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Living in Keith: the local area guide

Keith is a historic market town in the district of Moray, Scotland. It sits in the pretty Isla Valley a handful of miles from the coast and is within easy reach of Aberdeen and Inverness.

Originally, the town was made up of three main sections. The Old Town on the river centres around an early 17th century bridge called the Auld Bridge. It is among the oldest packhorse bridges in Scotland. Keith is the second district, built higher up the banks in the 1750s, but is now virtually indistinguishable from the Old Town. Fife Keith was built across the river, originally as a commercial competitor to Keith. That didn't work out, so it became part of the main town.

Keith is at the heart of the Speyside whisky making district of Scotland. It is the start of the famous Malt Whisky Trail and has several distilleries of its own. These include Strathmill, Glenkeith and the oldest working distillery in Scotland - Strathisla. Strathisla was built in 1786 and is now the headquarters of Chivas Regal.

Keith's setting is classically Scottish, with plenty of outdoor activities within easy reach including hiking, cycling and horse riding. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen, and the town throws big, popular events every year which attract a lot of visitors.

Demographics

According to the 2011 Census, Keith is home to just over 4,700 people. As accustomed as they are to tourists and visitors, they are friendly and welcoming. Despite the slightly older average age, they have a strong sense of fun, as displayed by the events they put together.

An example of this is the TMSA Keith Festival - a music festival held in June every year. Through concerts, workshops, competitions and open sessions it shows off the town's music culture - whether that be traditional, or not so traditional. Visitors from the whole county are joined by tourists from far and wide to enjoy the occasion.

Keith, as a market town, also puts on an excellent country show. The Keith Country Show has been going nearly 150 years and has some excellent livestock competitions and all sorts of fun for people of all ages.

The town is proud of having a completely unique kilt making and embroidery school, too. The Kilt and Textile Centre is one-of-a-kind and offers a wide range of courses from traditional kiltmaking to more experimental techniques.

The locals are also fairly sport-mad. Golf, tennis, squash and hunting are all prevalent, and there is also a state-of-the-art fitness centre with a swimming pool. The younger generations of the town enjoy the skate park, and the local football club attracts a good number of spectators for home fixtures.

Education

Keith's three schools are well-regarded in the community. There are two primaries, Keith Primary School and St Thomas RC Primary School, which feed Keith Grammar School.

The grammar school has excellent facilities and offers a balanced, rounded education to its students, of which there are 462. For further options, Elgin is only a 20-30-minute drive away and has a range of primaries, secondary schools, colleges and academies for parents to choose from.

Transport

For drivers, Keith is well located. It sits on the crossroads of the A95 and A96, allowing residents to easily visit or commute to Aberdeen and Inverness. Aberdeen is just over an hour's drive away to the south-east, while Inverness is an hour and 20 minutes to the west. The smaller town of Elgin is closer, only 17 miles away.

The town's railway station also provides good, regular links to commuters. It is on the Aberdeen to Inverness Line and trains to both are reliable, direct and fairly quick!

Amenities and shopping

Keith's shops, restaurants and pubs are excellent. The town has many top-quality places to eat and drink, and the centre is worth exploring for its selection of intriguing artisan shops.

For more fashionable High Street shopping, Elgin is very close and has the large St Giles Shopping Centre. Here, shoppers will find a good range of big name brands to peruse, and plenty of places to stop for a bite.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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