Thursday, 08 June 2023
A hilltop woodland overlooking the Moray Firth
Come and soak up spectacular modern Moray views alongside glimpses of the distant past. Wander among the old oaks and beeches and uncover Quarry Wood's remarkable history – from reptile and fish fossils to an ancient henge and a medieval hunting forest.
There are old quarries scattered throughout the wood: you’ll recognise the attractive yellow sandstone used in many local buildings.
Some very rare fish and reptile fossils were found at the quarry on Cutties Hillock, designated a Special Site of Scientific Interest. These include including Elginia mirabilis, a spiny-headed reptile about the size of a Labrador dog that roamed here long before the dinosaurs. You can see some of these fossils at Elgin Museum.
Uncover the secrets of Quarrelwood, where a reptile older than the dinosaurs was found in remarkable fossils. There are extensive views over the Moray Firth.
Firm but uneven earthy and grassy surface. Many exposed tree roots and some slightly muddy sections. Fairly steep slopes. Includes a narrow opening.
Allow 2 hours
"This scenic circular trail leads through the woods to Cutties Hillock Quarry and viewpoint. This is where fossils of Elginia mirabilis, a spiky-headed prehistoric reptile, were found, along with other creatures who roamed here 250 million years ago. Today you’re more likely to spot red squirrels, roe deer and a host of woodland birds amongst the oaks, beech and conifers!
Facilities and access
You can find refreshments, shops and public toilets at the nearby towns of Elgin, Lossiemouth and Burghead.
Car parking information
The charges to park at the Leggat car park are:
- £1 for up to 1 hour - all vehicles
- £3 for all day - car (up to 7 seats)
- £10 for all day - coach and minibus
- Blue badge holders park free. Please display your Blue Badge clearly.
Payment can be made using RingGo.
Please park with care and consideration. In particular, please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates. Nearby car parks with free parking can be found in our Forest Search, marked as a 'P' without the £ symbol.
Annual parking pass available:
Available in advance by downloading the application form and emailing to the Regional Office. Please read our Annual Pass terms and conditions (PDF) before applying.
Valid at Roseisle, Culbin, Whiteash, Back o'Bennachie, Bennachie Centre, Countesswells, Foggieton, Scolty.
Valid at all Forestry and Land Scotland car parks except Tentsmuir.
Stay the Night
Motorhomes and campervans that are self-contained and have their own toilet facilities will be able to stay overnight at this car park from 1 April – 31 October 2023.
There is a £7 charge to Stay the Night at all participating car parks. Payment can be made through RingGo with details of how to do this at each car park.
To help plan your stay, please see the details below:
- Height barrier – No
- Motorhome capacity of car park – 3
- Suitable for large vehicles/caravans – No
- Parking notes – Single track road with passing places. Car park on slight slope - levelling blocks recommended. Please leave a 4m gap between other motorhomes.
Please visit our Stay the Night page for full details, participating locations, best practice, and terms and conditions of use.
The nearest railway station is at Elgin. There are also regular buses between Inverness and Aberdeen that stop at Elgin. You’ll find service details at Traveline Scotland.
There are two car parks at Quarry Wood.
For the Elginia Trail and orienteering course, head for the Leggat car park:
Take the A96 west from Elgin. Pass the Eight Acres Hotel and then Oakwood, both on your right, then take the next road on your right, signposted to Rosebrae. Look out for the car park on the right after about 350 yards (300 metres).
You can also access the wood through the Moray Council woodland from the Brumley Brae car park:
Take the A96 west from Elgin. Turn right onto Morriston Road at Eight Acres Hotel. After about ½ mile (0.8km) turn left onto Brumley Brae. Look out for the car park on the left after about 500 yards (450 metres).
- IV30 8XT is the nearest postcode for the Leggat car park.
- IV30 6AR is the nearest postcode for the Brumley Brae car park.
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Have a question or suggestion for improvement?
Wind along tranquil trails to the perfect picnic spot
Cycle forest trails or relax on sandy beaches
Look for hidden sculptures in this hillside wood