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The Local Area Guide to living in Burghead

A traditional fishing village with an impressive ancient history, Burghead is located in Moray, Scotland, a few miles to the north of Elgin. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy the sandy beaches, diverse wildlife, and picturesque views of the Moray Firth. This sleepy seaside village provides an idyllic spot for dolphin and whale watching in Burghead Bay, and hosts an annual fire festival each year called The Burning of the Clavie, which hints at the area's ancient traditions. Jutting out into the water, this headland has been occupied since the early Iron Age and perhaps even earlier, with evidence of Pictish and Viking occupiers being past residents of Burghead.

Today, the village is laid out in an easy-to-follow grid pattern, with a smattering of quaint shops and a wealth of outdoor recreational facilities. There are over seven golf courses within 10 miles of Burghead, and the area enjoys a sheltered climate as one of the driest places in Scotland throughout the year.

Information about the local residents

The population in Burghead has increased steadily since the 1991 census figure of 1,495. It had gone up to 1,640 by 2001, and a mid-2004 estimate put the population at 1,680. There are many families with young children who live in the village, and children under the age of 16 account for over one-fifth of the population. Although Burghead used to have a strong fishing economy, today fishing accounts for just over 2 per cent of employment in the village. There are two Royal Air Force stations located nearby, in Lossiemouth and Kinloss, which are quite important to the local economy and account for 21 per cent of employment throughout Moray. Other industries in Burghead include construction, real estate, tourism, and transport.

Nearby Schools

Burghead Primary School is located within the town centre, providing nursery education as well as primary education for years 1-7. According to an Education Scotland inspection report from 2010, the school is 'Good' particularly in the areas of meeting learning needs and drawing support from parents and the local community. The main school building is over 100 years old, with a modern kitchen and multi-purpose room. Students use two nearby parks for their athletics program.

At secondary level, pupils are provided with free transport to either Lossiemouth High School or Elgin Academy. Elgin Academy was just moved into a brand new building, though its history dates back to the Middle Ages. At a higher education level, Moray College is located in Elgin, and the Ecosse Performers College is located in nearby Lossiemouth. Independent boarding school Gordonstoun School is also just a few miles away, founded upon the principles of Kurt Hahn and known for educating several generations of British royals.

Getting Around

There are three main roads getting into Burghead, including the B9013, B9012, and B9089. For onward travel to Elgin or Inverness, the B9013 connects to the A96. The B9012 also connects residents to Elgin, but travels a more circuitous route via Duffus and Hopeman. A regular bus service runs to and from Elgin, also travelling this route through Duffus. It's operated by Stagecoach and runs regularly throughout the day. From Elgin, residents can access rail links including the Aberdeen to Inverness line. It's approximately 90 minutes to Aberdeen or 50 minutes to Inverness and onward services to the rest of Britain are available from either of these stations. All train services are operated by First ScotRail. Airports are also located in Inverness and Aberdeen. Inverness Airport provides domestic services, while Aberdeen Airport provides flights to a range of international as well as domestic destinations.

Local Shops

Within Burghead residents have the convenience of a local Cooperative Food market, as well as a popular café called the Bothy Bistro and an array of bakeries, chip shops, a post office, and a pharmacy. Nearby Elgin offers a wider selection of high street retailers and independent boutiques, including mobile phone shops, florists, charity shops, fabric stores, and a bicycle shop. There's also a large Tesco Extra located in Elgin, which includes clothing, housewares, and electronics along with groceries.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.