MacBeth was Mormaer (Earl) of this region of Scotland when he killed Duncan I during a battle at Pitgaveny near Elgin, in 1040. Becoming king of Scotland, till his death in 1057. In the middle of the 12th century, David I granted Elgin the status of Royal Burgh. And a few decades later, Alexander II granted the city a Royal Charter.
The magnificent Elgin Cathedral was completed in the middle of the 13th century, after taking around 20 years to build. It was considered one of Scotland's most beautiful cathedrals, until consumed by fire less than 30 years after completion. Century’s of neglect took their toll, although a steady plan of restoration has been in progress over the past 100 years.
Other main sites of historic interest are: the Benedictine Monastery, Pluscarden Abbey, which is still inhabited by monks, 6 miles to the south-west; the remains of Kinloss Abbey at one time the largest Cistercian Monastery in the North of Scotland, 10 miles to the west; Duffus Castle, the remains of one of the finest examples of a motte and bailey castle in Scotland, 4 miles to the north-west; and Spynie Palace, the remains of the historic fortified residence of the Bishops of Moray, just 2 miles to the north of the city.
For more information on the history and traditions of Elgin, we recommend this Scottish Television documentary.
Short time-line video on 5 thousand years of Scottish History.
Nestled between The Highlands and Aberdeenshire, improvements to the rail network in the 19th century opened the area to tourism. With some of the main attractions being textiles, the whisky industry and the stunning Moray coastline.
Some traditional places of interest that are still popular today are, Johnstons Cashmere Heritage Centre, traditional manufacturer of the finest clothing since 1797; Gordon & MacPhail Shop, opened in 1895, and featuring around one thousand different single malt whiskies; and Glen Moray Distillery Visitors Centre a small, friendly and informal distillery, established on the banks of the River Lossie in 1897. And if traditional Scottish soups and condiments are more your thing, why not visit Baxters Highland Village, just 9 miles to the east of the city in the beautiful village of Fochabers.
The traditional sport of golf is of course amply catered for by Elgin Golf Club. With a 6449 yard, par 69, heathland course, which is a test for amateurs and professionals alike.
We would like to recommend this British Pathé film on Scottish Cashmere production, from 1961, and these Visit Scotland short films on Scottish Whisky production, and Golf in Scotland.
For a taste of North East Farming (Bothy) Ballads: 'The Scranky Black Farmer' performed by The Gaugers, 'Drumdelgie' sung by Shona Donaldson, 'Bogie's Bonnie Belle' sung by Tam Reid, and rounding off with 'Aikey Brae' and 'Hash O Bennagoak' sung by Charlie Allen.
Elgin, twinned with Landshut in Germany in 1956, is the civic and geographical centre of Moray. With the amalgamation of the villages of New Elgin and Bishopmill at the beginning of the 20th century, it has steadily expanded to a population of around 23 thousand.
The city is served by a modern road network along the A96. Making Elgin, with its moderate climate (for this part of Scotland), the ideal hub to really gain a taste of Moray. Visitors are encourage to take advantage of the various walking routes to explore, the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay, Lossie Beach, racing at Elgin Kart Raceway, and the numerous adventurous outdoor activities on offer at The Loft Activity Centre. For numerous indoor activities we recommend Moray Leisure Centre, with activities ranging from an ice rink to beauty therapy. There is always something to be enjoyed by visitors both young and young at heart.
When it comes time to sample local hospitality, and a mix of modern and traditional, why not visit: The Ditsy Teacup, vintage style tea room, or The Drouthy Cobbler café & lounge bar, both in the centre of Elgin. Or a little further afield in New Elgin: The Allarburn Farm Shop café, or The Cottar Hoose pub.
We have included links and PDF Guides to Elgin and the Moray Coast further down this page. And to keep up to date with news from the Moray community, we highly recommend the website: insideMORAY.com.
Work In Progress: no links here yet. We hope to complete this section by the end of 2015
Exhibitions at Elgin Museum, located at 1 High Street.
Exhibitions at Elgin Library, located in Cooper Park.
Events at Elgin Town Hall, located at 5 Trinity Place.
Upcoming gig listing.
Facebook page for Events in Moray.
An excellent guide to upcoming events in Elgin and Moray.
Upcoming events. Located at 42 High Street.
Normally held on the third Saturday of each month on the Plainstones, Elgin High Street.