Just a stone’s throw (well, ok about 9 miles) from Silver Sands Holiday Park is the pretty market town of Elgin. Dating back to 1190 AD, Elgin has a long and celebrated history packed with towering castles, royal connections and more recently, whisky making! The spectacular countryside of Moray, as well as being perfect location for a holiday park in Scotland, is also the brewing ground for many famous whiskeys, perhaps the most well known of which include Glen Moray, Gordon & MacPhail and Glen Elgin. Most of these distilleries have open days and whisky trails for the general public.
There are, however, plenty of other (perhaps more family-friendly) things to do in Elgin, including shopping and taking in a few of local attractions. Here are a few of our recommendations.
Attractions in Elgin
A visit to Elgin has to include a trip to the lovely ruin of Elgin Cathedral on North College Street. Once considered Scotland’s most beautiful cathedral, rivalling St Andrews in importance, today it is a dignified ruin. It is managed by Historic Scotland and is open most days for you to explore. Sometimes it provides a powerful backdrop to open air Shakespeare plays and concerts.
Interesting fact: the cathedral is also home to Scotland’s tallest gravestone, which is five metres tall and dedicated to the Anderson family, from 1674 to 1813.
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At the very top of High Street is one of Britain’s oldest museums, the Elgin Museum.
It features local history, natural history, art and archaeology exhibits with a special focus on Moray, and from all periods of history and prehistory – from before the dinosaurs to the present day.
A ruin that offers great views across Elgin is Spynie Palace, a 14th-century bishop’s palace, with a surviving 72-ft. tower and great hall. This hidden gem of an attraction has beautiful views from the top of the tower and there are woodland walks close by. A definite headline place to visit in Elgin.
If you haven’t exhausted your love of castle ruins by this point then Duffus Castle, near Elgin, is known as one of Scotland’s finest ‘motte and bailey’ castles. Once one of the strongest castles in Scotland, it was reduced to a decaying ruin by the time it was abandoned in 1705. But the castle remains an impressive sight, situated on a mound rising out of the flat Laich of Moray.
Back in town, if you’re a fan of classic cars then head to the Moray Motor Museum. This converted mill building now houses a museum dedicated to preserving vintage motor vehicles.
Finally if you need to retrieve some inner peace from your hours of reliving castle battles then the Biblical Garden is for you. Situated in a quiet part of Elgin, the well laid out gardens welcome visitors from all over the world and is a great place for a picnic when the sun is out.
The centre of Elgin is a great place to visit for food, as it is packed with coffee houses and a whole range of world cuisine, from Indian to Italian to Turkish
For a good cup of coffee and a slice of homemade cake, try the Ditsy Teacup. This popular café is well known for its inventive scone flavours, including brie and grape, pizza and toffee apple.
Perhaps the most Scottish place to eat is The Drouthy Cobbler, which markets itself as a ‘happy wee bar, restaurant and live entertainment venue…with around 150 whiskies, 30 gins, real ales, great wines, coffee & top notch locally sourced food.’ Doesn’t get much better than that!
Shopping in Elgin
There is well preserved high street in Elgin, with plenty of main shopping brands but take some time to explore the maze of little lanes that run off the main high street and discover the fifty or so small independent shops for some quirky gifts. If the weather starts to work against you, the indoor St Giles Shopping Centre can provide further shopping heaven.
Packed with history and fascinating attractions, Elgin is a great place to visit whilst on your caravan holiday in Scotland. We look forward to sharing our history with you on your next visit!