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Morayshire

Morayshire lies on the south coast of the Moray Firth, between Nairnshire and Banffshire. It was formerly also called Elginshire from its county town. The shire stretches 30 miles along the coast but also runs deep inland. Along the sea-coast the shores are mostly low and sandy. It is a fishing and farming coast, the Firth rich with haddock and cod. A little inland it consists of fertile valleys, divided by low hills, producing crops and livestock. Further inland the fields gradually rise to the mountains. The main town, Elgin, lies inland a way, on the wee river, the Lossie. Downstream Lossiemouth is a fishing village best known for its RAF base. The main road from Aberdeen to Inverness runs through this coastward strip and here are the main villages. Above the impressive Findhorn Bay is a magnet for Shakespeareans; Forres where the Bard placed Duncan’s royal palace. The southern portion of Morayshire is a contrast. It lies in the hills. A large portion at least on the lower slopes is covered by forest. The Spey, Lossie and Findhorn run from these hills, the Spey and the Findhorn with salmon and grilse, and the lochs with trout. Speyside in particular is renowned fishing country. Forestry is the industry of the hills, though a good income is made too from fishing and deer-stalking. Northward, Morayshire follows the Spey to Grantown on Spey, above which the serious mountains begin, in Inverness-shire.

County Facts

County Town: Elgin

Main Towns: Burghead, Duffus, Findhorn, Elgin, Fochabers, Lossiemouth.

Main Rivers: Spel, Lossie, Findhorn, Divie.

Highlights: Elgin Cathedral; Gordonstoun school; Sueno Stone, Forres; Nelson memorial, Cluny Hill.

Highest Point: Carn a’Ghille Chearr, 2329 feet.

Area: 476 sq miles

County Flower: One-flowered Wintergreen