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Gaelic: Farrais
Forres High Street - - 186664.jpg
High Street, Forres
Grid reference: NJ034578
Location: 57°35’60"N, 3°37’0"W
Population: 8,967  (2001)
Post town: Forres
Postcode: IV36
Dialling code: 01309
Local Government
Council: Moray

Forres is a town and royal burgh of Morayshire, standing on the coast of the Moray Firth, 30 miles east of Inverness, perhaps best known for its appearance in William Shakespeare's Macbeth.

There are many geographical and historical attractions nearby such as the River Findhorn, and there are many historical artefacts and monuments within the town itself. Forres has been a winner of the Scotland in Bloom award on several occasions.[1]

Sights about the town

Sueno's Stone in Forres

In the town stands Sueno's Stone, an enormous carved stone, probably created by Picts to commemorate a battle against Norse invaders. It is 20 feet tall and encased in glass structure to protect it from the elements. Suenos Stone translates to "Sven's Stone".

Brodie Castle lies near the town.

Other attractions to the town include Dallas Dhu Distillery which lies just south of the town. Although no longer in production it is maintained in working order by Historic Scotland. Benromach Distillery [2] is an active distillery and has a visitors centre. It is located just north of the Forres bypass.

The town has a network of footpaths that have been established and waymarked by the Forres Footpaths Trust in recent years.[3]

Forres has also just completed a multimillion-pound flood prevention scheme at Chapletonmoss and in front of the Mosset Tavern in the town centre.


How far is't call'd to Forres?[4]

Shakespeare's play Macbeth locates Duncan's castle at Forres, while Macbeth's castle was located at Inverness. Here, in the play if not in history, the king, Duncan, receives Macbeth after the victory with which the play opens and invests him as Thame of Cawdor in addition to his thanedom of Glamis. In Forres again Macbeth holds his court when he is king.


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 and in around 1140 it became a royal burgh.

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 almost 9,000 inhabitants.[5] 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. There are a number of bars and pubs, including The Newmarket, The Red Lion locally known as the "Beastie", The Mosset Tavern,[6] and The Carlton Hotel.[7]


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.[8] It also plays host to Highland Football League team, Forres Mechanics and Junior club Forres Thistle. Forres also hosts the Official Moray 5-a-side Superleague, which runs every week at Forres Community Centre.

Forres Harriers is the local running club with around 80 members.[9] The most famous Harrier is Don Ritchie who at one time held 14 World Best Times for ultra-distance running events ranging from 31¼ miles to 125 miles.[10]


  1. "Forres in Bloom"
  2. "Benromach Distillery" ""
  3. "Forres Footpaths Trust"
  4. Banquo in Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 3
  5. "Scotland's Census Results Online"
  6. "Mosset Tavern" ""
  7. "The Carlton Hotel" ""
  8. "Welcome to Forres Golf Club"
  9. "Welcome to the Forres Harriers Website"
  10. "A Brief Club History"

Outside links