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The route from Forres to Lossiemouth is 18.7 miles in length and has climbing of 600 feet. It has been given a difficulty rating of 5.
Forres is a good sized town situated on the floodplain of the River Findhorn. It was first mentioned in Roman documents from the 2nd century, and received royal burgh status in 1140. It has won Scotland in Bloom on several occasions and the town features in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Sueno’s Stone is on the north side of the town and you pass it after 0.6 miles – it is a 20 foot tall carved Pictish monument which is enclosed in armoured glass to protect it. Your start point is beside Nelson Tower, which was built in 1806 to commemorate Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
You start in the centre of Forres, crossing the A96 via a bridge at mile 0.6 and heading northwest. The profile of this stage looks horrible but it is an easy route and the numerous spikes are accentuated because of the low elevation. Only two of these require mention, at mile 9.6 and then something that actually resembles a hill at mile 13.7, reaching the high point of 118 feet at mile 15.4. You join the B9040 here, which is quite busy and fast so please take care. You enter Lossiemouth from the west, finishing in the town centre.
This route is classic Moray and more about the scenery than the sights. You enter Kinloss at mile 2.3 which is home to thousands of military personnel. The town sits on Findhorn Bay and you can see the ruins of a Cisterian Abbey that was built in 1150 by King David. Just to the north is the village of Findhorn. The community centre and main sanctuary of this eco-community were destroyed by arsonists in April 2021. If you have the inclination and the energy, a small detour for tea and cake would surely be appreciated. At mile 13 you pass the remains of Duffus Castle, a motte and bailey that was built in 1140 and abandoned in 1705, and you pass the prestigious Gordonstoun School at mile 14, skirting the edge of RAF Lossiemouth.
Although Lossiemouth has been settled for over a thousand years, the current town was established 250 years ago. Formally a fishing village, the economy is dominated by the RAF base. There are two world-class golf courses, which might be the only courses in the world to have landing lights strewn across them – you will feel like you can touch the jets as they come in to land. Golf brings many tourists to the area, and the courses are associated with three former British prime ministers – Arthur James Balfour, Herbert Asquith and James Ramsay MacDonald. The Covesea Lighthouse is to the west, and there are some wonderful beaches and cliff walks on the Moray Coast Trail to enjoy. There are plenty of food options in town, and some excellent fish ‘n chips.
By clicking on the ‘play’ symbol on the graphic below you can see route map. The elevation profile of the ride can be seen via the Hills tab with files for use with a GPS device also available for download. If you take any photos of the route that you’d like to share, please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org