Brodie Castle, Elgin Cathedral, Pluscarden Abbey & More

Historical Attractions in Elgin and Nearby

Elgin is a former cathedral town, with a long and fascinating history, which is positioned on the shores of the Moray Firth. The cobbled streets, old architecture and stunning countryside all make up the lovable nature of this town, making it a firm favourite for visitors who want to experience all that Scotland has to offer.

There are many great buildings around the immediate area that are a must see if you are visiting Elgin. The castles, cathedrals and palaces hark back to a bygone era and give a fantastic insight into what life was like for the local people hundreds of years ago. Below is a list of popular attractions in the local area that we think you should visit during your stay with us.

Brodie Castle

This legacy to Clan Brodie is a grand building, filled to the rafters and turrets with antique furniture, paintings and ceramics. You may explore the rooms, passageways and towers which have all been tastefully restored  to reflect the reality of life in the castle.

The castle’s landscaped grounds span an impressive 71 hectares, including a large pond, walled garden, woodland walk and an adventure playground complete with a nature trail and hidey holes for doing a bit of nature watching.

Brodie Castle Copyright Mike Searle

Directions from our hotel: Google map

Website: Brodie Castle

Spynie Palace

Historical residence of the Bishops of Moray, this palace was home to royalty who would frequent the area when travelling.  For almost 500 years, this building has stood the tests of time on the edge of Spynie Loch, which harboured local fishing and merchant vessels. This eventually developed into a settlement which is now long gone, but the haunting shadow of the ruins of Spynie Palace still looms over the area. Along with St. Andrews Castle in Fife, this is the largest surviving medieval bishop’s house in all of Scotland.

Spynie Castle Copyright Mike Searle

Directions from our hotel: Google map

Website: Spynie Castle

Elgin Cathedral

The ‘Lantern of the North’ is a landmark harking back to the 13th century, where it was the principal church of the bishops of Moray. The remaining ruins hark back to the glory that once was and it remains to this day one of the most important and beautiful medieval buildings. Since the 1800’s the building has served as a visitor centre and given people an insight into the early practices and lifestyles of the original inhabitants.

Gaze at the intricate western front that remains one of the grandest architectural achievements in Scotland. Admire the gigantic stone bishop, reminiscent of a rather large chess piece. Walk among the chapter house and see where the clergy met as well as the clever carvings of beats and men.  Scotland’s tallest gravestone is also located here and stands at the impressive height of 5 metres!

Eight Acres Hotel Elgin Cathedral 2

Directions from our hotel: Google map

Website: Elgin Cathedral

Duffus Castle

The ancestral home of the Moray family, this grand medieval stronghold is one of the only motte and bailey castles in the United Kingdom as they were slowly replaced with stone castles from the twelfth century onwards. These wooden fortifications usually consisted of a keep, with an enclosed courtyard or ‘bailey’, with a final defence of a ditch and palisade fence circling this. Duffus Castle served its purpose for over 500 years, into the 1700’s. Work began anew in the 1300, building the stone castle that can be seen today.

By 1705, unfortunately the castle can been abandoned and fallen into ruin, although remaining an impressive sight and a hallmark of an age half-forgotten and the proud and warlike peoples who inhabited the area.

Duffus Castle Copyright Mike Searle

Directions from our hotel: Google map

Website: Duffus Castle

Pluscarden Abbey

The monumental stillness that you can experience in this secluded monastery is nothing short of divine. Positioned six miles away from Elgin and within a peaceful glen, this is the ideal location for quiet reflection. The tradition of the monks who built this abbey continues to this very day, and you can still listen to the Mass and full Divine Office being sung in Gregorian chant each day. The beautiful architecture of the abbey combined with the setting make this a delightful location to visit on a day out.

Pluscarden Abbey Copyright John Wright

Directions from our hotel: Google map

Website: Pluscarden Abbey

Eat & Drink

Join us before or after your historical excursions at the Darroch restaurant where our enthusiastic head chef and his kitchen brigade will treat you to a seasonally inspired, locally sourced meal within a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. Serving up traditional Scottish dishes with a contemporary twist at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Book a Room

Combine your trip with a stay with us at Eight Acres Hotel & Leisure Club, the ideal choice for a base to explore the historical attractions near Elgin, with 52 spacious en-suite rooms, a large health club with a swimming pool, gym and relaxing spa as well as many other amenities. View our latest offers & breaks.

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