Picture of Forres flower display
Grant Park, Forres

Where is Forres?

North-west Moray on the A96 and the Aberdeen-Inverness railway. Convenient road links connect Forres with the Moray coast and with Speyside and the Cairngorms National Park.

About Forres

Forres is an Historic Royal Burgh and multiple time Britain in Bloom winning town to the west of the Moray Speyside region. Forres is just minutes from Findhorn and the Moray Coast and offers visitors many accommodation options and a wide choice of things to do.

The town of Forres stands on a site with deep royal associations – from the Picts to Macbeth. Forres was the inauguration place of the Pictish kingdom of Fortriu/Moray. Kings of Scots were acclaimed in Forres – and killed here too. Around 1150 King David I chose this place of power for a new royal castle and a burgh (town). The king populated his new market-town with Anglo-Norman merchants – colonial immigrants from England, France and Flanders.

The original medieval plan of the burgh is preserved along the High Street spine of the town, extending from the royal castle site beside the Mosset Burn at the west, to Sueno’s Stone (the tallest carved Pictish monument in Scotland) at the east.

Forres is also famous as the home of the real Macbeth.

The town itself is beautiful and the splendid Grant Park stands out in Moray Speyside. The park is named by Forres ‘loon’ and inventor of the Digestive Biscuit Sir Alexander Grant, providing a central location for many annual events such as Piping at Forres as well as for the town’s incredible floral displays.

Nelson’s Tower, an octagonal tower built in honour of Lord Nelson overlooks the town and offers stunning views to the Moray Coast.

The pleasant high street offers a wide array of independent shops, three amazing butcher shops, numerous local craft producers and much more for both locals and visitors.

Home to a great local golf course, Forres Golf Course that was formed from the original nine holes designed by the famous James Braid. The local football team, Forres Mechanics, known as ‘the Cans’ have a unique history stemming from the Engineers who lived in the town in the late 1800s. There are also two of Speyside’s whisky distilleries; Dallas Dhu, a historic distillery operated by Historic Environment Scotland, and the family-owned Benromach Distillery.

Forres is just a few minutes’ drive from the popular coastal village of Findhorn. The village itself boasts an array of accommodation, food and drink and activities. The nearby Findhorn Foundation is known throughout the world as a global centre for ecological and sustainable living.

Visiting Forres

Forres is easily found by car, bus and train and has excellent public transportation links that will get you around Moray Speyside. Buses run regularly through the town and also connect to smaller outlying communities.

Once you have arrived in the town there are numerous activities that are accessible but the area is best explored on either foot or by bike. Two of Speyside’s long distance trails pass through Forres – The Dava Way and The Moray Coastal Trail.

bridge over dava way
The Dava Way

If you prefer something more laidback when you visit Forres why not take a trip to (but not at) Randolph’s Leap via Logie Steading – a perfect day out with stunning river views bookended by lunch and tea/coffee and a cake. Alternatively there are unforgettable seaside trails at both Culbin Forest and Roseisle Forest.

Accommodation in Forres

Whether you are looking for premium hotels, quaint centrally based B&Bs or spacious, cosy, self-catered cottages – the peaceful town has a lot to offer. Why not try a historic 5-Star guest house in Blervie House? Guests here are offered one of their 12 stately bedrooms.

If you picture yourself as more of an urban explorer then camping and glamping pods are also available. As well as an incredible setting, The Loft also offers goat sessions, a fairy trail, laser tag and archery. Macbeth’s Hillock claims to be the site where Macbeth met with the three witches but it now offers visitors luxury glamping an a relaxed and rural setting.

Things to do in and around Forres

The town offers special attractions and unique experiences such as the annually held Highland Games and popular Piping at Forres event. You can see Moray from unusual perspectives: up high on horseback, speeding down rapids on a raft or from a distance on a RHIB in the Moray Firth. Burgie Riding Centre, Ace Adventures and North 58 Sea Adventures will sort you out.

The town offers the quintessential Scottish experience and nothing is more Scottish than golfing; Forres Golf Course is welcoming to visitors and offers a well maintained popular parkland course.

Salmon Fishing, Stalking and Shooting are also high on the urban explorer’s Scottish Checklist. Rent a rod, hire a ghillie, spend a day casting your flies into the River Findhorn.

Both Forres Angling Association and Speycaster.net can help you get hip waders on and a line in the water. If you Prefer something a little more terrestrial? Logie Estate, Moray Estate and Burgie Estate will host an experience to remember.

A Scotch Whisky Immersion

The town is home to Benromach Distillery. This distillery is a 5-minute walk from the town train station. Hand-crafted single malt is a traditional Speysider – one with a touch of smoke.

Benromach Distillery
Benromach Distillery

Drive 5 minutes south and visit Dallas Dhu Distillery, maintained by Historic Scotland. It is open for self-guided tours where you will learn about the history, heritage and processes of Speyside Scotch.

Forres is included in our Malt Whisky Tour Itinerary which will guide you around the Distilleries in and around the area.

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