Plan a trip to Roseisle
A great place to visit – and why not make a day of it? Bring a picnic or cook up a barbecue while the children have fun in the play area. Relax on the sandy beach, explore the sweet-smelling pinewood or watch out for local wildlife from our bird hide. There's so much to do here, you'll need to keep coming back...
Reminder: the toilets at Roseisle close for winter on 31 October 2016.
Toilets here are open from the 31st of March to the end of October.
There are picnic tables dotted throughout the trees near the car park and some purpose-built barbecues on site, available to anyone on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Alternatively, bring your own disposable barbecue – there are ceramic tiles on some of the picnic tables to stand them on.
There is play equipment, suitable for children of all ages, close to the picnic area.
You can find refreshments and shops at the nearby towns of Kinloss, Elgin and Burghead. You’ll also find public toilets that are open year-round at Burghead and Findhorn.
Car parking charges
Please note, parking charges are as follows:
- £1 for up to 1 hour
- £1.50 for up to 3 hours
- £2 for all day
- £8 for minibus and coach all day
Season passes are also available. For more information please contact us.
Reminder: the toilets at Roseile close for winter on 31 October 2016.
Ice House trail
This short path leads you through the forest just in from the shore to a grassy knoll beside the Bessie Burn with spectacular views to sea. See if you can spot the old ice house along the trail.
An undulating, moderately steep track, with some short fairly steep sections. Generally loose and sandy, or earthy paths which can be muddy after rain. Uneven sections with exposed tree roots.
1 ¼ miles / 2.0 km Allow ¾ hour
See if you can spot the old ice house along the trail, used for storing salmon caught off the coast. Keep an eye on the horizon too – this coastline was once the haunt of smugglers!
A stroll through this lovely coastal pine forest, taking in an old fishermen's bothy and the sparkling Millie Burn.
A loose sandy or earthy uneven path. Generally gentle to moderately steep, with some short fairly steep slopes. One long flight of steep, uneven log steps. Wet and muddy after rain.
1 ½ miles / 2.6 km Allow 1¼ hours
Discover the forest at different stages in its life, from newly-planted trees to mature pines. This scenic trail leads you past ruined Millie Bothy, where salmon fishermen used to take shelter, and heads to the Millie Burn where it enters the sea for great views across the Moray Firth.
Wildlife Walk trail
A great circuit that takes in forest and foreshore, with a chance to spot seals, red squirrels and woodland birds.
A narrow loose and sandy or earthy uneven surface. Can be wet after rain. Generally gentle to moderately steep, with short fairly steep slopes. One narrow bridge.
2 ½ miles / 4.2 km Allow 1¾ hours
Look out for seals and seabirds bobbing offshore, red squirrels as you walk amongst the trees and woodpeckers and other woodland birds from the hide. See if you can spot the old ice house along the trail and take time to pause at the bridge, watching your reflection in the clear water of the Bessie Burn.
Mountain biking trails
There are no waymarked cycle trails here, but there are plenty of flat routes that make this a great place to explore by bike. You can also cycle in from Burghead and College of Roseisle.
There are no waymarked horse riding routes, but it’s well worth exploring this beautiful coastal pinewood on horseback. The wood is crisscrossed with quiet, little-used tracks and trails. Find out more in our horse riding section.
Trails to Roseisle
Waymarked walks from the car park link with the villages of Burghead and College of Roseisle. These have been developed in partnership with the Burghead Footpath Group.
Discover Roseisle’s wartime story
There is access the beach to see the World War II coastal defences, including concrete tank cubes and pill boxes. Many of the blocks have moved from their original positions, due to the shifting sands, but they still provide excellent defence against the wind here.
We shall fight them on the beaches...
In the summer of 1940, soon after the start of the Second World War, the threat of German invasion was very real. Areas of the British coast where enemy troops could land needed to be protected – and Moray was one of them.
As a result, a series of defence structures were built between Cullen Bay and Burghead Bay, through today's Roseisle and Lossie forests. On the beach at Roseisle you’ll find anti-tank blocks and pillboxes.
An island in the sand
Roseisle, as its name suggests, was once an island. Much of the surrounding area was underwater, partly from an arm of the sea that stretched inland here. In the late 1600s a great storm shifted the sands and cut off the sea. The area was drained and used for farmland and later for forestry.
The woods here date back to the 1930s when trees – mainly Corsican pine and Scots pine – were planted to help stabilise the drifting sand dunes. The pine trees, which grow well in the dry sandy soil, have created a special but fragile environment that teems with wildlife.
How to get here
From Forres: Turn off the A96 onto the B9011 to Kinloss, then the B9089 to Burghead. Look out for the car park on the left after 6 miles (10km).
From Elgin: Turn off the A96 onto the B9013 to Burghead. At College of Roseisle turn left and follow the signs. The car park is on the right after 2 miles (3km).
The car park is at grid reference NJ 104 656.
IV36 2UB is the nearest postcode.
Elgin is the nearest railway station. There are regular buses from Elgin to Roseisle. You’ll find service details at Traveline Scotland.
Visit nearby Burghead to find out more about the area’s long and fascinating history, including its ancient Pictish Fort.
Want more wartime heritage?
If you want to find out more about the area’s coastal defences, head to the coastal forests at Lossie and Culbin. The pinewoods at Culbin, planted to help stabilise the shifting sands, are also a great place to walk, cycle or ride – and head to the top of the viewpoint tower to experience the forest canopy and amazing sea views.
Want more walking?
Find a range of tranquil woodland trails, great views and a perfect picnic spot beside the Black Burn at Torrieston.
Discover a hilltop woodland with stunning views over Elgin and the Moray Firth at Quarrelwood. Choose trails that follow in the footsteps of our Stone Age ancestors, or of creatures even older than the dinosaurs!
You'll find a map of Roseisle and information about other forests in Moray in our guide.
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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.