Millbuies is a trout fishery and country estate easily accessible by road, and providing a pleasant place to walk and fish as well as a habitat for wildlife.
Four miles south of Elgin and 16 miles from Forres (25 minutes)
The park consists of a loch with a circular, or figure of eight, walk – depending on how you decide to play it. There are boats to hire for fly fishing only (No fishing from the bank)
Ample parking is available at the start next to the estate office. There’s a large picnic area next to the car park, although be warned there are no toilets (Anglers can access the toilet block with their permit).
The walk is fairly flat, encircles the entire loch with a ‘squeeze point’ that meets in the middle where a bridge splits the loch effectively into two parts.
The loch is stocked with brown trout and home to ducks, moorhens and sometimes swans.
Surrounding woodland is mixed evergreen and deciduous, and some trees are marked with details of the species. It’s clear to see, some of the trees are very old. Here you may also spot red squirrels, roe deer, badgers, rabbits and pine martens.
The loch is dammed at both ends and as a result, the paths have been but cut into the banks. The roots of nearby trees often span these incisions, making interesting patterns.
The information board, which is very old, mentions a plant trail, a tree trail, and a plant hunt.
A rather unique feature of the walk is randomly placed fairy houses. These are visible at waist level where the roots meet the ground.
January 2022: Storm damage has caused some trees to fall and block the path. While some have been cleared, there are still mild obstructions on some of the pathways.
Entry is free. Anglers should only fish with a permit, available by calling 07960 143498.
Not suitable for horses. Dogs must be kept on a lead.
The yellowing information board on site refers to trails, leaflets and wardens. This information is out of date, although it does tell the interesting story of the loch’s history. Moray Council plan to remove the board at some point, and we want to preserve it here, but for information, there is no warden on site, and there are no leaflets.
The board reads:
Millbuies is an ideal place for enjoying walks, family picnics and for fishing. It has much to offer those who are interested in trees, plants and wildlife. Easily reached by car or on foot, with ample car parking facilities, the park has a variety of footpaths leading to superb scenic views.
In the early years of this [last] century, the owners, Mr AM Gregory of Maryhill House, Elgin and Mr EA Hambert, a London solicitor, created the lochs by damming the Millbues streams to provide angling facilities.
Mr G Boyd Anderson, a notable local benefactor, continued improving the estate during the thirties and forties, eventually gifting the 160 acres to Elgin Town Council ‘for the benefit of the citizens of Elgin’.
The town council left the fishing on a restricted basis, managed the woodlands commercially ad prohibited shooting. In 1975, the new Moray District Council took over the estate and it is now managed by the council’s Department of Recreation. Fishing was extended to the general public and a service block, picnic area and camping field created.
Planting of selected trees and shrubs has taken place and the rhododendron collection extended.
In 1979 a warden was appointed with responsibilities for the fishing and general supervision of the estate. recent additions to the facilities at Millbuies are the well defined Tree Trail, Plant Trail and Plant Hunt with accompanying booklets designed to introduce visitors to the many varieties of trees and plants at Millbuies. A detailed survey of Millbuies plant life was completed in 1981 and copies of this plant list together with other publications relating to Millbuies can be purchased from the warden.