Covesea Lighthouse on the Moray Coast Trail


Things to Do in and around Moray Speyside Itinerary

Located in the north east of mainland Scotland, Moray Speyside is a small but vibrant region and is home to hundreds of coastal gems, intriguing history and heritage, as well as plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities.

There are so many things to do in Moray Speyside and the region is a great base for exploring parts of the Cairngorms National Park and north and west Aberdeenshire. With so much on your doorstep, you won't be lost for things to see, do or experience. Or if you'd rather relax a little, why not slow down your travels and soak in all that Scotland's landscapes and culture has to offer?

Whatever you decide to do on your staycation in Scotland, visit somewhere undiscovered, somewhere adventurous, and somewhere new in Moray Speyside. Keep reading our 5-day itinerary to give you an idea of all the great places you can uncover.

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Car Walk






Moray Speyside


Cullen Bay, Lossiemouth, Elgin Cathedral, watersports, surfing, wildlife, dolphin spotting

Areas Covered

Moray Speyside, Forres, Findhorn, Lossiemouth, Elgin

Day 1


Day 1 - Moray Coastal Trail

Your adventure starts with stunning scenery, coastal seascapes, wildlife and a breathtaking long-distance walking route. Afterwards, explore the local food and drink scene before cosying up in your welcoming accommodation option of choice.
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Stop 1 - Moray Coastal Trail

This long-distance walking trail stretches from Findhorn to Cullen and encompasses 50 miles (80km) of immense landscapes, coasts and nature to uncover. Linking together quaint settlements along the coastline, this waymarked path is also divided up into 10 sections, so you can walk as much, or as little, as you please. Along the way, stop to marvel at the rugged cliff tops, caves, sheltered coves and coastal formations, as well as quiet fishing towns and harbours, and take in the breathtaking stretches of sandy beaches too.

The Moray Firth is also alive with a range of wildlife. You can often spot pods of dolphins playing in the sea, as well as many species of birds flying overhead too. How many will you spot?

Stop 2 - Food, Drink & Accommodation

After a long trip venturing along the Moray Coast Trail, what better way to end the day than with some delicious food and drink and a cosy place to sleep?

Speyside is well-known for its delectable whisky blends and has since been labelled the 'Malt Whisky Country'. Here you can find historic and famous distilleries, coopers, bottlers, and retailers, and even a Malt Whisky Trail which takes you through the stunning landscapes, stopping off at cosy café's, outdoor activities and more along the way too. Stop in for a dram or two at Aberlour Distillery, Dallas Dhu Distillery, or Glen Moray Distillery, to name a few.

 Baxter's Highland Village on the A96 lets you uncover a flavour of Scotland with a restaurant, retail shops, museum, and play area to enjoy. Tuck into delicious home cooked Scottish food in the restaurant and courtyard café, serving up dishes all day from breakfast to lunchtime meals to afternoon tea. Elsewhere, head to the fine café at the Logie Steading set in a beautiful courtyard, or enjoy a meal out at The Bothy Bistro, and Bijou By The Sea, to name a few.

Tucked away in Findhorn Valley, snuggle into Ace Adventures camping and glamping accommodation, with woodland surrounding the campsite, a cattle byre steading to stay in, motorhome pitches, and Bell Tents to try out, there's plenty of choice. In Forres, head to The Loft and experience a stay in wigwams for a quirky getaway with lots to do in Moray Speyside. Or if you're a fan of Shakespeare, indulge in a spot of luxury glamping at Macbeth's Hillock. This historic site is believed to be where Macbeth is said to have met the three witches.

Day 2


Day 2 - Cairngorms National Park

Continuing with the outdoor adventures, head to the wilderness of the Cairngorms National Park with plenty of things to see, do, experience and explore.
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Airborne Lens

Stop 1 - Outdoor Activities

From watersports and archery, to gorge walking, Munro bagging and horse riding, you won't be short on outdoor activities to get involved in in the Cairngorms. Head to Loch Morlich or Loch Insh for amazing watersport experiences surrounded by towering mountains and stunning views. Try out horse riding at a range of places nearby, including Highland Horse Fun in Kingussie, Alvie Stables, and Rothiemurchus.

If you'd like to tick a few Munros off your list, you've got a great choice in the Cairngorms. From Ben Macdui, Braeriach and Cairn Gorm, to Mount Keen and Beinn Dearg, to name a few. If you are planning on conquering a Munro, make sure you have all the essential equipment and supplies with you before you head off - read up on Safety Outdoors in Scotland.

If you've got wee ones, don't miss out on a day trip to Landmark Forest Adventure Park. Located just north of Aviemore in Carrbridge, let the kids run free with treetop trails, a Dinosaur Kingdom, Wild Water Coaster rides, a Bamboozeleum, and much more.

Stop 2 - Food & Drink

Exploring all the sights of the Cairngorms National Park will have your appetite craving something tasty! Dotted across the park you can find many little cafés or shops where you can pick up a bite to eat or a cooling ice cream. You may also come across Farmers' Markets and shops selling a variety of local produce and homegrown goods - perfect for taking home to cook up a storm.

Enjoy a mid-bike-ride pit stop at the Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre, venture up to the Cairngorm Café on Cairngorm Mountain for magnificent views, or stop in at Cobbs Café at Glenmore Visitor Centre after an afternoon of walking.

If you're looking for a fine dining meal out, head to the Old Bridge Inn, The Boathouse at Loch Insh, the Letterbox Restaurant in Newtonmore, or The Cross at Kingussie, to name a few.

Stop 3 - Family Friendly Walks

The Cairngorms is arguably one of the best places in Scotland to enjoy a variety of walking trails and paths through beautiful forests and past towering mountains. Although there are many trails for experienced hikers, there are also plenty of family friendly walks that you can explore with the wee ones.

Loch an Eilean - nestled in the forests of Rothiemurchus, this walk is ideal for exploring with the kids. With an easy, flat terrain, enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the woodland that surrounds you as you wander to and around the loch. Dip your toes in the water, stop for an ice cream at the shop, and see if you can spot the tiny, ruined castle on the island in the centre of the loch.

Lochan Uaine and the Ryvoan Pass - park up by Glenmore Visitor Centre and take the path past the Reindeer Centre and Glenmore Lodge. After walking for around 30 minutes, you'll come across the clear blue-y green Lochan Uaine. With a steep scree backdrop, it's quite a beautiful lochan to come across. Stop for a bite to eat before continuing along the path to Ryvoan Pass - a large clearing with mountain views.

Craigellachie NNR - a slightly steeper, but short ascent, Craigellachie National Nature Reserve is located behind the Aviemore Youth Hotel and at the top, offers amazing panoramic views over the Cairngorms and Aviemore. There are various trails within the reserve if you fancy exploring a longer or shorter route too.

RSPB Loch Garten - a great place to admire the ancient scenery of Abernethy, it is also an ideal location to spot an array of Scottish wildlife. From ospreys and birdlife, to red squirrels and more. Wander around the loch, or visit the nature centre, complete with CCTV screens, binoculars and telescopes to help you get great views, as well as an exhibition, daily talks and family activities to enjoy.

River walk, Nethy Bridge - just north of Aviemore, this peaceful spot on the map is just waiting to be explored. The River Walk at Nethy Bridge is great for even the smallest of legs - an easy terrain, waymarked path along the River Nethy and through Dell Woods, starting from the Community Centre Car Park in Nethy Bridge.

Day 3


Day 3 - Moray Speyside

For day 3, we're back in Moray Speyside and all about exploring nearby sights and living like a local. Keep your eyes peeled for your friendly neighbourhood dolphins playing in the Moray Firth, uncover fantastic coastal formations, and even head out to sea for an adventure.
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Stop 1 - Bow Fiddle Rock

Head east along the coast to Portknockie where you'll find the incredible coastal formation known as Bow Fiddle Rock. Formed by the sheer force and pressure of waves over time, this unusual rock shape is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike, and is also a great shot for budding photographers. If you're an early bird or night owl, seeing Bow Fiddle Rock at sunrise and sunset is truly magical!

Stop 2 - Scottish Dolphin Centre

With around 190 resident bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth, it is one of the best places in Scotland to spot these playful creatures in their natural habitats. Head along to the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay where you can take part in a range of activities, as well as the opportunity to learn all about the whales and dolphins that make their home here. As well as a large population of bottlenose, the Moray Firth is also home to an abundance of other wildlife species, such as seabirds, otters, ospreys, seals, harbour porpoises, and basking sharks, to name a few.

Stop by the gift shop and café, as well as the interactive exhibition area with details of all the latest wildlife sightings.

Stop 3 - North 58 Sea Adventures

Choose from Lossiemouth or Findhorn and head out to sea with North 58 Sea Adventures. Offering an exhilarating trip out on to the Moray Firth, marvel at the beautiful Moray coastline and admire the amazing and abundant wildlife that flourish here.

Feel the breeze in your hair and the salt spray of the sea on your face as your experienced skipper navigates the choppy waves of the Moray Firth. These 2-hour boat trips are the perfect way to get up close to Scotland's wildlife as well as admiring the incredible coastal landscapes that surround you along the way.

Day 4


Day 4 - History & Heritage

Next up we're heading inland for a trip back in time. Uncover Moray Speyside's history and heritage at a range of historic locations and attractions that tell the tales of a time gone by.
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Stop 1 - Elgin Cathedral

First up is Elgin Cathedral. Also known as the 'Lantern of the North', this ancient ruin dates back to the 13th century and boasts intricate design and architecture to marvel at.

One of the finest architectural achievements in Scotland, the wonderful 13th-century west front is a sight to see! Step inside the octagonal chapter house, where the cathedral clergy met, to admire its stone carvings of beasts and detailed faces. In the cathedral you'll also find Scotland's tallest gravestone - placed against the south choir aisle, for the Anderson family, it stands 5m high. You can also find the stone bishop in the nave, a larger-than-life statue that looks like a giant chess piece!

Stop 2 - Spynie Palace

Once the residence of Bishops of Moray from the 14th century to 1686, Spynie Palace is steeped in history. Marvel at the mighty David's Tower - the largest tower house by volume to survive in Scotland, spot the coats of arms of all three bishops who had a hand in building the tower house, and enjoy the beauty of Spynie's surroundings, complete with wildlife and chirping birds.

Make sure you leave time to walk to the site of the old cathedral and see the burial place of James Ramsay MacDonald, Labour's first Prime Minister.

Stop 3 - Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere

Head off exploring on your own around the self-guided Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere walking route in Elgin. Bringing over 1,000 years of history to life, journey through the town of Elgin and soak in this medieval spot in Scotland that is full of history with plenty to explore and uncover.

Starting at Elgin Castle, this fortress has seen its fair share of turbulent times with famous rulers and names appearing in its history books, including Macbeth and King Duncan I engaging in battle nearby, Edward I of England, Robert the Bruce and more. It fell to ruins and was never repaired - it now stands as a site of archaeological importance.

Elgin Cathedral is now standing as one of the most glorious ruins in Scotland with intricate architecture dating back to the 13th century. In 1390, the 'Wolf Of Badenoch', son of King Robert II, burned the cathedral and the towns of Elgin and Forres after being excommunicated by the Bishop of Moray. Soon after the cathedral was rebuilt and today you can see various differences in the structure and design of the building. There's a fascinating history and story to be unveiled here - a must-visit!

The last stop of the tour, Johnstone's of Elgin. This woollen mill was founded on the picturesque banks of the River Lossie in 1797 and fashioned some of the finest cashmere, wool, and tweed products in the world. Today, Johnstone's of Elgin is the second oldest family-run business in Scotland and is a popular place for visitors looking for luxury cashmere clothing and souvenirs to take home.

Stop 4 - Sueno's Stone

If you've got time, take a trip out to Forres and marvel at Scotland's tallest and most complex piece of early medieval sculpture, Sueno's Stone. This archaeological site can be found in Forres and is a product of late Pictish Art. The Picts were the indigenous people of the north, and centuries ago they left behind incredible relics, such as Sueno's Stone, which actually features carvings of a 10th century battle scene, including things like many horsemen, soldiers on foot, fallen soldiers, a broch or fort, and more.

Sueno's Stone is free to visit and open all year round.

Day 5


Day 5 - Outdoor Activities

Get outdoors on your last day in Moray Speyside. With a spectacular coastline and miles of surrounding landscapes, there are plenty of exhilarating and exciting outdoor activities to get involved in.
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Stop 1 - Mountain Biking

Take on the Moray Monster Trails for an adrenaline fuelled time. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there are trails from everyone here. Located at Winding Walks near Fochabers, there are a range of trails to try out, as well as a designated Skills Area to practice first, so the whole family can get involved.

Elsewhere, head an hour's drive south from Elgin to Glenlivet Estate where the purpose-built Bike Trails ensures a fantastic action-packed day out. If you're a beginner, the Blue Trails will look after you, or if you're a more advanced mountain biker, the Red Trails should offer a challenge or two. Head to the Pump Track and Skills Area to perfect your technique, or explore the newest addition - the Orange Trail, featuring 1km of jumps and berms.

Stop 2 - Cycling

If you'd prefer a more relaxing pastime, there are plenty of scenic cycle routes in Moray Speyside too.

The Lossiemouth Loop is one of five circular routes in Moray Speyside. Starting at the West Beach Car Park in Lossiemouth, the path loops for 14 miles (22.4km) around the perimeter of the Lossiemouth Airfield via Duffus Castle and back.

Head along the 29 mile (46.4km) Moray Coastal Cycle Route from Burghead to Cullen where you can admire the rugged coastlines, quaint coastal towns and fishing harbour too. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins playing in the water and birds soaring overhead.

Take the 13 mile (20.8km) Elgin Experience Cycle Route around the historic town of Eglin, passing many ancient sites, before heading through the surrounding picturesque countryside.

Stop 3 - Watersports & Surfing

Head to Forres where you can make a splash with an afternoon of wonderful watersports. Ace Adventures offers the perfect chance to experience a range of exciting water-based activities, from canoeing and kayaking, to cliff jumping and white-water rafting, you're guaranteed an incredible day out.

If you'd rather keep your feet dry, there's a range of activities you can enjoy on land too. Try your hand at paintball, disc golf, an overnight bush craft course, and even a yoga retreat.

Surf the waves on the Lossiemouth coastline, as well as Sandend, Cullen, Hopeman and Roseisle beaches, with New Wave Surf School. Suitable for ages 8+, surfing is a great challenge for even the most athletic people. Get out on the water and soak up Moray Speyside's glorious coastline, whilst taking in the stunning surroundings, and most of all, having fun along the way.

Stop 4 - Golf

It wouldn't be a holiday in Scotland without a golfing opportunity. In Moray Speyside there is a variety of courses and greens you can tee off at and play a few rounds with friends and family. From Moray Golf Club, Hopeman Golf Club, and Rothes Golf Course, to Cullen Links Golf Course and more, there is plenty of choice. Whether you're a golfing pro, or just want to test your swing, each course boasts the perfect environment to help you get started in your golfing adventures.