Events, activities and things to do
There’s something to suit all tastes in and around Moray, whether you’re the outdoor type, a culture vulture, a history buff, or simply wish to while away the day at one of the area’s varied visitor centres:
- The latest map of Forres can be downloaded here.
- Forres Local is a useful source of information about the town.
- Visit Moray Speyside is the official visitor guide covering Morayshire. MST has created a guide to the region (in English, German and French) organised under a number of headings: Landscape and Nature; History, Heritage and Culture; Food and Drink; Action, Adventure and Outdoors; and Shopping and Staying. There is also a series of six short videos on the Vimeo platform (lasting last about two minutes each) which cover the same headings (plus a general video).
- Vegetarian and vegan visitors should check out our Vegan Forres in Brief guide - you'll have no problem finding delicious dining options during your stay!
- If you're visiting with children have a look at our Family Activities infosheet for ideas for things to do (along with links to the various websites) – and don't forget that there's a small play area next to East Lodge.
- Forres is a 'Walkers are Welcome' town and as such offers a number of waymarked walks, including a few which start close to East Lodge. These routes are a great way of exploring the local woodlands, lochs and rivers. For maps and guides see the Forres Footpaths Trust website.
- The Walk Highlands and Moray Ways websites have many more suggestions for walks and cycle rides in the surrounding area.
- The Moray Way is a 95-mile circular long distance walk which goes through Forres and can be tackled as a series of day walks.
- Forres is on Route 1 of the National Cycle Network – interesting fact: this route actually stretches all the way from Dover to the Shetland Islands, but you might just want to tackle the part around Forres! Follow Route 1 to get to Nairn to the west or Elgin to the east by quiet roads.
- The Dava Way provides a safe off-road route for 24 miles to Grantown-on-Spey. Most of the route is along an old railway track, but there are some rough and muddy sections.
- Easy cycling along forest tracks can be found in the Culbin Forest just west of Forres.
- The Golf Highland website includes details of clubs in Moray. Serious lovers of the game might wish to consider buying a Moray Firth Golf Pass which offers discounts at many courses in the area, including the courses at Forres, Nairn Dunbar, Elgin, Grantown-on-Spey and Moray Golf Club’s Old and New courses in Lossiemouth - contact Moray Speyside Golf for further details.
- The Moray Firth is well known for its Dolphin colony. The best place to spot them is said to be Chanonry Point in Cromarty. However, they are also seen on this side of the Moray Firth. During the summer, boat trips run from Findhorn.
- Take a walk in the woods around Forres and you may see red squirrels, deer and, if you are really lucky, a pine marten.
- The estuary of the River Findhorn and the Findhorn Bay area attract a huge variety of birds, including ospreys, waders and large flocks of migrating geese.
Culture and history
- There are several museums and galleries in the Moray area, including the Falconer Museum in Forres (NB: currently closed due to funding problems) and Elgin Museum, Scotland’s oldest independent museum.
- Sueno’s Stone, a Pictish standing stone which is described by Historic Scotland as 'the most remarkable sculptured monument in Britain', is only five minutes’ walk from East Lodge.
- Findhorn Bay Arts has produced a short video called Creative Place about interesting places and cultural activities in Forres and the surrounding area.
- A number of impressive castles lie within easy reach of Forres. Brodie Castle is located about five miles west of East Lodge. Today the castle and grounds are owned by the National Trust for Scotland and open to tourists throughout the summer months. A little further afield, Ballindalloch Castle (29 miles north-east of Aviemore and 14 miles north-east of Grantown-on-Spey) is known as the ‘Pearl of the North’ and sits in an impressive natural setting with the Spey and Avon rivers flowing through its grounds. For a summary of castles in Morayshire with clickable links see this handy Wikipedia guide.
- VisitScotland provides online guides to a number of whisky distilleries. The one for Speyside contains full details of all distilleries in the region, along with information about which are open to the public, directions and notes on each distillery's signature expressions. Forres’s very own distillery, Benromach, is about a 15-minute walk from East Lodge. If you're visiting in the spring, you'll be able to take part in some of the hundreds of events which make up the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival (usually the first week of May).
Whether you’re interested in doing a bit of shopping or just looking for an interesting way to spend some time, Forres and the surrounding region also boast a wide range of other activities and attractions, including the following:
- Forres is well-placed for day trips to Inverness, Nairn and Elgin by bus or train…and if you feel like spreading your wings a bit further Aberdeen is less than two hours away by train.
- Logie Steading, situated a few miles to the south of Forres, is a good starting place for walks along the River Findhorn. The steading has a café, food outlets, craft shops and the River Findhorn Heritage Centre.
- Brodie Countryfare is a stone’s throw from Brodie Castle and includes a food hall and delicatessen, household goods, men’s and women’s clothing, pet supplies and a restaurant.
- For petrolheads, Moray Motor Museum in Elgin has a superb collection of veteran, vintage and classic cars and motorbikes, and is housed in a light and airy old mill building.
- Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie, near Aberlour in Banffshire, is the only working cooperage in the UK where you can experience the ancient art of coopering.
- Finally, Baxter’s Highland Village in Fochabers aims to be the perfect place for a family day out. If ever you wanted to know anything about Baxter’s soup or other products this is your opportunity!
If you're lucky you may spot a dolphin (or two) in the Moray Firth!