Elgin in Scotland is one of Scotland’s world-famous whisky regions and is known for its local distilleries and breathtaking scenery. The picturesque town of Elgin lies on the south coast of the Moray Firth, between Inverness and Aberdeen. You’ll discover there are many things to do in Elgin that make it one of the best holiday destinations to come and see.
This modern town was once a royal burgh but now acts as the administrative and commercial centre for the Moray region of Scotland. Tourists flock to Elgin to try its wide variety of excellent single malt whiskies, and the city has multiple award-winning distilleries.
It’s a stunning city with an in-depth history and beautiful sights, making it a worthwhile destination as you explore the rolling landscapes of Scotland.
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Things to do in Elgin
This part of Northern Scotland has a lot to offer its visitors and tourists come here to explore and enjoy the many notable hotspots that Elgin offers.
This beautiful town has a lot going for it. You can spend an afternoon exploring the grounds of the castles dotted around Elgin’s surroundings, explore the famed Elgin Cathedral, enjoy some time at the renowned distilleries, relax at the Moray Leisure Centre, or dive deep into the culture and heritage of the region.
You can also explore the high street and its many shops and cafes, take a trip to the ice rink in town or enjoy the jaw-dropping architecture of the many historic buildings.
There’s no doubt that there are many things to do in Elgin, and this list will help you decide what you should be putting on your to-do list when you come and explore one of Scotland’s hidden gems tucked in its Northern region.
Elgin Cathedral is the town’s famous popular tourist attraction and one of the top things to do in Elgin. Located on the east side of the city and known as the ‘Lantern of the North’ by Elgin’s locals, this majestic historic ruin is utterly majestic.
History geeks will be amazed by Elgin Cathedral, it’s not only one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings, but it also dates back to the 13th century! You can explore the ruins of Elgin Cathedral and relive its history as you walk through its old stones.
Elgin Cathedral was damaged in a fire many centuries ago; however, you can still climb two towers that are still intact. These are both open to the public, and the climb is well worth it as you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the town.
Mossend Farm: Alpaca Days Out
Mossend Farm is a dream day out for an animal lover. You can book a family-friendly one-hour Alpaca Safari or an adult-only three-hour Alpaca Trek at Mossend Farm in Moray, Scotland.
If you’ve ever wanted to get up close to a Scottish alpaca and spend some quality time with them in the fields, this attraction is meant for you. Afterwards, hosts treat guests to coffee and cakes in the farmhouse kitchen – talk about hospitality!
The staff are lovely, and guests love learning about and meeting Mossend Farm’s exceptional residents. Prebooking is essential for this day out in Elgin, so what are you waiting for?
Visit Elgin Distilleries
While in Elgin, you’d be remiss not to attend one of the many established distilleries that make their home here. Elgin is famed for its wide variety of single malt whiskies, and taking an afternoon to tour the distilleries is a necessary part of experiencing what Elgin truly offers.
We’ve listed a few of the most famous distilleries, such as Glen Elgin and Glen Moray, each catering to a unique set of tastes and preferences, making each visit a wholly fantastic adventure!
Glen Moray Distillery
Sitting snuggly on the west side of Eglin is the Glen Moray Distillery building, home to the world-class Glen Moray whisky.
This Distillery is a treat to visit and offers tours of their facilities that take you on the journey of how Glen Moray is crafted. It’s easy to get lost in the stories and history of this famed Distillery when it’s told by one of the passionate tour guides who offer an in-depth look into the distilling process.
The Benriach Distillery
Founded in 1898, the Benriach Distillery may seem unassuming from the outside. Still, it holds an incredible facility and expert distillers who work to create some of Scotland’s most excellent single malt whisky within its walls.
You can take a tour of the facilities, enjoy tasting some of Scotland’s finest, and explore the Distillery’s shop for a bottle of your favourite to take back home with you! Check out their website for more information.
The Benriach Distillery were the winner of Global Whisky Distiller of the Year in 2015, so don’t miss out on stopping by and experiencing this Distillery’s incredible flavours.
Gordon & MacPhail
If you’ve come to Scotland to try excellent whiskies, you won’t want to leave out a trip to Gordon & MacPhail, who’ve been creating brilliant single malt whiskies for over 125 years.
With over 800 incredible blends to choose from, Gordon & MacPhail are unparalleled in deciding which whisky is suitable for you – made all the easier at one of their expansive and unique tasting sessions.
You can expect to enjoy a tasting that touches all corners of Scotland while at Gordon & MacPhail, so why not get a few friends together and make an afternoon at this bespoke Distillery.
No doubt one of the most stunning places to see in Elgin is Cove Bay, located just north of the town, which offers incredible views of the North Sea.
This lovely little Bay is tucked away and accessible to those who make the brief trail walk along the coast. Luckily, a car park nearby makes reaching Cove Bay an easy attraction to fit into your day of sightseeing with the kids.
The Bay exudes extraordinary natural beauty, white sands, serene blue waters, and a peaceful atmosphere that makes Cove Bay the perfect place to enjoy a day out when the weather is just right!
The Pluscarden Abbey allows you to experience the lives of monks as if you were amongst them in the 13th-century.
Situated a few miles south of Eglin, visiting the Pluscarden Abbey building is one of the top things to do in Elgin, Scotland. Not only is the Abbey comprised of incredible architecture and a secluded glen, but it holds a restful atmosphere from the deep devotion found here.
The Pluscarden Abbey is a short trip from Elgin and an excellent place for those looking for a brief respite from their worries – Exactly what a vacation should be all about!
Spynie Palace was once a place of royalty and still boasts an impressive design and grandeur that immerses you in this extraordinary attraction’s history.
Built by three Bishops of Moray, whose coats of arms still hang in the Palace, Spynie Palace has many incredible sights like David’s Tower – the largest tower by volume in Scotland!
Every corridor you walk down and corner you take is sure to be filled with niche historical facts and finds, perfect for anyone fascinated with Scotland’s detailed past. And if history is not to your fancy, the surrounding areas of Spynie are host to a wide variety of wildlife and birdsong.
Visiting Spynie, north of Elgin, is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Elgin, so make sure to add it to your list!
Duffus Castle Gallery
The Duffus Castle Gallery sets the stage to take you back to over 900 years ago, showing off a moat-and-bailey style Elgin castle that dates back to the 1140s!
Free to enter and filled with informative signs that depict the Castle’s remarkable history, Duffus Castle Gallery is one attraction you don’t want to miss out on while visiting Elgin, Scotland. Even better, this hotspot destination is only a 10-minute drive from the town centre, which means you can fit it in neatly with the region’s many other attractions.
If you find yourself parched, feel free to quench your thirst at the car park’s coffee stand.
Biblical Garden Elgin
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Elgin between the beginning of May and the end of September, then do yourself a favour and visit the magical Biblical Garden Elgin.
This serene Garden welcomes visitors from all over the world and amazes with its lush garden features that tie into Biblical stories and references. The Garden’s open days are the perfect outing for a warm Spring or Summer day and allow you to get lost in the over 100 plant species and mosaic artworks scattered throughout the Garden.
This stunning meadow is free to enter, so you have no reason not to enjoy its tranquil atmosphere.
Moray Motor Museum
The Moray Motor Museum is a famous haven for motor enthusiasts!
This attraction will have you wishing you were driving down the road in one of their stylish two-seaters. Exploring their a superb collection of veteran, vintage, and classic cars and motorbikes is no question an excellent way to spend an afternoon
Although if you’re interested, they do offer wedding hires so you can be the envy of your guests on your special day.
This excellent building has a lot of one-of-a-kind vintage vehicles that are undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Elgin, Moray.
Elgin has one of Britain’s oldest museums. The Elgin Museum opened in 1843 and has a fantastic collection of exhibits and galleries focusing on the in-depth history of Elgin, Scotland.
The Elgin Museum caters to all the periods of Moray, from before the dinosaurs to the modern-day Elgin. You can find this expansive historical collection at the east end of Elgin High Street, a simple hop, skip and jump away from many luxury accommodation options available in town.
The Elgin Museum is the ideal place to start any journey if you’re travelling throughout Scotland and the neighbouring cities of Edinburgh and Inverness.
Hopeman West Beach
If you’re craving the summer sun of Scotland, then venture a few miles north of Elgin, and you’ll find the spectacular Hopeman West Beach.
This Beach is perfect for a family day out when the sun is shining and the thought of white sands and tranquil waves is too tempting. The Beach is also close to the quaint town of Hopeman, so you’re always a short trip away from stocking up on any beachwear, snacks, or that all-important sunscreen.
Hopeman West Beach is also filled with incredible sights, including spectacular views of the Moray Firth. If you love the idea of a long walk on a beach at sunset, this is the place for you!
Lady Hill Castle
Lady Hill Castle can be found at the heart of Elgin and offers some of the best views of the town of Elgin.
The remains of the ruined Lady Hill Castle can also be found atop the hill, although not much of the royal Castle remains. However, at the summit is a grand central tower column with a statue of the Duke of Gordon on the very top.
This hill is an excellent way to familiarise yourself with Elgin when you first arrive and should be on your list of things to do when you first come to explore the city!
Ever wanted to immerse yourself in the sport of kings? Speyside Falconry offers just that and more!
Located a couple of miles south of Elgin, this established Falconry allows you to learn and spend time with many birds of prey, from falcons, hawks, and owls in the country south of Elgin.
You can get hands-on, helping and learning about how these magnificent birds are trained, kept, and do some falconry manoeuvres yourself! Keep in mind that kids have to be 12 and over to have some of these experiences. Make sure to check out their website for more information.
There’s no place quite like the Speyside Falconry in Moray, Scotland so ensure you take some time while visiting Elgin to take a trip to this superb destination.
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