Great family adventures at Millbuies

A brilliant place to relax when visiting Moray is the incredibly beautiful Millbuies loch.

Millbuies is a lovely relaxing place for all the family

I often enjoy going for relaxing walks in scenic areas with my wife and son.  The feeling of finding a peaceful spot where you can take in beautiful scenery with your loved ones and feel like you are the only people in the world is unmatched.

We often venture to Millbuies, a fantastic loch surrounded by beautiful trees for family picnics, barbeques, fishing, or just to escape.

The loch has fantastic facilities which make it a great destination for a family day out.  There is a grass area for the kids to play, or for a picnic or a barbeque.

You can take a relaxing stroll around the loch, with your loved ones, kids, friends, or on your own in around an hour.  It is a simple, tranquil walk, with a mostly flat, level path with good surfaces.

Millbuies is the perfect spot for some fly-fishing | Credit: Anne Burgess

The total distance of the route, that takes you all the way around the stunning loch and back to where you started, is around 1.5 miles.  The circular path allows you to take in so much beautiful scenery, never retracing your steps.

We have had many great strolls and fantastic picnics at Millbuies, soaking in the scenery and enjoying each other’s company, far away from the hardships of everyday life.

Millbuies is not short of fantastic wildlife either, with red squirrels, roe deer, badgers and rabbits hiding in the trees.  If you are really lucky and quiet you might also see pine martin hidden among the rhododendrons and trees.  There is also often exquisite looking dragonflies fluttering through the sky.

On the loch itself you might see mallards, tufted ducks, moorhens and swans enjoying a leisurely paddle.  Meanwhile, underneath the surface of the loch there is a large amount of rainbow trout, blue trout and brown trout swimming around, making it the perfect spot to hire a boat and go fly-fishing.

There is lots of beautiful wildlife at Millbuies, including this lovely duck having a paddle

There are five boats available for hire at Millbuies, making booking in advance essential (by calling 079601434983) as there is no bank fishing allowed on the loch.

With 16 acres of loch to fish in, no one is ever stepping on anyone’s toes, or getting in anyone’s way, making it an even more relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Millbuies Loch was created by the damming of streams to provide angling facilities on the loch.  It was taken over by Moray Council in 1975 and the fishing was extended to members of the public.

This beautiful and tranquil loch can be found only a 20 minute drive from your stay at Carden Cottages.  There is even a free car park for you to leave your car behind and enjoy being immersed in nature!

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Discover the history of Kinloss Abbey

The ruins of a beautiful Abbey lie within the picturesque setting of Kinloss village.  It is a must visit for history fans and lovers of fantastic scenery when staying at Carden Cottages in the Moray area.

The fantastic remains of Kinloss Abbey lies in the beautiful landscape of Kinloss | Credit: Valenta

The Cistercian Abbey is a great place to visit to learn about history, folklore and to admire the beautiful ruins and surroundings.

The Kinloss Abbey was founded in 1150 by King David I of Scotland.  He was said to be hunting nearby when he was separated from the rest of his party.  Then, lost in the thick woodland that used to cover the majority of that area, he prayed for guidance.

It is said that he was then led by a dove to a shelter belonging to some shepherds where he spent the night.  During his slumber, he apparently dreamt that he was instructed to establish a church to give thanks for his rescue and marked out the plan of the Abbey with his sword the next morning, before leaving to find his party at Duffus Castle.

After he told his nobles of his vision, he called architects and masons that were working on various royal projects and ordered that the Kinloss Abbey would be created.  He remained at Duffus to oversee his project, until he was called away by other affairs.

The idea for Kinloss Abbey came to King David I of Scotland in a dream | Credit: Wikimedia

When King David I had to leave, he sent to Melrose for a monk, whom he set in charge over his builders and the rising monastery, of which he was afterwards made the first Abbot.

Upon visiting today, you can see that only ruins remain where the once richest Abbey in Scotland used to stand.  The remains of the South Transept with associated Chapel and the Sacristy with the Prior’s Chamber above can all be found and admired in Kinloss.

At the south and west are two near complete cloister walls one containing the Lavatorium and archway into the Refectory.  South of the Abbey, outside the cemetery is Abbot’s House.

From ground level you can see the remains of most of the foundations or low walls of the Abbey including the south wall of the church, the north Transept and many of the columns within the Nave.

Kinloss Abbey is surrounded by beautiful countryside | Credit: Kinloss Abbey Trust

Walking around the Abbey grounds, you can see information boards that are full of interesting facts that help guide you through the ruins.

Entrance to the Abbey grounds is free and is cared for by the Kinloss Abbey Trust.

Kinloss Abbey is only a 10 minute drive from Carden Cottages, and only around a 5 minute drive from Forres, where you can visit other historical sites such as Nelson’s Tower and Sueno’s Stone.

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Escape at Hopeman

A great reason to visit Carden Cottages is to escape the hectic hustle and bustle of everyday life.  A great place to do this in the Moray area is the quaint village of Hopeman.

Hopeman beach is a great place to relax and take in surrounding scenery and wildlife

I love visiting Hopeman’s stunning beach, with family and friends, or even just on my own, to relax, take in the scenery and enjoy the wildlife.

Hopeman is well known for its beautiful beach, along with its exquisite wildlife.  From birds like the Curlew, the Oystercatcher and the Yellowhammer soaring above, to Bottlenose dolphins swimming in the sea, it checks all the boxes for fans of wildlife.

The seaside village also proudly presents lots of plaques in the area, informing visitors of it’s rich history.  Many of these sit alongside pieces that showcase the village’s relationship with the fishing industry, including the Braemou well and the Hopeman Harbour Crane.

Along with its beautiful scenery, Hopeman has some gorgeous colourful beach huts
The Braemou well was seen as a holy well, with people travelling from the surrounding area to wash their hands in the holy water.  According to the plaque, people have been coming on pilgrimages to the well from Elgin and beyond since the 17th century.  These people would venture by horse or by foot just to drink or wash their hands in the water.  They would also leave gifts for the spirit of the well, such as coins, buttons, pebbles or pieces of silk to ensure the potency of the power.

Standing proud by the harbour is the Hopeman Harbour Crane. Built in 1859 by Bowser and Cameron of Glasgow for the Clyde Navigation Trust, the cast and wrought iron crane cost around £102.50 in today’s money.  It most likely started its working life at one of the Clyde ports, preparing cargo for shipment to the Western Isles or Worldwide.

The Hopeman Harbour Crane stands proudly on the shore

It is believed that it was then bought by Wick Harbour Trust around 1880 to be used during the huge seasonal herring fishing.  Finally, it was taken to Hopeman in 1925 by a local engineer working in the village and remained operational until the 1970s. In 2012 it was refurbished to become the vibrant stand out piece of history that it is today.

The beautiful village is definitely a must visit during the summer. It has a rich history, beautiful scenery and fantastic wildlife.  All of this scenery, wildlife and history can be found at just a 15 minute drive from Carden Cottages.

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The real life story of Macbeth in Moray

Shakespeare’s tale of Macbeth is well known around the world, but the real story of the Scottish King is far lesser known.

There are may local legends regarding Macbeth in Moray and Inverness | Credit: Biography

Shakespeare mixed fact and fiction when creating his tale of Macbeth, drawing on the exciting real life tales of Macbeth and Duncan I of Scotland.  The Scottish King had many links to the Moray and Inverness areas, with many sites having at least a local legend regarding Macbeth.

Macbeth and Inverness

The son of Duncan I may have built his castle where the current Inverness Castle now stands, after he defeated Macbeth | Credit: Dave Conner

In The Bard’s play, Inverness was the home of Macbeth’s castle, where King Duncan I is killed in the play.  In the real world, Macbeth’s father, resided in the city, but not in the currently standing Inverness Castle.

Macbeth’s father most likely resided in a hill fort located at Auldcastle, now known as Auldcastle Road.  It is said that Malcolm Canmore, son of Duncan I, destroyed this fort after he defeated Macbeth.  He then built a new castle on the site of the current Inverness Castle.

The real death of Duncan I of Scotland

Duncan I of Scotland’s death happened very differently in real life | Credit: Wikimedia

As for the death of Duncan I of Scotland, he certainly wasn’t murdered in his sleep.  Donchad mc Crinian is depicted in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as an elderly king who was killed in his sleep by the play’s main character.  In real life, the actually rather young king lived until the age of 39, where he was killed in battle against Macbeth’s men in what is now known as Pitgavney, near Elgin in Moray.

Macbeth & Forres

Sueno’s Stone may have been a rallying point for the real life Macbeth and his troops | Credit: Kim Traynor

In Macbeth, Duncan’s castle is said to be in Forres, and the iconic scene when the Three Witches gather to predict the rise and downfall of Macbeth is set upon a hill nearby the ancient Scottish town.

It is also said that Sueno’s Stone, a 20ft Pictish cenotaph in Forres, might have been a rallying point for the real life Macbeth and his troops before they marched east to stop Duncan’s invasion.  The true meaning of Sueno’s Stone and its engravings remain a mystery to this day.

Macbeth’s Hillock

Macbeth’s Hillock in Forres is said to be the grassy mound upon which Macbeth and Banquo met the Weird Sisters | Credit: Wikimedia

According to local folklore, Macbeth’s Hillock is the “blasted heath” where the protagonist and Banquo meet the “Weird Sisters” and hear their prophecy that Macbeth is destined to be king.  This grassy mound is within walking distance of Brodie Castle, and I would definitely recommend you have a look at all the great historic artefacts inside the castle before taking the short walk to the hill. 

Carden Cottages is the perfect base for history and literature fans to explore the many sites in the Moray area related to Macbeth.  Our luxury cottages are just around an hour drive to Inverness, only a 15 minute drive from Pitgavney, a 20 minute drive to Brodie Castle – which is in walking distance of Macbeth’s Hillock and just over a 10 minute drive to Sueno’s Stone.

For more information about Macbeth and his real and fictional life and relation to different areas in Scotland, I thoroughly recommend checking out Visit Scotland’s Guide.

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Explore the beautiful history of Brodie Castle

The beautiful Brodie castle is a must visit when exploring the Moray area.  The 16th– century castle has something for everyone – history, a wonderful art collection, beautiful gardens and a nature trail.

Brodie Castle is a beautiful rose coloured building with a rich history | Credit: Dr. Richard Murray

 

Brodie Castle was home to the Brodie clan for over 400 years, originally being built by the clan themselves in 1567.  Upon visiting the beautiful rose coloured building you can see how it has been shaped by history, with the original 1500s architecture having 17th century and Victorian additions.

When you have finished taking in the outside of the building, you can then venture inside to experience a unique insight into the past.  Stepping inside the castle is like stepping back in time, with priceless art work, antiques and other quirky historic artefacts.  The art gallery contains beautiful work from many artists, varying from Dutch Old Masters to modern watercolours.

On the outside, Brodie Castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens spanning over 71 hectares of ground.  The beautiful gardens boast incredible displays of a variety of flowers in the springtime, including bright blooming daffodils.  These gardens are great for a relaxing walk and for breathing in the tranquil surroundings.

Beautiful Daffodils bloom in the Brodie Castle Gardens | Credit: J. Thomas

There is also an adventure playground for the children, as well as a natural trail with observation hides for catching a glimpse of wildlife.  Therefore, there is something for the whole family!

The history at Brodie Castle doesn’t stop at the building itself – there is also a Pictish monument located on the close as you approach the castle.  Known as ‘Rodney’s Stone’, the two-metre high stone slab has some beautiful images carved into it.

Originally found in the grounds of the old church of Dyke and Moy, the stone has a large cross on one side and intricate engravings on the other, including two fish monsters, a “Pictish Beast”, a double disc and z-rod.

Rodney’s Stone sits on the close as you approach Brodie Castle | Credit: Ann Harrison

The castle is also located near Macbeth’s Hillock, where it is claimed that the hero of the Shakespearean tale had his encounter with the Weird Sisters.

The castle and estate’s opening times vary per season, right now in June Brodie Castle is open from 10am to 5pm daily, but from July until the end of August it will have extended hours of 9:30am until 6pm.

Ticket prices are: £11 for an adult, £35 for a family, £29 for a family with one adult, £9.50 for concessions and £6.50 for children.  For more information about ticket prices, visit the Brodie Castle website.

Brodie Castle is only a 20 minute drive from Carden Cottages.

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Witness the spectacular burning of the Clavie in Moray

One of the most fantastic traditions in the Moray area is the burning of the Clavie in Burghead.  The ancient Scottish custom takes place every year in the small fishing village, and brings in people from all over the world.

Credited Scots Radio!

Every year, on the evening of the 11th of January (unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case it would be the 10th of January) people gather in the North East to witness the spectacular event.  The 11th of January was New Year’s Eve, or Hogmanay as we say in Scotland, by the Julian calendar.

In the 1750s, the Julian calendar was reformed in Britain and the Gregorian calendar was introduced.  During this time of change, people rioted over their loss of 11 days – but the Brochers of Burghead decided that they would take this opportunity to celebrate New Year twice!

The Clavie is made up of wooden casks that have been split in two, then lit like a bonfire.  One of the casks is joined together by a huge nail and filled with tar and is then set alight.

Burghead has a rich history including the burning of the Clavie at the ancient fire festival | Credit: Anne Burgess

After it is set on fire, the Clavie is then paraded round the village in all its fiery glory by members of the Clavie Crew.  Only people who are natives of Burghead qualify to be part of this crew.

As they make their way through the town, members of the Clavie Crew hand out pieces of the Clavie to householders to ensure they have good luck for the following year.

The Clavie, along with its eager followers, makes its way up to the top of Doorie Hill, where it is wedged into the remains of an ancient fort, and a bonfire is formed from split casks.  Finally, when the blazing tar-barrel falls in pieces, everyone scrambles excitedly in hopes of getting a lighted piece with which to kindle their New Year’s fire.

The Clavie is carried through the town and up Doorie Hill by the Clavie Crew | Credit: Anne Burgess

The charcoal of the Clavie is also collected and put to good use – it is put in pieces up cottage chimneys to keep spirits and witches from forcing their way down and into people’s homes.

The burning of the Clavie dates back to the even further than the 1750s, but it is uncertain exactly when the tradition started.

If you want to start 2020 with a bang and bring yourself good fortune, book now to stay at Carden Cottages next year.  Our beautiful cottages are only an 11 minute drive from the beautiful village of Burghead.

If you want to get even closer to the action, then Burghead itself offers a wide range of B&B, Self Catering and Hotel accommodation.

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Moray Walking festival showcases the great walks in the area

The Moray Walking Festival is returning for another year from Friday 14th June to Sunday 23rd June – but Moray’s great walks are here all year round.

The festival allows you to explore and discover Moray’s natural, historical and cultural landscapes.  With all sorts of activities including: walking, cycling, white water rafting, health walks, heritage events, bushcraft and more – there is something for everyone at Moray Walking Festival.

The main aim of the festival is to allow you to explore the stunning scenery that Moray has to offer.  Whether you opt for a gentle stroll or a challenging hike, the beautiful surroundings will help you on your way.

Prices vary based on individual events, information and tickets can be found on The Moray Way website.

If you can’t make it in time for the festival, don’t fret!  Incredible walking trails can be found in the Moray area all year round.  There are plenty to choose from, including coastal walks, hill climbing and woodland adventures.

In fact, there are many walking trails that are right on the doorstep of Carden Cottages that will help you explore the area.

Quarrelwood Ancestors Trail – 2.5 miles – 1 hour 30 minutes estimated walking time

The Ancestor’s trail is a woodland walk of around 2.5 miles, with a few short steep sections and various surfaces.  The beautiful woods was used in the Neolithic era for ceremonial purposes because of the Henge, where pottery and a Bronze Age axe mould were found.

Some fantastic wildlife can be found in this area, including roe deer, red squirrels and a large variety of bird life.

Millbuies Loch Trail – 1.5 miles – 1 hour estimated walking time

The beautiful loch, created by the damming of streams to provide angling facilities on the loch, makes for a beautiful, leisurely walk with picturesque views.  It is a generally flat and easy trail, with a distance of less than two miles.

The area also provides plenty activities, including a grass area for play with picnic tables and barbecue points.  Red squirrels, roe deer, badgers, rabbits and pine martins can also be spotted at Millbuies.

Brodie Castle Path – 2.5 miles – 1 hour 30 minutes estimated walking time

The Brodie Castle Trail is made up of many beautiful paths offering a wide variety of scenic and historic features along the way.

The paths around the pond and the woodland paths are suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, however the rough paths and slopes of the walk make it unsuitable for wheelchairs and buggies.

Culbin Forest (Route 99) – less than 2 miles – 2 hours estimated walking time

Located between the coastal sand dunes of Findhorn Bay and Nairn, this walk route has a wide network of paths, including the “all abilities trail”, known as Route 99.

This route winds through forest and mossy clearings, up hill 99, and offers a “squirrels-eye” viewpoint that makes the walk worth it.

River Findhorn – 8 miles – 5 hours estimated walking time

This circular walk through and around the town of Forres follows the banks of River Findhorn and showcases some of the less frequented beautiful countryside spots of the town.

With a 5 hours estimated walking time, this long, but relatively level, route allows you to take in some fantastic scenery along the way.

Clarkly Hill – 3.5 miles – 1 hour 45 minutes estimated walking time

A circular route beginning in the Pictish Fort town of Burghead, passing through farmland and Rocky shores.  This route offers spectacular views of the Moray Firth along the ridge of Clarkly Hill.

The route is generally level, with a gentle slope rising from the Burghead – Lossiemouth Road to Clarkly Hill.

The Moray Way – 95 miles – 6 to 9 days estimated walking time

Linking existing walking routes to form a circuit of 95 miles, The Moray Way can be walked comfortably in six to nine days.  The long route encompassed a wide variety of Scotland’s scenery into one walk including: beaches, clifftops, wide straths, farmlands, forests, open moorland and mountains.

The Moray Ways website has more information about fantastic walks in the area.

The route is circular and can be started from many points.  I would recommend starting from Forres when staying at Carden Cottages.

Walkers can experience history, beautiful scenery and interesting wildlife on this trail.

All of these walks are right on the doorstep of Carden.  With different routes to match different abilities it would be near impossible not to find a trail that suits you.

After your long relaxing walk, you can unwind in the comfort of your luxury cottage at Carden.

 

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Tranquil Getaway at Roseisle

Roseisle beach, burghead, Moray, Scotland
The beach at Roseisle is the perfect place to relax and unwind

Moray is known for its beautiful coastal villages and incredible walking trails, but one of the most beautiful spots for relaxing has to be Roseisle beach.

Situated between Findhorn and Burghead, the beautiful sandy beach offers brilliant views of the seaside village and town to each side.

Due to its brilliant location, clear waters and clean sandy shores, Roseisle is always busy – but it amazingly never seems to get crowded.  This is probably because of its extensive size, which means you don’t have to walk very far to be in peaceful solitude.

The privacy that the beach offers allows a great opportunity to relax and reflect.  On even the most stressful of days, the sound of the ocean waves can always help wash my worries away.

Something I work very hard at is making sure that I take time out of my busy schedule to look after my mental well-being.  I have found that, apart from the pond beside Carden, nowhere helps me unwind like the beach at Roseisle.

Carden Cottages, Moray, Scotland
The pond by Carden is a great spot to be at peace

Studies have shown that the sounds of nature – including the ocean and birds chirping – can help you recover faster from a stressful event.  Therefore, if you’re looking for a break from the stress and business of everyday life, this is the ideal place for you to visit.

The incredible beach is not all that Roseisle has to offer offer – it also boasts a woodland area that is equally picturesque, and just as relaxing when trying to escape.

The sweet smelling pine trees add to the relaxing atmosphere – making all of your senses completely at peace.

The fantastic woodland at Roseisle is the perfect escape from reality

There really is something for every member of the family in the area – a beach, woods and even a play park.  Every part of the area is just as beautiful during cold days as it is during the summer.

There is also a lot of military history to the beach – with the remnants of anti-tank blocks and pillboxes still standing on the shore.   Therefore, regardless if you are looking for a relaxing atmosphere or an adventure full of hiking ad history, you can find it here.

Our whole family loves Roseisle beach so much that it is where we spend our Boxing Day every year. We usually set up in the afternoon and have drinks and barbecues all day, with a big roaring fire to keep us all warm.  We have even had years where we stayed on the beach having a grand time until one in the morning!

One year there were couples setting off lanterns, making the landscape look like something out of a painting and making our evening even more special.

The area offers lots of public amenities which helps it stand out from other beaches and hiking trails in the area – including public toilets and a vast amount of parking, costing only £2 for the whole day.

This idyllic location, where you can relax and unwind, is only just over 10 minutes away from Carden Cottages by car.

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Golfing in Moray

Moray is home to a huge variety of beautiful golf courses to suit every kind of golfer.  From the beautiful Cullen Links Course, to the upmarket Lossiemouth Club, to the popular Hopeman Course – Moray has a course for everyone regardless of budget, skill set or scenery preference!

Cullen Links, Cullen, Moray, Scotland
Cullen Links is set in the picturesque coastal town of Cullen | Credit: Wikimedia

Scenic Views

The stunning Cullen Links Golf Course is one of the most popular in the Moray area – and it is easy to see why.  The quality of the picturesque views surrounding this golf course are enough to make even the worst round of golf you’ve ever played feel like its going smoothly.  There are beautiful views of the ocean, which are like something out of a painting on a nice sunny day.

With 10 par three holes – Cullen is the shortest links course in Scotland.  However, the short course is full of adventure – winding its way up around a cliff-top, before twisting back down towards the shore where you can golf in between old sea stacks.

The Covesea Links is another course in the Moray area with fantastic views of the sea.  The 9-hole course is nestled in a cove right on the coast between Lossiemouth and Hopeman – following the contours of the cove to offer stunning views of the coast.

Hopeman Golf Course, Moray, Scotland
Hopeman Golf Course is home to one of the best 3-par holes in Scotland | Credit: Geograph

Best Par 3 Hole in Scotland

Hopeman Golf Course is by far one of the most popular courses in the Moray area.  In fact, it’s signature hole, The Prieshach, was voted one of the best Par 3 holes in Scotland by Sky Golf.

Although the 12th hole is the signature hole, there are several others that stand out as particularly brilliant – with the greens at this course being just as good as the far pricier courses in the area.  It is no wonder that the course is so popular.

Moray Golf Clubhouse, Lossiemouth, Scotland
Moray Golf Club is popular with visitors | Credit: Richard Hoare

High End Courses

Moray Golf Course is one of the more high end clubs in the area.  The clubhouse has some real old world charm, and offers some delicious food and drink – the most important part for me!

The course is of a very high standard – with the fairways and greens kept in excellent condition.  It is a great challenge, especially when the wind is blowing, but you can treat yourself to an excellent meal afterwards.

Golfing for Better Mental Health

Not only does golfing help improve your physical health, there are strong arguments to suggest it works wonders for your mental health too.  Research has shown that the sport can help you improve your confidence, self-esteem and anxiety levels.

Next week, on Friday 17th May, Living Golf will be hosting its Changing Lives in Moray event at Covesea Golf Links.  The purpose of the event is to promote the sport as a way of improving mental health.

The event is open to everyone, regardless of ability (so even I might be able to give it a go!)  Teams of four can play 9 holes at a cost of £5 per player.  For more information, or if you have transport problems, you can contact Living Golf on 07570 139657 or letsplay@livinggolf.com

Moray Golf Courses

Click on the links below to find out more about the individual Golf Clubs in Moray.

 

For more information about golfing in the Moray area, check out our other article on the sport.

Carden Cottages offers a central location to call home while you are visiting all of the fantastic surrounding golf courses.  Join our mailing list to find out about some fantastic last minute deals.

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Great food at The Red Lion

The Red Lion, known lovingly by locals as The “Red Beastie”, is a fantastic little pub in Forres.

The Red Lion Forres from outside
The Red Lion is located just off Forres High Street | Credit: The Red Lion

Located just off Forres High Street, it is an ideal central location for when you are exploring the area.

I recently went to the beastie for my dinner and found myself spoilt for choice for starters, mains and desserts.  On my visit I opted to take advantage of the specials menu, treating myself to all three courses.

To start, I had the traditional haggis and clapshot with whisky cream.  This deliciously Scottish dish melted in the mouth.  The pub certainly did the classic combination justice!

Haggis, neeps and tatties
Haggis is a delicious Scottish dish that The Red Lion did justice | Credit: Wikimedia

I then had grilled butterflied chicken, served with rice and veg and a tasty honey Dijon sauce.  The chicken was cooked perfectly – moist and juicy.  The sauce added a nice sweet touch that brilliantly complimented the rest of the dish.

For my final and favourite course (dessert!) I had a fantastically sweet homemade oreo cheesecake.  It was the perfect combination of a crumbly biscuit base, with a rich, creamy top half.  The chunks of oreo mixed with the soft texture added a superb extra crunch that took the dessert to the next level.  I would definitely recommend you give it a go if it is on the menu when you visit.

Unfortunately, on this occasion I was driving so I didn’t get to put the bar to the test.  However, The Red Lion bar serves everything – from cask ales and premium lagers to wine or whisky.  It is definitely the spot to unwind and relax with a drink in Forres.

The Red Lion bar forres
The Red Lion bar boasts a variety of drinks including some wonderful cask ales | Credit: The Red Lion

The staff were all very friendly and the service was excellent.  You are never left waiting to be served or dying of thirst waiting on a drink!

I would recommend the Red Beastie to anyone looking to relax and enjoy some good, hearty food after a long day.

The pub is a 15 minute drive from Carden Cottages and is within walking distance from some historic sites in Forres, such as Sueno’s Stone and Nelson’s Tower.

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