Area focus: Forres, Moray's hidden gem

Brodie Castle, near Forres, is hosting a spectacular light show that takes visitors along illuminated paths throughout the Brodie estate.
The Mercat Cross, ForresThe Mercat Cross, Forres
The Mercat Cross, Forres

The A-listed building has been the home of the Brodie clan for more than 400 years and is now one of the region’s most iconic structures.

The family-friendly show brings the 16th-Century structure to life after dark, highlighting the beauty of its architecture, Victorian shrubbery and tall trees throughout its gardens.

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The event runs Wednesday to Saturday, from 5pm, until 27 November, and is situated just five minutes west of Forres, near the stunning Moray coast.

The ancient town, nestled on the shoulder of Cluny Hill 26 miles north of Inverness, is home to around 10,000 people and, thanks to its beauty and surroundings, attracts visitors and adventureseekers all year round.

Evidence shows that people have lived in the area from the Neolithic period and there was a castle there from 900AD, although no sign of it exists today.

The town as it stands today is one of the country’s oldest after being made a Royal Burgh by King David I in 1140 and is best known for featuring in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

By the Victorian era, Forres – twinned with Vienenburg in Germany – had become a thriving market town, with a wide high street boasting a grand mercat cross.

The town is now a popular destination thanks to its two distilleries, historic points of interest and access to good schools, as well as previously having been awarded the status of having Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street.

A property in Forres will cost on average £202,405, according to online estate agent Zoopla, a value change of less than 1 per cent, a sign that now is the time to buy.

Alexandra Terrace, south of Forres town centre, is perhaps the most highly-desirable address for homebuyers with a generous budget.

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The thoroughfare is home to a collection of large detached stone houses built in the 1800s and featuring between three and seven bedrooms. It can cost up to around £510,000 for the more spacious homes there.

The nearby Sanquhar Road is another of the town’s most soughtafter addresses, with Victorian villas boasting large gardens overlooking Roysvale Park, and just minutes from leisure facilities and schools.

A property there will typically have a price tag of around £307,000 and the value has increased in the last 12 months.

St Leonards Road provides the main route out of Forres in a southeasterly direction, and it has a variety of properties, from grand Victorian houses to generously proportioned modern homes, all of

which can cost between £290,000 and £450,000.

Those seeking a more contemporary dwelling should look to Invererne Gardens, north of the town centre and close to the Burn of Mosset, a tributary of the River Findhorn.

Residences include wellpresented family-style homes and a variety of detached houses.

In the south, off Grantown Road, is Knockomie Braes, a development by Springfield Properties.

One stand-out address here is Cumiskie Crescent, which curves around a large green space and has properties with driveways, garages and timber cladding.

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Families have a choice of schools for their children in the primary years, and for those at secondary level is the state-run Forres Academy, while Drumduan School provides a Steiner education from those aged three to 18, and the private Gordonstoun School is a 20-minute drive away.

There is a train station in the town with regular trains to Inverness, Dyce, Aberdeen and Dundee.

With its beauty, history and stunning Moray surroundings, Forres has an assortment of homes suited to anyone hoping to secure an abode in the prettiest town in the north-east.

Market value

Average market value of a property in the area (Source: Zoopla)

Detached £303,943

Semi-detached £176,107

Terrace £143,227

Flat £125,392

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