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How To Travel To Elgin, Scotland On A Day Trip

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

The Royal Burgh of Elgin dates back to 1190 AD. A former Cathedral City, the historic town is famous for its industries such as textiles and of course whisky distilling.

Much of Scotland can be reached very easily with public transportation. So why not make your travel plans include the northern Scottish town of Elgin? Here's how you can travel to Elgin on a day trip from Edinburgh.

River Lossie, Elgin ©MDHarding

How To Travel To Elgin, Scotland On A Day Trip

Reaching Elgin

Travel by train on one of the most captivating journeys along the East Coast of Scotland from Edinburgh through to Aberdeen and beyond to Elgin. Enjoy the beautiful Scottish landscapes including the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Forth Rail Bridge, dramatic coastal scenes, and much more.

I traveled and returned to Edinburgh in one day, but to make the most out of your trip I would schedule a couple of days. There is a lot to see in Elgin and the surrounding areas.

If like me, you don't have much time are full of energy, and looking to travel to Elgin in one day, take the first train. The train departed Haymarket, Edinburgh at 05.35 after a quick change in Aberdeen I arrived in Elgin just before 10am. Returning just after 15.00 again changing in Aberdeen and reaching Edinburgh just before 20.00. If the weather is on your side you might just witness the incredible sunrise and sunsets as I did.

Top Tip: Do book your train tickets in advance to get the best rates and reserve your seats by the window for the best views. Did you know you can now buy a train pass that allows you to travel around Scotland? The Spirit of Scotland Pass can be purchased for 4 days of unlimited travel over 8 consecutive days or 8 days of unlimited travel over 15 consecutive days.

Sunset On Return Train Journey From Elgin ©MDHarding

Johnstons of Elgin

One of the highlights when visiting Elgin is a tour of Johnstons of Elgin. The tour is full of fascinating facts about the textile industry, the Scottish family business, and weaving. Discover how the Balmoral Royal Tweed came about and how there came to be a Pistachio Tree in the courtyard, as well as much more! The tour is very popular, please book ahead to avoid disappointment.

I visited on a Saturday when the machines were off, but to see the full workings it's best to visit between Monday to Thursday and book either the 10am tour or later in the afternoon for the full effect. Do bear in mind that it can be rather noisy.

Afterward don't miss the local, fresh produce in the restaurant. I can highly recommend the late breakfast - The Highland Scrambled Breakfast. Fluffy scrambled eggs and fresh Salmon on top of Potato Scones from Maclean's Highland Bakery. Yum!

This time of year is great to visit, with lots of inspiration for the home, gifts, and new seasonal wardrobe essentials.

Angora Goats at Johnstons of Elgin ©MDHarding

Elgin Cathedral

Historic Elgin Cathedral opened in 1224, the cathedral city was home to many monks. Close to the River Lossie, the city had everything it needed. It grew, and more buildings were built. Falling into disrepair during the Protestant Reformation in 1560, today you can see the incredible masonry from Pictish stones, floral carvings, and ghoulish representations. Climb the great central tower with its spiral staircase, and see its fascinating exhibitions and the 360-degree views from its highest point. Well worth a visit!

Did you know you can become a member of Historic Environment Scotland? Visit a few properties and the pass pays for itself! Discover more about how you can join today. Which of the 70 attractions will you visit?

Masonry at Elgin Cathedral, Elgin ©MDHarding

Elgin Museum

Walk through over 1000 years of history in the Elgin Museum. Discover more about this industrious town and how some of the incredible exhibits came to be here, in Scotland's oldest independent museum. I was blown away to read the story about the Peruvian Mummy, more about the Pictish people, and of course the local history.

The museum is free to visit but appreciates donations. Each of the volunteers is passionate to answer any questions you may have. You will be amazed!

Hand Embroidered Silk Map Dating 1736 - 1820, Elgin Museum ©MDHarding

Travel on to Lossiemouth & The Highland City of Inverness

Take the 33A from Elgin bus station to Lossiemouth and walk along its white sandy beaches. Enjoy a gelato from Lossiemouth's no1 ice cream parlor - Miele's of Lossie.

The highland city of Inverness is further along the same train line. Visit the legendary Loch Ness and see the Loch Ness monster, Cawdor Castle, and the Bronze Age Clava Cairn, as well as much more!

These are only some of the great places to see and explore. Looking for more inspiration for your Scotland trip? Get in touch!

Lossiemouth Beach ©MDHarding

I hope you have enjoyed reading and are inspired to visit Elgin. As always, I love to hear from you with any comments and questions you have. You can reach me via Email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Until next time, happy travels:)

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