Elgin Cathedral
Elgin Cathedral
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
Elgin Cathedral, also known as the ‘Lantern of the North’ is a majestic, historic ruin situated in Elgin. Elgin Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings, dating back to the 13th century. Elgin Cathedral has a rich history - it was badly fire damaged in 1390 following an attack by Robert III's brother Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, who was also known as the ‘Wolf of Badenoch’. The two towers of the West Front and the Chapter House are intact and open to the public and the climb is rewarded with magnificent views of the town of Elgin. The top of the tower has an open viewing platform with information boards highlighting the visible landmarks.
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  • Gary B
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous day
    A wonderful visit. The staff were exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable. The ladies went above and beyond to make our visit an enjoyable experience. The ruin is wonderful and majestic. The peace and serenity was brilliant. Take time to look at the fantastic artwork on the gravestones.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 16, 2023
  • Peter R
    Barnet, United Kingdom67 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Iconic ruin that is terrific to explore
    A marvellous piece of history and interestingly preserved. I especially liked how each visitor gets a personal introduction from a guide and then you are left to your own devices. That works really well. Great views from the top of the tower and the climb up the spiral staircase feels safe and secure.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 23, 2023
  • CarolineWR
    282 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely worth a visit (with Spynie Palace)
    Very photogenic, atmospheric ruined cathedral with a couple of towers still standing. Great views from the top & excellent exhibitions in the 2 ground floor sections. Particularly enjoyed stonemasons' very rude depiction of Bishop Columba Dunbar! Plenty of street parking right outside. Several information boards & a very good introductory talk from the lady on the ticket desk (Historic Environment Scotland staff seem to make this a regular practice), though a long queue built up behind us whilst she was helpfully talking to us... Some great history/legends & works well with terrific Spynie Palace nearby.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 1, 2023
  • FynnNorthYorkshire
    83 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive ruin
    When we arrived we were greeted by a very helpful, knowledgeable lady who outlined the history of the cathedral and things to look out for, such as the tallest gravestone and where to find remnants of paintings of angles. The ruined abbey is very impressive. Large parts of it are still intact and you can walk up the two towers via stone spiral staircases. The information boards and exhibits are well presented and interesting. Not too 'dry'. Some of the ruins are currently covered in scaffolding, but this did not spoil our visit as most areas were still accessible.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 1, 2023
  • Jan R
    15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Guides are excellent
    Beautiful old Cathedral. The displays in the two towers are really interesting. The views from the top are impressive too. If you can't make it up the stairs there's an interactive display to let you see all around too. We are interested in the meaning of the old gravestones and spoke to one of the guides who pointed us in the direction of another guide called Raymond. She told us 'if Raymond doesn't know its not worth knowing' and she was right. He was so helpful and even gave me a book with all the signs and symbols in it! Definitely worth a visit. Good parking too
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 17, 2023
  • Lorna Waters
    Glasgow, United Kingdom189 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit.
    We have had the cathedral on our to do list for a couple of years and finally made it this week during lovely weather. We were not disappointed, Easy to find, the staff gain the 5 stars themself, friendky and welcoming and so knowledgeable. We stayed after the visit chatty for a short while. There are works on going but it doesnt spoil the visit. Information boards all around. The site is amazing now so would of been outstanding back then. Well worth the visit.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 11, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles858 reviews
Excellent
507
Very good
277
Average
57
Poor
10
Terrible
7

Colin W
Strathblane, UK10 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Disappointed we had to book in advance which we'd not done. Guy at the entrance couldn't book us in and we did not want to pay by phone so didn't enter and merely walked around the perimeter of the site. It was raining and very quiet so we could easily have gone onto the site. Facility needs to be more flexible.
Written July 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vidya J
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Family
AWFUL, quite a yawn, daylight robbery as £26 were paid for something I could have seen in 30 seconds from the outside. There is absolutely nothing intruiging or enticing about it, even the original inhabitants must have been bored of seeing it every day. 0/10 recommend
Written August 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AJFfinch
Shropshire, UK107 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
It was a grey, drizzly Saturday. We looked through the railings at Elgin Cathedral and no visitors could be seen.
We went to pay for admission. “Have you booked online” asked the jobs worth. “No? Then you’ll have to go outside, use the QR code, check availability and book online”.
Underwhelmed by the welcome we explained that we probably couldn’t cope with the possible disappointment of finding out that he was fully booked and so we went to spend our £18 elsewhere.
What a contrast to Melrose Abbey and Dundrennan Abbey where the welcome and enthusiasm of the staff were a delight!
Written September 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

victoria B
Lincolnshire, UK587 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
Parking is on the street as there is no car park, but there are toilets and a small shop at the entrance to the Cathedral.

Although mostly ruined, there is a display of medieval stonework in the roofed part near the entrance. The exhibits are very well presented with excellent lighting, which not only shows up the beauty of the pieces but also means they photograph well.

The ruined nave contains the graves of long gone bishops, topped with their effigies dressed in armour. The graveyard contains some elaborately carved memorials, as well as long forgotten family plots.

The ruins themselves consist of intricate stonework with dramatic architectural features hinting at the former grandeur of the Cathedral.
Written November 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

macedonboy
Glasgow, UK185,717 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
This ruin of Elgin Cathedral must be one of the more magnificent ruins in Scotland. Although much of the structure is gone, the double towers of the west entrance, the chapter house and the back wall of the altar are largely intact, and look amazing. The fan vault in the chapter house is beautiful. The aforementioned towers house exhibitions of the preserved carvings with excellent information on the different types used. You can also climb up to the first floor of the towers where the exhibition continues and there’s a terrace connecting the two towers with fantastic views of the chapter house, nave and inner sanctum..
Written June 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CarolineWR
U.K.282 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Very photogenic, atmospheric ruined cathedral with a couple of towers still standing. Great views from the top & excellent exhibitions in the 2 ground floor sections. Particularly enjoyed stonemasons' very rude depiction of Bishop Columba Dunbar! Plenty of street parking right outside. Several information boards & a very good introductory talk from the lady on the ticket desk (Historic Environment Scotland staff seem to make this a regular practice), though a long queue built up behind us whilst she was helpfully talking to us... Some great history/legends & works well with terrific Spynie Palace nearby.
Written September 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AmyEG3318
Toronto, Canada180 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
The site is incredible to visit. Sadly, it's mostly in ruins, but the towers and the chapter house are still standing and open to tourists. The towers are accessed by a narrow spiral staircase, but I found that it wasn't too terrible a climb up to the first floor display. My husband walked up to the next floor and reported that it was a much longer trek up to that level (the observation platform was closed when we visited, so he didn't go up all the way to the top). There are hundreds of gravestones surrounding the cathedral, which are interesting to walk through - some with beautiful carvings/sculptures. My favourite part was the Chapter House, which has a beautiful ceiling and huge paned windows. It was a very peaceful place to visit. Don't miss the exhibit on the ground floor of the towers - especially the effigy of Bishop Archibald, which they light up to show how it was painted with bright colours centuries ago.
Written March 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FynnNorthYorkshire
North Yorkshire83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
When we arrived we were greeted by a very helpful, knowledgeable lady who outlined the history of the cathedral and things to look out for, such as the tallest gravestone and where to find remnants of paintings of angles.
The ruined abbey is very impressive. Large parts of it are still intact and you can walk up the two towers via stone spiral staircases. The information boards and exhibits are well presented and interesting. Not too 'dry'.
Some of the ruins are currently covered in scaffolding, but this did not spoil our visit as most areas were still accessible.
Written September 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rdubbs08
Edmond, OK7,576 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
The Cathedral has an interesting history and makes for neat ruins in the heart of Elgin. Our guide stopped so we could walk the perimeter on a Sunday morning before getting us to the train station. You can purchase a ticket and enter the grounds - we just enjoyed a walk around the outside!
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grant Clarke
Doncaster, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
My girlfriend and I visited Elgin Cathedral today and what an absolute delight it was. Not only are the beautiful ruins kept in such fantastic condition, but the questions raised in the descriptions and information presented lead to more stimulating thoughts than presented fact. A big thank you to Kati in the information centre for some fascinating history of not only the Cathedral but also of the surrounding area.
A great kick start to such important, sacred and historical monuments and areas in and around Elgin.
Superb.
Written August 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Elgin Cathedral

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