Visit Burghead


Burghead, a small coastal village in the north-east region of Moray, stands out with its unique and captivating history. Despite its size, the village’s historical significance has left an indelible mark on the region’s development.

Burghead’s claim to fame is its iconic Pictish Fort – a pivotal archaeological site in Scotland’s history. This Fort, constructed in the later Iron Age and inhabited by the enigmatic Picts, offers invaluable insights into Scotland’s prehistoric era. The Fort, situated on a headland known in Gaelic as the ‘rubha,’ or ‘promontory,’ is believed to have served as a religious centre, a role it continued to play even after the Pictish era, being an important site of worship for the Norsemen.

The Fort’s significance continued even after the Pictish era, as it was used as a power base for the warriors of Moray throughout the Middle Ages. The Fort’s strategic location and the natural harbour at Burghead made it ideal for developing the port trade. It became a key trading centre, playing a crucial role in the region’s economy and exporting salt and herring to other parts of Europe.

Village Rebuilt

In the 16th century, Burghead was one of the busiest port towns in Scotland and had a thriving fishing industry. But, in the late 18th century, the village faced a significant natural disaster. A severe storm hit the village, causing much destruction and taking the lives of many locals. However, the village’s resilience was evident as it was rebuilt, showcasing the strength and determination of its people. Although the fishing industry never fully recovered, the village continued to thrive in other aspects.

Today, Burghead’s allure lies in its picturesque and serene setting, drawing visitors from around the globe. The village offers a chance to explore the remnants of the Pictish Fort and stroll along the scenic Burghead Bay.

In conclusion, Burghead is a unique village that has played a significant role in Scotland’s historical and cultural development. Its impact on the region’s trade and religion and its status as a prominent fishing village make it an essential part of Scotland’s history. Its contribution to the prehistoric and medieval era and the remnants of its past continue to attract visitors to this fascinating village.

The Discover Moray Speyside visitor guide includes more detail on the attractions and activities in Moray.

Click on the Visitor Guide link below to learn more:

LINK – Visitor Guide

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Jun 29, 2024 | Visitor Guide Moray