Edged by beautiful white sandy beaches with spectacular views of the Moray Firth, Nairn is one of Scotland’s most attractive holiday destinations all year round. Summer visitors enjoy spectacular sunsets, gently lapping waves and sea birds circling overhead. While winter reveals frost lined trees, snow capped mountains and stormy breakers crashing on the shore.
Nairn has a host of amenities for visitors. It is a centre of golfing excellence with two championship golf courses. With a pretty harbour, leisure park, swimming pool, theatre and fine selection of local restaurants and shops, it is ideal for boat trips, fishing, shopping and walking.
In the heart of the Highlands, Nairn is an excellent base for visitors who want to tour Scotland, visiting castles, gardens and places of historical interest.
The Nairn Highland Games
The first Nairn Highland Games were held more than a thousand years ago, in 1867. They are held on the Links directly in front of the Braeval Hotel. Hotel guests enjoy a spectacular view of the Games and of the largest gathering of massed pipe bands in Scotland. They can also visit the outdoor fairground which is located on the Links for two weeks prior to the Games.
The Games were started by Highland clan chiefs and kings and included a variety of sporting events – tossing the caber, putting the shot, highland dancing, tug-o-war, racing, bagpipes competitions etc. Clan Chiefs used the games to recruit people – race winners made good messengers at a time when there were no proper roads. The strongest men were employed as bodyguards, and the pick of the dancers and pipers were also chosen - both to entertain and to reflect well on the clan.
Traditionally, exiled “Nairnites" return home to Nairn for the Games held on the first Saturday after the 12th August each year.
The 14th century home of the Tanes of Cawdor, this dramatic fairytale castle complete with medival tower and drawbridge, is still lived in by the family. Cawdor has an excellent collection of antiques, paintings and tapestries, as well as a restaurant, beautiful gardens, nature trails and a 9-hole golf course. Web Address: http://www.cawdorcastle.com
A signposted trail includes all of Nairn's major historical markers from the old riverside kirkyard and the Court House down through the town to the Harbour and the Wallace Bandstand. Or visit Auldearn, to the east, where a way-marked route gives a fascinating glimpse into the village's turbulent past.
Dating from 16th century, Brodie Castle contains a notable collection of fine furniture, porcelain, paintings and a fine 17th century ceiling. In the grounds, there is also a picnic area, woodland walks and an adventure playground. Web Address: Click here
Angling and Sea Angling
The River Narin, Clunas Dam and many smaller lochs are home to Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. Sea angling is popular in the Moray Firth and boats can be chartered from Nairn Harbour.
Lying between Nairn and Inverness, this is one of the most imposing military fortifications to be found anywhere in Europe. Built to intimidate the Highlanders in the aftermath of Culloden, the fort is still in military use today and contains the Regimental Museum of the Seaforth and Cameron Highlanders.
Ticket to Ride
Bike Hire In Inverness with FREE Delivery: http://www.tickettoridehighlands.co.uk/
Dolphin and seal spotting in the Moray Firth on board “Seacruise”: http://www.phoenix-boat-trips.co.uk
River and Forest Walks
Whilst both Nairn's East and West beaches are popular with walkers, there are many other local walks including those set out to explore the banks of the River Nairn and the nearby River Findhorn, and the way-marked nature trails of the Culbin Forest.
The Whiskey Trail
South east of Nairn, along the banks of the River Spey, visitors can discover over half of the whiskey distilleries in Scotland. Several of these world famous distilleries have come together to establish 'The Whiskey Trail' to enable visitors to witness each part of the production process and then sample the unique tastes of Speyside's finest product.
Several miles west of Nairn, this is the site of the last battle on British soil where, on 16th April 1746, the Jacobite Rising of 1745 came to its tragic conclusion with the crushing defeat of the Young Pretender, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, and his loyal Highland followers. Visit the battlefiled and the visitor centre with multi-lingual audio-visual presentations operated by the National Trust for Scotland.
Jacobite Cruises Loch Ness
An Unforgettable Experience, Unwind Amongst some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery on a Jacobite Cruise along the Caledonian Canal and on to Loch Ness. Combined coach and cruise trips are also available. You'll revel in the freedom of uncrowded waterways as you are carried through some of Scotland's most beautiful open country Light refreshments are available on board, and there's a fully licensed bar where you can enjoy a drink during your cruise. To complete the experience, do a bit of Nessie Spotting - you could go home with a monster tale to tell! For more information on Jacobite Cruises visit their web site at: http://www.jacobitecruises.co.uk