Capital of Moray and a bustling town, or is it a city?

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Elgin is the largest town in Moray and considered the ‘capital’. It sits on the River Lossie, and has an impressive cathedral, now ruined, but once the third largest in Scotland.

The high street is pedestrianised with a variety of independent shops and chain stores. The town centre is dominated by the St Giles Church which sits alone in the middle of the high street.

Elgin town centre
Elgin town centre. Picture: Marc Hindley

Elgin is often referred to as a city. Indeed the signs at the entrance to the town call it the City of Elgin, its football club is called ‘Elgin City’, but despite these affirmations, it cannot claim the title officially.

Some of the things you can see and do in Elgin

  • Cooper Park – large central park with pond and library
  • Shopping
  • Johnstones of Elgin – Cashmere mill and shop
  • Elgin Cathedral
  • Biblical Garden
  • Distilleries: Glen Moray, Benriach
  • Moray Sports Centre
  • Moray Leisure Centre – including swimming pool and ice rink
  • Moray Motor Museum – private collection open to the public
  • Elgin Museum
  • Duke of Gordon monument and Ladyhill Castle
  • Sports facilities including ten-pin bowling, indoor bowling, golf club
  • Spynie Palace (between Elgin and Lossiemouth)

Loch Spynie

Just a short distance from Elgin town centre you can find Loch Spynie Nature Reserve, a peaceful place to rest and watch nature. A poster inside the bird hide shows many of the birds which can be seen including ducks, swans, coots, terns, water rails, occasional marsh harriers, and more. Otters and red squirrels can also be seen and there is a pathway which has numerous birdboxes attached to the trees, with a stock of bird food to hand for visitors to top up the feeders.

Directions: There is ample parking, but it’s not well-signposted. Johnstones of Elgin is a good reference point and easy to find. From here, travel away from the town along the Newmill Road for about 250m then turn right into Pitgaveny Road. Go left at the fork, and you’ll come to a crossroads, head straight on and the path to Loch Spynie is on the left after about 200m. There is a small sign that says Loch Spynie and a farm sign to Scarffbanks. Go down this track to the car park. A gated track offers closer access for the disabled.

See rspb.org.uk/loch-spynie/ for more information.

Further information

W: http://embraceelgin.com
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Parking on-site or nearby

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Elgin is in the following sections: Rather than give you a fixed itinerary, here you’ll find details of nearby attractions and links (tags) to help you find activities similar to those at this location. Don’t rush, slow down, go at your own pace and enjoy your experiences fully. You can use this information to help you plan your stay without missing a thing.
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