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The route from Lossiemouth to Elgin is 6.3 miles in length and has climbing of 197 feet. Unsurprisingly, this has been given a difficulty rating of 3, which might actually be too generous!
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 to the west. 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 is a fishing museum near the harbour.
Starting in the town centre, you head west out of town before turning south, reaching the countryside at mile 1.6. Some of the route is on a dedicated cycle path, but some is on the A941 which can be busy and fast so please take care. This is an easy ride, and the first 3.7 miles are on flat, rolling roads. The only thing approaching a hill starts after 3.7 miles and reaches the high point of 89 feet after 4.3 miles. The remainder of the route is rolling and you enter Elgin from the north, with the final 1.2 miles in the town itself, finishing in the grounds of the cathedral.
With the route being so short, there isn’t much to say! You will travel through farmland, some of it owned by the MoD. You pass the ruins of the Palace of Spynie at mile 3.7, a fortified residence founded in the 12th century and the former seat of the Bishops of Moray.
Elgin is the administrative and commercial centre of Moray and the town was first recorded in charter in 1151. The economy is dependant on tourism and whisky, as well as the RAF and army which have bases in nearby Lossiemouth and Kinloss respectively. The ruins of the medieval cathedral are well worth a visit. Originally built in 1242, it was completely destroyed by fire in 1270. The wonderful Dr Gray’s Hospital was built in 1819 and is a superb example of early 19th century architecture. If you have time you could visit Birnie Kirk (built in 1140) a few miles south of the town, or Pluscarden Abbey to the southwest which was built in 1230. We would recommend a visit to Glen Moray distillery in Elgin, which has long been a friend to Ride the North. There are lots of café, restaurant and supermarket options.
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