After breakfast it’s keeping to the coast again along the Moray Firth.
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Well worth a visit is the Findhorn Foundation which is reached on the North East 500 spur to Findhorn Bay. The Findhorn Foundation is a community formed in 1972 and its ecovillage project began in the late 1980's. The village is an amazing collection of unique eco-friendly houses with a shop and community buildings and gardens. The community has contributed significantly to the development of the ecovillage movement worldwide.
After Findhorn it is a short trip to historic Burghead, which was a promontory fort in Pictish times and was possibly one of their earliest power centres in the sub-kingdom of Fortrui, flourishing between the mid 300’s and the late 800’s. Sections of the inner ramparts remain and the fort’s underground ritual well is “well” worth a visit! There is a small but informative visitors centre, which also provides great views over the Moray Firth. Finally look out for many Pictish Bulls, a emblem of these parts.
Spynie Palace was the fortified seat of the powerful Bishop’s of Moray going back to the late 1100’s. Originally the Cathedral was also at Spynie, where the present day Spynie Churchyard now stands, but a new Cathedral was built in Elgin around 1224. Inside the palace grounds is the massive rectangular keep called David’s Tower after the Bishop who built it around 1470. This is the largest tower house by volume to survive in Scotland. Although now roofless, the excellent interpretation by Historic Scotland allows the grandeur of the palace and the grounds to be interpreted and enjoyed. There is a pleasant walk to the churchyard where the old cathedral once stood – burial place of James Ramsay MacDonald, Labour’s first Prime Minister.
Described as “The Lantern of the North”, Elgin Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings. Though it lies in ruins today, many details survive to show how this magnificent church grew over the centuries. The Cathedral was founded around 1270, taking a simple cross shaped form. It was damaged by fire and by violence in 1270, 1390 and again in 1402. Each time the bishops of Moray rebuilt the cathedral to reflect the style of their age and the grandness of their ambition.