Walks around Forres

There are numerous walks around Forres and the surrounding area. Many of these are designed to link up historical sites such as the path to Nelson’s Tower.

The area was awarded Walkers are Welcome status in 2016 because of its network of well-maintained and signposted paths, numerous walking groups, walking festival and information resources for walkers.

The Forres Footpaths Trust has detailed factsheets on its website, and we’ve added a few here that aren’t on the list

Randolph’s Leap

About six miles south of Forres just off the A940 is one of the north-east’s best-kept secrets, the very beautiful Randolph’s Leap scenic riverside walk through a spectacular gorge on the River Findhorn.

Logie Steading Visitor Centre is nearby and offers a welcome break for refreshments in the cafe, or a little bit of shopping at the craft shops food hall and art gallery.

The Moray Way

The Moray Way is a 95-mile circular route which incorporates the Dava Way, part of the Speyside Way and part of the Moray Coast Trail.

The route packs in a wonderful variety of scenery, from coastal estuaries and cliffs to glens and open moors. You can start and end the walk in Forres, or use the town as a base for completing the route as a series of day walks.

Culbin Forest

There are plenty of cycle paths in Culbin Forest.

A beautiful coastal pine forest, planted in the 1920s to help stabilise the drifting sand dunes, miles of marked out walking trails and cycling is also allowed. It’s about five miles from the centre of Forres, but because it spread over many miles, there’s lots to explore.

There’s a good network of tracks to explore and the paths, over flat sandy ground, makes it easy to walk and cycle.

One of the best ways to explore Culbin is by bicycle. It’s never been easier to find your way around this largely flat forest, as key junctions have clearly numbered posts. In fact, the National Cycle Route runs through the south side of the forest and it spans over into the Highlands. If you approach it from Nairn, you can walk along the beach into the forest, the best way to see birds and other wildlife.

And the forest is thoughtfully developed for visitors with trails that focus on the flora and fauna. They’re fun and educational, and with names such as Hill 99, The Gut, Lady Culbin’s Buried Trees and the Minister’s Pool, how can you not want to find out more. There’s plenty of detail on the Culbin Forest website. Maps are available from the car park too.

If you go by car, there’s a small charge to park.

Cluny Hill and Grant Park

Part of the award-winning floral displays at Grant Park.

Forres is fortunate in having this beautiful area of parkland and the woodlands for all to enjoy. Cluny Hill and Grant Park form the centre of a network of walks for all abilities. A peaceful walk through these charming woodlands on a summer evening is just the thing before retiring. For the more energetic, go to the summit of Cluny Hill to visit the historic Nelson’s Tower. If the tower is open, you can go to the rooftop viewing platform for another excellent panorama.

Sluie Walk

Situated just off the A940 about four miles from Forres on the Forres to Grantown Rd. Sluie Walk has a car park with an information board. A Forest walk along the edge of a deep gorge on the Findhorn river, trees include fine specimens of Scots Pine and Douglas Fir which were planted more than 100 years ago. Be careful with children and pets as part of the walk is right next to very steep drops.

Sanquhar Loch

Sanquhar Loch

There are relaxing walks around Sanquhar Loch, a stretch of fresh water, which originated as an ornamental pond for the now demolished Sanquhar House. The stream which feeds the loch is the selected source of water for Benromach Distillery.

The Dava Way

Dallas Dhu Distillery
The Dava Way curves past Dallas Dhu Distillery

The Dava Way is a marked walking trail going from Forres to Grantown-on-Spey following mostly what was the old Highland Railway Line, the trail is about 40km long and is suitable for reasonably experienced mountain biking.

Findhorn Beach

Findhorn beach

Findhorn is one of the most attractive villages in Moray, it is popular with sailing enthusiasts, windsurfers, and kitesurfers. From here, you can try one of the marine wildlife adventures trips.

The beach at Findhorn is ideal for a leisurely walk. The beach stretches for an uninterrupted 10 miles but most people prefer a relaxed stroll along the beach and through the sand dunes.

Along the shore are relics of the past, old wartime pill boxes that now sit half submerged in the sand. If you are lucky you may see ospreys fishing in the bay or Dolphins swimming by offshore.

Drive through the village to find car parking areas hidden among the sand dunes.

There are public conveniences in the car park and only a short walk to find a good selection of food outlets in the village.