An exciting new tourist attraction is set to open this month with part of the tour having never been seen by the public before.
The Forres Heritage Trust has created a new tour at the Tolbooth which will show visitors around the old police office and cells, the courtroom and a trip up to the parapet and around the clock tower which has never before been open.
The tours which will open on June 18, will be run by volunteers and will initially be available on Thursdays and Saturdays for a six-week pilot.
George Alexander, chairman of the Forres Heritage Trust said: “This new tourist attraction has been a long time in the planning, and we are delighted we are now able to officially open the tours and just in time for what we hope will be a busy summer for tourists.
“The tour starts in the old police office where visitors can play prisoner and see what life was like in the cells. People can have their prints taken and take their own picture up against the ‘mugshot wall.’ The tour then continues through the back corridors of the building to the historic court room and then onto the clocktower where for the very first time, people will be able to step outside and enjoy beautiful views across the town of Forres. We expect that the tours will be popular with both visitors and locals.”
The tours take around an hour and will be facilitated by volunteers.
Peter Haworth, a Trustee for the Forres Heritage Trust added: “We have had a whole team of people working on this for the best part of two years. One group of Trustees have pulled together the police office and cells part of the project, the courtroom has been given a tremendous make over by a team of volunteers, and George and other Trustees have worked on the clock tower part of the development.
“Now it is time to launch the tours and we have a keen number of volunteers ready to welcome people to the Tolbooth to delve into the building’s history.”
The Forres Heritage Trust also looks after Nelson’s Tower and for many years has run successful tours of the monument between April and September.
David Wilson, Operations and Marketing Coordinator with Visit Moray Speyside said: “The energy, effort and commitment of the Forres Heritage Trust trustees and volunteers should be commended. The [Forres Heritage] Trust has already proved it can run a successful attraction with Nelson’s Tower, so Visit Moray Speyside welcomes this new addition to Forres’ tourism offer and wish the Trust all the best with the opening later this month.”
The Forres Heritage Trust is working to make the tours bookable online, however in the interim, bookings can be made by calling chairman George Alexander on 07875 034220.
The first tour will take place on Saturday, June 18.
The cost of a tour is £5 for those aged 16 and over. Under 16 are free and must be accompanied by an adult.