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LOSSIEMOUTH is a Moray coastal gem that makes a relaxed and varied holiday destination.
Famous for its fishing past when the two-basin harbour was packed with seine-netters and trawlers, the burgh’s port has reinvented itself as one of the Moray Firth’s finest and most secure marinas.
The picturesque twin East and West Basin are crammed full of yachts that make a colourful addition to a town with a strong maritime connection.
Along the harbour waterfront are shops, quayside cafes, pubs and new developments that continue Lossiemouth’s growth as a major yachting centre and home to almost 100 craft and Lossiemouth Cruising Club.
To the east and west of the harbour some of the north of Scotland’s finest beaches stretch along the shoreline. The East Beach is renowned with miles of dunes and safe uninterrupted sands that curve majestically towards Spey Bay.
To the west lies the Stotfield Bay overlooking the Halliman Skerries and its beacon that has warned seafarers clear of its rocks for generations. A little further west stands the famous Covesea Lighthouse – an elegant clifftop structure that was built by Alan Stevenson in 1844 and whose former keepers’ cottages are now available as holiday rents from the National Trust for Scotland.
Silversands Caravan Site lies nearby with extensive holiday facilities and close to Moray Golf Club – a links course renowned for the quality of its greens and challenging gorse-fringed fairways.
The town is steeped in its maritime history and the architecture of its older homes, from the traditional Seatown to the more modern developments clustered round the burgh’s elevated site, capture its unique, gentle rising hillside location.
A variety of shops, restaurants and hotels are scattered through the heart of the town while a wide open space attractively set out for pedestrians dominates the centre of what is traditionally known as Braderburgh.
But Lossiemouth has another claim to fame.
On the western outskirts is the site of Lossiemouth Airfield – a world-famous RAF base that was opened in May 1939 and is still serving as a front line station and home to Tornado units such as the legendary 617 Dambusters’ Squadron and the Sea King helicopters of 202 Squadron ‘D’ Flight that figure so prominently in the news as they rescue anyone in difficulty on northern Scotland’s hills or at sea.
The airbase was commissioned on the outbreak of World War II as an RAF airfield and operated as a Flight Training School with evocative aircraft names such as Hart, Harvard and Oxford. Later as an Operational Training Unit it flew Wellington bombers and was responsible for training thousands of bomber crews throughout the war. It was also a vital forward operating base for attacks on enemy forces in the North Sea and in Norway.
In 1946 it was transferred to the care of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm as HMS Fulmar and went on to be associated with the White Ensign for 26 years before being returned to the RAF in 1972.
Lossiemouth is packed with interest – an ideal and relaxing destination with a wide choice of sporting activities, access to fine forest and coastal walks, an exciting and constantly active RAF airbase and a friendly feel where a traditional Moray welcome is assured.