Things to see and do in Nairn

East Beach, Nairn


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 Dunrobin with stunning sea views and gardens.

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 Highland Games

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

Nairn Old Harbour


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.

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 is the Scottish Centre of excellence providing courses for outdoor mountain sports.


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.

Golfing in and around Nairn

Golf in Nairn

Nairn boasts two splendid golf courses, the Nairn Golf Club, which hosted the Walker Cup in 1999 and the Nairn Dunbar Golf Course. Both have stunning views over the Moray Firth, so even if the golf is poor, the views will be good!

Brodie Castle

Brodie Castle
The daffodils at Brodie Castle. May, 2006.

Brodie Castle is located 6 miles east of Nairn. Having been badly damaged by fire in 1645, the castle was later rebuilt.

Fort George

Fort George

Only seven miles from Nairn, this vast site is 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.

Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle (5 miles from Nairn) 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.

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”.

Culloden Battlefield

The last battle on British soil was fought here and the much of the battlefield has been preserved. An award-winning visitor centre tells the story of the bloody fight in 1746 when the Jacobites raised an army to claim the throne for Bonnie Prince Charlie, but were brutally defeated. Mass graves are marked by clan headstones.

Cairngorm National Park

Cairngorm National Park is a short drive from Nairn of 17 miles to the boundary. The UK’s largest National Park offers masses of things to do including watersports, snowsports, wildlife watching and some incredible high and low level walking and cycling routes.