Our rich culture offers something for all ages and interests
We are renowned for our whisky heritage and world-class golf courses, this is true, but we also have mountain trails through the Cairngorms, pristine rivers teeming with salmon and trout, fine sandy beaches and lakes to swim in, idyllic fishing villages, ski slopes, historic landmarks and the list goes on…
World-class golfing opportunities...
Moray will leave you spoilt for choice if golfing is your reason to visit Sunninghill. Being our national sport, it makes sense that some of the world’s finest courses are here in the Highlands. Tee off at Nairn, which has played host to the Walker Cup and the Curtis Cup or take in amazing views of the sea at Royal Dornoch, one of the top ten courses in the world. There’s also Castle Stuart nearby with its astonishing scenery and many more links all within striking distance of the hotel.
There are plentiful options open to you whether you prefer to play by the coast or tucked away in the countryside.
Elgin Golf Club
An 18-hole course that’s only a mile away from Sunninghill. Situated between the Burn of Lockwood and the River Lossie, on the outskirts of town. Expect well-maintained greens and Highland views. Sign up for one of their competitions or play your own game. Elgin is renowned for its friendly clubhouse and hospitality, too.
Forres Golf Club
An 18-hole course with spectacular views for golfers of all abilities located 6 miles from Findhorn Bay. Home to the David Torrence Golf Academy, players of all abilities are welcomed, including juniors. Forres are especially focused on encouraging young people to take up the sport.
Moray Golf Club
Moray is considered to be one of the finest links in Scotland. Follow in the footsteps of Old Tom Morris on the gorse-lined fairways of the old course or Henry Cotton on the shorter, but no less challenging, new one. Both are equally rewarding. Located in Lossiemouth, you can enjoy incredible sea views as you play.
Grantown-on-Spey Golf Club
A superb 18-hole course situated in the Cairngorms. Experience leafy parkland and spectacular mountain views as you play on this course. With a traditional clubhouse serving good food and drink, expect a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Boat of Garten Golf Club
Nestled in the Cairngorms on the River Spey, views from the fairway don’t get more spectacular than this. This 18-hole course will test your sporting skill with birch-lined fairways that marry classic golf course architecture with the natural landscape of the Highlands.
Nairn Golf Club
This championship course, overlooking the Moray Firth, provides the experienced player with a challenge. The second 9-hole Cameron Course is aimed at players of all abilities. Whatever your skill level, the scenery is breathtaking.
Castle Stuart Golf Club
Situated on the coast at Rosemarkie Bay, with gorse-lined fairways and beautiful views across the Moray Firth, Castle Stuart is a visually stunning course. Its Art Deco-style clubhouse houses a restaurant, bar and pro golf shop.
Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Hailed as a must-play course by all keen golfers, whatever their ability, Royal Dornoch’s natural links are perfect for the sport. White sandy beach separates the championship course from the Dornoch Firth with views of the bay and beyond to the Atlantic. A second course, the Struie, is less challenging but equally rewarding.
For information on other Highland courses visit Golf Highland
Speyside’s rich whisky heritage...
Scotch whisky production and its rich heritage is synonymous with Highland culture. The milder micro-climate of the region creates the perfect condition for cultivating barley; this, combined with the pristine water of the Spey results in some of the world’s favourite whiskies. The Malt Whisky Trail tells the full story of ‘the water of life’ from its illicit production in secret distilleries, through industrialisation in the 19th century, to the globally popular and boutique brands of today.
The Glen Moray distillery is located in Elgin, itself, and is only a 25-minute walk from the hotel. The Macallan Distillery is a 20-minute drive away from Sunninghill, too, making us ideally situated for your journey of discovery. The award-winning architecture of the visitor centre alone is worth a visit.
If you are sampling the Highlands’ delights, perhaps leave the driving to the professionals:
Sunshine and sea life...
Just a 20-minute drive from Sunninghill brings you to Spey Bay and the Moray Sunshine Coast. This Great Trail guides you along a seemingly endless stretch of fine sandy beach, idyllic fishing villages and dramatic cliffs while linking the royal burghs of Forres and Cullen.
You're spoilt for choice! The Moray Firth is recognised to be of outstanding beauty, with many miles of golden sand and clear, clean water, and it is on our doorstep. Dogs are welcomed on all beaches and you might spy marine life, too.
The Moray Firth is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is a mere 10-minute drive from Sunninghill
Lossiemouth (10 minute drive).
Lossiemouth’s beautiful white sandy beaches are a favourite for locals and visitors alike. East Beach is once again accessible from the town after the installation of a new bridge in summer 2022. West Beach is behind the golf course. It’s rockier but the walk that takes you to and beyond the lighthouse is an extra bonus! Free parking.
Hopeman (15 minute drive).
A favourite with children, Hopeman has excellent swimming, rock pools and ice cream parlours. There’s also a playpark by the beach. Parking is free.
Roseisle (15 minute drive).
Sand dunes, forest, and a bay that is excellent for swimming. Park at the forestry car park for a small cash fee.
Findhorn (15 minute drive).
A good spot place for seal spotting or crabbing off the pier. The beach is stony at high tide and sandy at low.
Burghead (15 minute drive).
Old Pictish fort with visitors’ centre and excellent dolphin watching opportunities and a traditional working fishing harbour.
EXPLORE MARINE LIFE
Scottish Dolphin Centre, Spey Bay
Ideal location for spotting dolphins, minke whales and seals. Further inland, red squirrels, red deer and Highland cows can be seen.
North 58° Sea Adventure
Charter a boat for a trip from Findhorn Marina to spy some of the coast’s amazing marine wildlife.
Troup Head Nature Reserve
See guillemots, gannets, kittiwakes and more on a coastal walk through wildflower grassland.
From mindful strolls to challenging climbs...
The Speyside Way is one of Scotland’s four official Long Distance Routes, connecting Spey Bay on the Moray Coast to Newtonmore on the western edge of the Cairngorm Mountains. The range of scenery is diverse, from ocean views of the Bay or across moors and woodland to the mountains as the trail passes the Cairngorms. If you enjoy a challenge or if you don’t, there are fantastic routes for walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities.
The Moray Monster Trail offers cyclists single-track mountain bike routes around the Fochabers area. Ranging from family-friendly - ‘The Soup Dragon’ - to the more challenging - ‘The Fochabers Ring’ - there are plenty to choose from to make your outdoor experience fulfilling. Beware ‘The Gully Monster’, though, unless pushing yourself to the limit is how you like your fun!
Photos courtesy of Visit Scotland