Elgin, Scotland is a small town up in the highlands of Morray in between Inverness and Aberdeen. 

It’s a beautiful area not far from the coast. The town originated to the south of the River Lossie on the higher ground above the floodplain. It’s full of history including some phenomenal Cathedral Ruins.

If you are wondering where to stay in Elgin, I recommend the Mansion House Hotel. This is where I stayed when I visited and I really enjoyed it. 

Fun Fact: Elgin is first documented in the Cartulary of Moray in 1190 AD.

Things to do in Elgin, Scotland

Visit the Cathedral Ruins

These ruins are dedicated to the Holy Trinity and established in 1224 on land granted by King Alexander II. They are stunning. Elgin Cathedral Ruins

Check out main street.  

It’s full of unique shops. There is also a lovely fountain and huge church. Try to find out ahead of time when you can get into the church.  I never caught it open.

 Downtown Elgin, Scotland

Check out the Prayer Garden

This was part of a garden I stumbled upon while driving around lost.

Prayer Garden in Elgin, Scotland

Duffus Castle Ruins

Duffus Castle, near Elgin, Moray, Scotland, was a motte-and-bailey castle and was in use from c.1140 to 1705. There is not much more than ruins left now. 

Pluscarden Abbey

Pluscarden Abbey is an active Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery in the glen of the Black Burn, 6 miles south-west of Elgin, Moray, Scotland. They are open every day from 4:30am to 8:30pm. Several sections of the abbey building and grounds are open to the public. An exhibition tells the story of the abbey building and our community of Benedictines living here. There is no admission fee and there is a gift shop, visitor bathrooms, and parking on site.

Once a year you can apply to spend special time there where you can be a monk. You do have to apply though, not just anyone can do it. 

Brodie Castle

Just a short drive and you will be at the well kept Brodie Castle that you can tour inside and out. 

Moray Motor Museum

Located in the center of town in an old mill with lots of vintage, classic cars and motorbikes to see. It is open seasonally from Easter until the end of October. 

Scotch Whiskey Tasting

Elgin is in the whiskey area. Granted, I felt like all of Scotland was a whiskey area. They have four whiskey distilleries in town including:

Gordon & MacPhail

Glen Elgin Distillery

Glen Moray: May – August from Monday to Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM. Tour Times are: 9.30, 11.00, 12.30, 2.00 and 3.30. Additional tasting flights can be added to your tour reservation or enjoyed seperately, available from the bar between 10am and 4.30pm. Tasting Flights of 3 or 4 whiskies are available from £5.

Glen Moray

Glen Moray | Photo Credit: Zenit

Benriach – This is another small family-run distillery. In my opinion, they have the best whiskey. Their hours vary depending on the season of the year. If they are not open to visitors you can still request to visit with a form on their website. 

Here’s a fun cocktail you can make with Benriach Whiskey.


Created by New York bartender Sam Ross in 2005, the Penicillin has become a true modern classic. Created as a riff on the Gold Rush, this sweet and smoky cure-all of BenRiach 10-Year-Old, honey-ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice. and BenRiach 10-Year Curiositas has been delighting bar patrons and making waves in the cocktail world since its inception.


2oz BenRiach 10-Year-Old

3/4oz Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4oz Honey-Ginger Syrup.

1/4oz BenRiach 10-Year Curiositas

Candied Ginger (garnish)


Add BenRiach 10, lemon juice and honey-ginger syrup into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously

Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice Top with BenRiach 10-Year Curiositas Garnish with a piece of candied ginger Pour and Enjoy

Preparing the Honey-Ginger Syrup

Combine 1 cup honey, 1 (6-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced, 1 cup water, to a saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Chill overnight, then strain, and discard solids.

Enjoy the food

The pub food is good, but I was here for well over a week and you can only eat so much pub food. 

Elgin has great Indian food at Akash. 

This picture below was my favorite tea shop, Bijou. They had the best scone in Scotland! During the week they have afternoon tea with great discounts. Located at 8 – 10 Batchen Street, Elgin, T 01343 542385

Elgin, Scotland

Elgin, Scotland