Things to do in Elgin, Moray
Elgin has a long history first recorded in 1151. King David I of Scotland declared it a Royal Burgh in the 12th century.
Elgin had a castle built around that time on top of Lady Hill although little now remains. It was occupied by Edward I in the latter part of the 13th century.
Elgin Cathedral was built in the late 1200s and was said to be the finest in Scotland. Unfortunately it was burnt to the ground in 1390 by Alexander, Earl of Buchan, along with the settlement of Elgin.
The cathedral was rebuilt and survived the Reformation but in 1567 the lead was plundered from the roof and in 1637 the roof of the choir collapsed. In 1711, on Easter Sunday the central tower fell, destroying most of the nave.
The ruins became a source of local stone until 1807 when the site was enclosed and John Shanks was appointed to preserve what remained. It is now an excellent example of mediaeval architecture.
By the 18th century Elgin was a prosperous burgh with some fine architecture. Dr Gray's Hospital and the neo-classic St Giles Church were erected and in 1842 the Elgin Museum was opened, now an award-winning attraction.
The railway arrived in the mid-1850s and Elgin quickly doubled in size.
Present Day Elgin
Elgin has expanded beyond the original town which lay between Lady Hill in the east and the cathedral to the west. It is currently the administrative centre for the region with a population of over 25,000.
Elgin has a pleasant mix of shops in the town centre from specialty gift shops to Gordon and MacPhail's Deli on South Street.
The Cooper Park was donated by George Cooper in 1903 and has a children's play area, library and Cooper Pond.
Malt whisky lovers will appreciate the seven distilleries in the County of Moray which make up the Malt Whisky Trail. The Speyside Cooperage is also a fascinating place to visit and see barrels being made.
Shopping for Scottish goods can be enjoyed at the Johnston's Cashmere Visitor Centre. Walkers, Baxters and Brodie Countryfare are within easy reach from Elgin for shortbread and other Scottish foods.
Roseisle Forest is just down the road and has cycle and walking trails. You can also walk from the forest along the sandy beach to the village of Burghead.
The Cairngorms offer rugged mountain scenery, rivers and glens for hiking, fishing and climbing.
There are several excellent golf courses at Forres, Lossiemouth, Kinloss Country Club and in Elgin itself.
For winter sports, Aviemore is less than an hour's drive through beautiful countryside.