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Elgin is a city in the northeast of Scotland, located approximately halfway between Inverness and Aberdeen, to the south of the Moray Firth and on the banks of the River Lossie. While many people visiting this part of Scotland might opt to stay in Inverness or Aberdeen, hotels in Elgin are tough to beat on quality.
Elgin is less built-up than its neighbouring cities, so the hotels in the area are surrounded on all sides by stunning landscapes and uninterrupted vistas.
The city of Elgin is famous for whiskey production, with the Glen Moray Distillery on Bruceland Road being a must-visit destination for most holidaymakers in the area. Tours of the facility are even led by the skilled craftspeople who work tirelessly to produce some of the world’s finest single-malt whiskey.
Elgin Cathedral, the ruins of a Medieval cathedral dating back to the 13th century, is another popular attraction. Although much of the original cathedral has been destroyed over the years, the western towers and the Chapterhouse are still standing, and visitors can climb to the viewing platforms at the top to enjoy stunning views across the surrounding countryside.
Just half an hour outside the centre of Elgin you’ll find the Scottish Dolphin Centre. This is a free attraction, located on the edge of a stunning nature reserve at Spey Bay. Although the 190 or so bottlenose dolphins that call Moray Firth their home are the clear focus of the centre, it also offers an excellent opportunity to look out for other native creatures, such as ospreys, seals, basking sharks, otters and seabirds.
When it comes to choosing a hotel in Elgin, there are 2 choices of location – central options place shops, pubs and restaurants on your doorstep, while guesthouses and B&Bs in the surrounding countryside highlight the unspoilt beauty of the rural landscape.
Staying in an Elgin hotel on the outskirts of the city will place you much closer to the pristine natural beauty for which this part of the world is justly famed. Golfers keen to test themselves against the challenge of a links course might want to find a hotel which is close to the Moray or Maverston golf courses, while those who relish a challenge on 2 wheels should seek out a hotel close to the Speyside Way. This is a mountain-biking path that runs for 21 kilometres through spectacular scenery, taking in forests, riverside paths, dramatic climbs and hair-raising drops.
Hotels in and around Elgin run the gamut from 5-star luxury to budget-priced home comforts, but they all have one thing in common – quick and easy access to the surrounding hinterland. Many Elgin hotels are located close to the centre of town, while others offer the chance to stay in the heart of nature itself, with the awe-inspiring landscape supplying the backdrop for alfresco dining and family photo ops.
The Willowbarn Rafford is a 4-star cottage located in Forres, just 20 kilometres from the town centre. Several distilleries are located nearby, and the cottage itself is set amongst lush greenery. Facilities at the cottage include free Wi-Fi, a garden with a picnic area and laundry facilities. Since it’s inevitable that guests won’t be able to resist exploring the surrounding countryside, the cottage is also equipped with free bicycles.
The Eight Acres Hotel and Leisure Club is a 3-star hotel located on Morriston Road in the heart of Elgin. Each of the 53 guestrooms comes with free Wi-Fi, and the hotel has its own on-site spa where guests can indulge in a little pampering – hot stone massages, body wraps, and mud baths are just the beginning of its lush offerings. Guests feeling particularly in need of pampering can even order their own in-room massage.
In terms of things to do in Elgin, the best approach is to use the city as a base from which to explore the glory of the highlands. One of the most pleasurable ways of doing this is to visit Highland Caterham Hire on the outskirts of Elgin. Here you can hire an iconic Caterham Sports car, and spend the day – or longer if you like – speeding along a route of your own choosing, exploring iconic and spectacular sights, such as the shores of Loch Ness, the rugged northwest coast or the unspoilt beauty of the Isle of Skye.
For a more sedate taste of Elgin, try Millbuies Trout Fishery, where you can take a boat out onto one of 2 lochs and cast a line while surrounded by 6 hectares of tranquil woodland.
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