Forres (Gaelic: Farrais), is a town and former royal burgh situated in the north of Scotland on the Moray coast, approximately 30 miles east of Inverness. Forres has been a winner of the Scotland in Bloom award on several occasions. There are many geographical and historical attractions nearby such as the River Findhorn, and there are many historical artifacts and monuments within the town itself.

Brief history and overview

Forres is thought to be the "Varris" shown on maps by Ptolemy almost 2,000 years ago. There was a royal castle there from at least 900 AD and in around 1140 AD it became a royal burgh. Royal burghs were founded by the Kings of Scots of the 12th century to encourage trade and economic improvement. The local abbey was plundered by Wolf of Badenoch.

On 23 June 1496 King James IV of Scotland issued a Royal Charter laying down the rights and privileges which the town's people are believed to have held by an earlier charter since the reign of King David I some 300 years earlier.

Forres has grown in recent years and now has over 9,000 inhabitants. Sitting between the floodplain of the River Findhorn and the wooded slopes of Cluny and Sanquhar Hills, Forres is well known for its award winning floral sculptures and is steeped in local history and traditions.

It has a number of Bars and pubs, including The Newmarket, The Red Lion, The Mosset Tavern, and The Carlton Hotel.

The town is the location of Sueno's Stone, an enormous carved stone, probably created by Picts to commemorate a battle against Norse invaders. Brodie Castle lies near the town.

Shakespeare's play Macbeth locates Duncan's castle here. Macbeth's castle was located at Inverness.

The town has a network of footpaths that have been established and waymarked by the Forres Footpaths Trust in recent years.

Parliamentary burgh

Forres was a parliamentary burgh, combined with Inverness, Fortrose and Nairn, in the Inverness Burghs constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1918. The constituency was abolished in 1918 and the Forres and Nairn components were merged into the then new constituency of Moray and Nairn.


Forres is situated on the A96 trunk route connecting the cities of Aberdeen and Inverness. Due to high volumes of traffic passing through the town centre, a bypass was built in the late 1980s to reduce congestion in the town centre. The A980 connects Forres with Grantown-on-Spey, Aviemore and the south directly without the requirement of driving via Inverness. The B9011 connects Forres to RAF Kinloss and Findhorn Bay. Findhorn is well known for its beach, boats and is home to the Findhorn Foundation, a spiritual community.

Forres railway station is situated just outside of the town and is operated by First ScotRail. The town of Forres was once a junction in the Highland Railway network, travelling through Forres was once the quickest route to reach Inverness from the south. Originally the station had three platforms - two operating in the direction of Inverness and Aberdeen and a third operating a service to Grantown-on-Spey, a service which was closed in the 1960s and now forms part of The Dava Way, a scenic footpath connecting the two towns.

Inverness Airport is approximately 30 minutes away by road and provides links mainly to other airports within the UK.


  • Anderson's Primary School, High Street (State Primary School)
  • Applegrove Primary School, Orchard Road (State Primary School)
  • Pilmuir Primary School, Pilmuir Road (State Primary School)
  • Forres Academy, Burdsyard Road (State Secondary School)
  • Moray Steiner School, Drumduan House, Clovenside Road (Private School 5 to 16 year olds)


Forres has a host of various sporting activities within it including Forres Golf Course, which has held the Scottish Young Professionals championships a number of times. It also plays host to Highland League team, Forres Mechanics and Junior club Forres Thistle.

Town twinning


External links

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