Elgin is the administrative capital of Moray Speyside as well as the main shopping and entertainment centre. There are many points of interest for the visitor including Elgin Cathedral, St Giles Church, Johnston’s Woollen Mill, Glen Moray Distillery and the Biblical Gardens. Elgin has many famous visitors. Daniel Defoe was an admirer and Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at Thunderton House before the battle of Culloden. Elgin is a lively base from which to visit and tour the rest of Moray Speyside.
Things to see and do in Elgin
Elgin Cathedral is one of the iconic buildings in Moray and makes an impressive sight especially walking towards it from Cooper Park. Parts of the Cathedral date to the early 13th Century. Although partly ruined, it’s still possible to climb one of the towers and enjoy views out over Elgin.
The Biblical Gardens
Designed around the shape of a Celtic cross, the Biblical Gardens sit behind a wall to the side of Elgin Cathedral. You can walk around identifying the plants mentioned in the bible and look at the statues depicting scenes from the parables.
Cooper Park is a short walk from the centre of Elgin and remains an important part of the community. Activites include boating on the pond and tennis. You can also enjoy watching cricket in the summer months.
Glen Moray Distillery
Glen Moray Distillery is about 20 minutes walk from the town centre. There are regular tours ending with a whisky tasting in the visitor centre. If time is pressing or you want to explore the range more, Glen Moray have good value tasting options. It is on e of the few distilleries in Moray Speyside to have its own cafe.
Elgin Museum can be found at the east end of the High Street beside the old market cross. Visitors can view informative displays giving an overview of Moray including agriculture and commercial history. Of particular note are the Pictish stones and ancient Coracle (small round boats) used for fishing.
Gordon & MacPhail
One of the most famous names in Speyside Whisky, the shop is a treasure trove of whiskies. You’ll find distillery offerings as well as whiskies bottled by Gordon & MacPhail themselves. In the fairly recent past, they acquired Benromach Distillery in Forres and brought it back into production.
Art Exhibitions – in Cooper Park Library
The library acts as an occasional Art Gallery with frequent exhibitions by local artists, woodworkers and photographers throughout the year. Elgin museum also has temporary exhibitions. The main art gallery is Moray Art Centre in Findhorn.
Johnstons of Elgin Woollen Mill
Moray Speyside has a long history of whisky and textile production and Johnstons has stood the test of time producing high quality garments for over 200 years. As well as a cafe and shop, Johnstons also offer tours around the mill.
Ladyhill with its column dedicated to the fifth Duke of Gordon dominates the Western part of the town. It is worth the steep climb up steps (from opposite the Postal Sorting Office) for the view over Elgin. There’s a more gentle path now from Hill Terrace. There are a few remains of Elgin castle on the top of the hill.
Millbuies Country Park
Millbuies Country Park is one of Moray’s hidden gems. There is a walk around a tranquil loch with a mix of pine and deciduous trees and wildlife. The loch is stocked with rainbow trout and it is possible to spend the day fly-fishing from a rowing boat.