Scotland really is.