It might be easy to miss Forres as the main Inverness to Aberdeen road bypasses it, but it is one of Moray's most attractive towns. A lot of time and effort goes into the town gardens and Forres is a frequent winner of competitions such as Britain in Bloom. The High Street, centred on the Old Tolbooth and Market Cross has a good mix of smaller independent shops all set in a town that has retained much of its historical character. Population 8967.
The Falconer Museum is an example of how a small museum can really make the most of its position and new technology to provide an enjoyable, thought-
The Falconer Room within the museum is an exploration of the achievements of Hugh Falconer, palaeontologist and botanist and friend of Charles Darwin. Darwin and Falconer exchanged letters as Darwin worked on The Origin of The Species.
The ancient Sueno Stone is situated at the East end of Forres, signposted off Victoria Road. It is an impressive structure towering 20 feet in the air, which is now cocooned in a modern glass box to protect it from the elements. It is believed to be over 1000 years old and is remarkably well preserved. On one side is a traditional Celtic cross and the other depicts four scenes from an unknown battle although the information boards offer some theories. Admission free.
The Thomson Memorial stands as a reminder of the heroism of Dr James Thomson. The memorial itself is rather austere but the plaque on the other side gives an insight into the courage of a medical officer who saved many lives including those of the enemy in the Crimean War.
There are many stories in Moray Folklore about witches. In Forres, witches were placed inside a barrel and then spikes were driven thought the barrel and rolled down Cluny Hill. The brutality did not end there as the barrel was burnt when it came to rest. The witches stone near the police station marks one of these events.
Although the Dava Way does not have the profile of the Spey Way -