Elgin is a historic town dating back to the 12th century roughly a 1-hour drive from Inverness. In many ways, it is the heart of Moray and the rolling pastures which enshroud the south bank of the Moray Firth. Intimately involved in the real-life of MacBeth (before Shakespeare brought him fame) there is history everywhere you look in Elgin. Whilst parts of it seem to have fallen into disrepair, the town centres around an ancient cathedral and square which is more resemblant of continental Europe than northern Scotland. 

Much of the town’s economy is supported by the nearby RAF base at Lossiemouth which regularly releases military aircraft into the skies of Elgin. There is an odd attraction to the planes and the magnitude of the volume which they emit never gets old. 

The nearby pine forests mesh the Cairngorms to the South and the expanse of the Moray Firth which feeds the North Sea. This is perhaps why the name of Elgin translates from Gaelic to beautiful or worthy place; a reflection of the natural beauty it contains.

Must-do activity:

Elgin’s proximity to the Spey Valley – the home of some of the world’s foremost distilleries – makes the Glen Moray distillery a must-visit. Having been the site of a brewery since the 19th century, it is now owned by La Martiniquaise which is the second-largest French spirits group. 

Most Instagram worthy spot:

The Cathedral and its surrounding grounds are a perfect reflection of Elgin; steeped in history and beautiful to the eye whilst failing to reap the rewards of its beauty. 

Fun Fact:

Elgin was the host of The Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd and Dusty Springfield who all performed at the towns Two Red Shoes dancehall during the 1960s. 

Best For:

Those who wish to spend a few days immersed in the rolling hills and beaches of the lesser-visited areas of Scotland’s North Coast.