Around Nairn

There are plenty of things to do in and around Nairn. Here are some favourites.

Nairn beaches


Nairn has long been known as a seaside holiday resort having been popular since Victorian times. It has spectacular beaches that have achieved the highest European accolade for cleanliness – the blue flag.

Nairn is the ideal place to stay for touring the Highlands with places like the beautiful island of Skye and the fishing port of Ullapool to the west. An hour’s drive takes you to the fairy-tale castle of Dunnrobin with stunning sea views and gardens.

Nairn Old Harbour

Dolphin trips

The old fishing harbour has been converted to a marina. From here, there are walks along the river and the beach gives you access to Culbin Forest. Dolphin boat trips from the harbour are also popular.

Brodie Castle

Brodie Castle is located 4.5 miles west of Forres and 24 miles east of Inverness on the east coast of Scotland.

Having been badly damaged by fire in 1645, the castle was later rebuilt.

There’s also a picnic area, tea room and gift shop, adventure playground with a timber fort for the kids, woodland walks, gardens and a loch. If you have chance to visit during the Spring, the famous collection of daffodils will be in full bloom.

Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th century and was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. The ancient medieval tower was built around the legendary holly-tree.

Rait Castle


Rait Castle is a ruined 13th century castle just south of Nairn.

The remains of the courtyard walls are nine feet high inside of which are the remains of the Chapel of St Mary of Rait.

According to local history, Sir Alexander Rait killed the third Thane of Cawdor, and then fled south where he married the heiress of Hallgreen. The castle later passed from the Clan Cumming (Comyn) to the Clan Mackintosh and then to the Clan Campbell of Cawdor.

Whisky Trail

Strathisla Distillery

Nairn is close to the “Whisky Trail” with famous names such as Glenfiddich, Macallan, Glenfarclas, and Cardhu. Visitors are welcome at many distilleries where tours are provided along with a “wee dram”.

Fort George

Fort George

A vast site and one of the most outstanding artillery fortifications in Europe. It was planned in 1747 as a base for George II’s army and was completed in 1769.

Since then it has served as a barracks. It is virtually unaltered and presents a complete view of the defensive system of an 18th-century artillery fort.

The fort includes reconstruction of barrack rooms in different periods and the Seafield Collection – a display of muskets and pikes.

The cafe is open daily all week during the summer. In winter, it opens from 10.00am to 2.30pm, Monday to Saturday only.


Walking and climbing

The best climbing, walking in Scotland is easily accessed from Nairn. Mountain ranges such as Torridon, Glen Shiel, Glen Affric, Cairngorm and the Grampians are within a short drive and offer magificent photographic opportunities. Glenmore Lodge just outside Aviemore provides a comprehensive range of courses in outdoor adventure sports.  For more information on local walks go to walk highlands


Weekly ceilidhs offer a cultural insight into the Highlands’ musical heritage. They are informal dances with local musicians and a good time is had by all.

Nairn Dunbar Golf Club

Nairn Dunbar Golf Club

Situated on the shores of the Moray Firth, the Nairn Dunbar golf course, founded in 1899, is a highly rated Scottish links championship course representing a formidable challenge. An outstanding new clubhouse was officially opened in May 1998 by Sir Michael Bonallack OBE. Facilities include comfortable lounge bars, dining room, extensive locker room facilities with visitors room and showers.

Nairn Golf Club

Nairn Golf Club

This Traditional Scottish Golf Links Course was created on the shores of the Moray Firth from a Highland wilderness of whins and heather, and tests the talents of professional and amateur alike. Founded in 1887, it is now one of the best courses in Scotland, and hosted the 1999 Walker Cup.

Castle Stuart Golf Club

Castle Stuart Golf Links

Castle Stuart Golf Links is a brand new championship-class links course overlooking the Moray Firth. The resort will include a small luxury hotel and spa, ‘resort-ownership’ lodges and apartments, plus a second Seaside Course. Castle Stuart’s goal is to add to the rich fabric of golf in the Scottish Highlands – a fabric made rich by Royal Dornoch, Nairn, Brora and many other fine golf clubs.

Nairn Highland Games

Nairn Highland Games is one of the largest amateur gatherings in the North. The first Nairn Highland Games took place 134 years ago in 1867. A warm welcome awaits everybody, particularly visitors from overseas and the many expatriates who return year after year to attend the games!