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Pluscarden Abbey
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Reviews (16)
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Reviewed 4 August 2013

You don't have to have religious beliefs to visit the abbey,but for me,it was nice that I could have a silent pray in the chapel,on arrival you can either park in a small car park at the start of the driveway or if you have a disability you can drive up to the abbey and use the car park there,I used the smaller car so I could experience the quiet walk up to the abbey.
As you walk up there's a little cemetery on the right hand side with nice basic wooden crosses to remember those with connections to the abbey.
Once inside the abbey,there's lots of information dotted around about the history of the abbey,if you don't speak English then this will be a issue.
There's a lovely little shop to purchase gifts with lots of products actually made by the monks.
There's really not much to do here and children will get bored very quickly but if you need peace and quiet for an hour to think and contemplate then this is a place for you

Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Yan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

Hospitality is one of the core principles of the Benedictine Order and as such, the Brothers of Pluscarden welcome anybody to come share their beautiful Abbey and its grounds in the beautiful Moray countryside, about 6 miles from Elgin.

Whether Catholic, other Christian, other religion or none, everyone will be made welcome and comfortable by the Brothers. You can attend all masses or none at all, though you should attend at least once to experience the breathtaking inside of the 13th century Abbey.

Male guests stay in guesthouse connected to the main Abbey, and women in a separate building slightly further out. Rooms are basic (a single bed, desk, chair and sink) but comfortable, and shower facilities are shared.

Breakfast is self-service, and cereal, milk, bread, eggs and tea and coffee are provided. Lunch and dinner are simple, but most of the food is organic and home-produced, either by the Brothers themselves (a working farm surrounds the Abbey) or otherwise. Given that the Brothers get up at 4am for mass, Lunch is the biggest meal (a main course and a dessert, with a seemingly endless supply of farmhouse bread) whilst dinner is a little more limited. Meals are not as spartan as you might expect: I ate well every day and second helpings are always offered.

The Abbey lies just below a steep hill covered in forest, which provides plenty of hiking opportunities and fantastic views to and across the sea.

The Brothers make no charge to retreatants, though it is expected (though I was not asked) to help with the work of the Abbey. It also generally done to offer a donation.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
11  Thank bicameralio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2011

Pluscarden Abbey is originally a 13th Century monastery which for hundreds of years lay derelict until a group of monks arrived in the late 1940's (1948 I think) and began the process of restoring the Abbey to a working monastery. It has since become a full Benedictine Monastery and a place of deep spirituality, peace and a way of having the space and time to reflect on the important things in life. You can stay at the monastery (men have an accomodation block attached to the monastery and women have a self-catering block only minutes walk away from the monastery. I won't go ito all the details - you can find out for yourself on the website www.pluscardenabbey.org - all I would say is that you do not have to be Catholic or even any sort of "believer" to stay (no one will ever ask). You are not "bothered" or " preached at" or anything like that. You can take part in all, some or none of the services - but, in my opinion, listening to the singing of the Gregorian Chant live is one of the most transformational and beautiful of experiences. You don't even have to understand it. At the present time when many people are questioning the emphasis society has placed on materialism, it is refreshing to know that Pluscarden (and places like it) provide an almost timeless "anchor" point to help us get our internal compass back on track. I discovered Pluscarden in 1992 and have spent a private retreat there every 1 or 2 years. If you have ever beenc urious or wondered about staying at such a place be assured there is no pressure on you, just the chance to take time out, contemplate and learn the value (and yes, the challenge) of silence.

Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
22  Thank sf712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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