Forres is know for its floral displays, impressive architecture and the largest Medieval carved standing stone in Scotland. The town is in Moray, around 26 miles from Inverness. Here are the highlights from my visit to the town.
This is one of the most impressive standing stones in Scotland. It's over 6.5m high. The protective glass box makes it stand out and draws you to it. The box seems to enhance the importance of the stone and provides a striking landmark for the town.
The carvings on the stone depict a battle. It's got infantry, horse riders and even decapitated enemies. It was made sometime in the mid 800s to early 900s.
Forres in Bloom
The town has won numerous awards for its floral displays. Grant Park is the place to see them. During my visit the displays were not quite ready, but the park is always a special place to spend some time.
My favourite view from the park looks out on a Tuscan bell tower. St John the Evangelist Scottish Episcopal Church has a tower that wouldn't look out of place in an Italian village. There's a great variety of architecture in Forres and this is one of the highlights.
There's also a cute statue of a piper in Grant Park.
Burn of Mosset
There are nice paths with bridges to explore on a walk down by the Burn of Mosset. On a sunny day this is the place to head with a picnic.
St Laurence Parish Church
This is my favourite building in Forres. It is grand with beautiful stonework and a 120 foot high spire. During my walkabout the bells were ringing and the Minister was outside the door, greeting parishioners.
Mercat Cross and Tolbooth
This structure might look familiar to you. It is modeled on the Scott Monument of Edinburgh's Princess Street. With the Tolbooth nearby this part of Forres is an architectural delight.
My favourite thing about the Tolbooth building? It's the stonework, with the different sizes and colours, and the arched windows.
The large number of impressive buildings in the town makes Forres a delight to explore. Some of my favourites include the Town Hall and the Red Lion Inn.
Maclean's Highland Bakery
You will find this bakery on the High Street and you should try one of their delicious pies. They have won awards and during my visit there was a window display devoted to the haggis and chicken and Scotch pies.
More to discover
I did not have time to see and do everything that Forres has to offer. This was a short visit, but I really enjoyed the town and would love to come back and spend more time here. Check out the Visit Forres website for ideas of more things to do.
It's just a 4 mile cycle from Forres to Brodie castle.
Where to stay
I stayed in the wonderful Knockomie Inn.
It's around 30 minutes by train from Inverness to Forres. I cycled here on National Cycle Route One.