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Nairn: The Best of Scottish Holidays

Updated on January 22, 2013
A View From The Green
A View From The Green
Where is Nairn?
Where is Nairn?

Great Scottish Holidays

Nairn scotland can offer you: Nairn Golf Club, Nairn Dunbar, Nairn oatackes, accomodation, walks on Nairn beach and of course I'll answer that all important question, where is Nairn? One thing we can't offer you is Nick Nairn.

If you are still undecided where to go on holiday this year then allow me to make a suggestion. Nairn in the Scottish Highlands is a gem of place to visit. Nairn offers Championship golf courses, award winning beaches, rich history, beautiful castles and is an ideal place to use as a base to explore the Highlands of Scotland further. If you arrive in summer you can also catch the highland games.

Situated just over 10 miles east of Inverness, Nairn has a population of 11,000 approximately. The Highlands is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe. To put that in context, the population of the Highlands is similar to that of Aberdeen City; or about half the population of Edinburgh City. So if you don’t want to be woken up by screaming sirens every night, if you want to breathe some clean air and where to locals treat you like a person, not a number, then Nairn is the place for you.

Nairn boasts a variety of accommodation facilities which can suit a family on a budget or even a honeymooning couple sparing no expense. The standard is high throughout, for instance even the caravan park is less than 100 yards from the harbour and a sandy beach. A typical Bed & Breakfast would cost from £20 per night. A spacious caravan with capacity to accommodate 6 would cost under £500 for 7 days. Lets be honest, all you need is a place to lay your head as you’ll be too busy during the day.

Golf View Hotel
Golf View Hotel
Nairn Harbour
Nairn Harbour

Golf

The two golf courses, Nairn Golf Club and Nairn Dunbar Golf Club, have recently hosted the Davis Cup and the European Tour. In addition to that there are a further 40 courses within an hours drive from Nairn. The closest of which is Castle Stuart Golf Course, barely 15 minutes drive, which hosts the Scottish Open this year. The courses are set upon the backdrop of outstanding scenery, looking over the Murray Firth to the black isle. You can play a different course everyday and be back to your hotel just in time for some fresh local salmon and dram of whiskey.

Beaches

Nairn’s main beach has won the prestigious blue flag award and Tidy Britain Group’s Seaside Award. There is also the possibility of seeing the Murray Firth Dolphins from the beautiful sandy beaches, the promenade or by taken a boat trip.

Tribute To The Fisherwomen
Tribute To The Fisherwomen
Walk Along The River Nairn
Walk Along The River Nairn

Local Culture and History

If golf is not your thing then perhaps learning about local history is? Walking along the harbour will bring to this monument. This was erected to pay tribute to the local fisherwomen of Nairn who played such an important part in the community. Etched into the ground at the feet of this woman are words which detail how they managed their homes, baited hooks and collected cones for smoking the fish. Furthermore, they carried the fish in baskets around town bartering at local markets and selling to other locals. It’s a touching tribute to commitment, energy and stamina which at the time was probably taken for granted.

Further along the beach is another tribute. Nairn beach was used to practise the D Day landings as the terrain has similar characteristics to that of Northern France. Sadly some sailors and soldiers died during these “practise” sessions and there is a moving record of that on the beach which reads: “silent they came, silent they fell”.

Not far from Nairn there are some places which are simply “a must” for anyone visiting Scotland let alone the Highlands. Culloden Battlefield is one of those places. Culloden is where Bonny Princes Charlie’s Jacobean army was defeated in 1746 by Royal troops under the command of the Duke of Cumberland. This defeat put paid to the uprising. Culloden Battlefield has a modern visitor centre and there are daily live presentations which brings the battle to life.

Fort George as it stands today was created after the Battle of Culloden to pacify the Scottish Highlanders. Its remains a serving barracks however it is open to visitors and has exhibitions detailing the history. It’s a pretty impressive building and is only little over 10 minutes drive from Nairn.

Of course you cannot come to Scotland without popping in to see the Loch Ness Monster. Loch Ness is less than an hour drive from Nairn and is a world famous site. If you can’t see Nessy then there is an exhibition centre and Urquhart castle to investigate. There are tours and boat trips available as well so you’ll have plenty of choice.

Castles

Scotland is synonymous with Castles and there are some spectacular ones close to Nairn. Castle Stuart, Cawder Castle (which features heavily in Shakespeare’s Macbeth) and Brodie Castle are a must see.

Other areas of interest

Nairn also offers fishing, bird watching, walking and even off road cycling. Indeed the Nairn Angling Association offers some of the best Salmon and Sea Trout fishing in Scotland.

Nairn will amaze you will its natural beauty. It will not cost you a fortune to visit and enjoy all its offerings. However, the memories and experiences you will take from your visit will be priceless.

You can even try the world famous Nairn oatcakes.

A song by local musician John Sutherland

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    • Ausemade profile image

      Ausemade 5 years ago from Australia

      Lovely hub... my father's side of the family come from Scotland... and it is somewhere I would like to visit one day... the history and the castles are enticing... not sure about golf... Did you known that Australia is home to the longest golf course in the world... known as the "Nullarbor Links". It is a 18-hole par 72 golf course spanning 1,365 kilometers with one hole in each participating town or roadhouse along the Eyre Highway, from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia.

    • Academicviews profile image
      Author

      Academicviews 5 years ago from Scotland

      I'm not a massive golf fan either to be honest. Didn't know that fact about the longest golf course. You definitely should find time to visit Scotland, particularly with your family connections. You'll be able to trace the name and find out which part of Scotland they originated from. Maybe you have your own family tartan? Thanks for reading the article and your comment.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Oh My gosh.. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to visit Scotland.. I don't golf either.. but Oh MY Scotland.. thanks for this hub

      Debbie

    • Academicviews profile image
      Author

      Academicviews 5 years ago from Scotland

      It is a very aesthetically pleasing place to visit. I can’t recommend it enough. Particularly the highlands:)

    • Arren123 profile image

      Arren123 5 years ago from UK

      I love Scotland and maybe one retire there, I love the west coast. I been to Inverness but never to Nairn, so maybe one day, thanks for sharing, voted up and interesting

    • Academicviews profile image
      Author

      Academicviews 5 years ago from Scotland

      It certainly is a good place to retire. The pace of everyday life is a lot slower and generally more relaxing. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Academicviews

      I made my first visit to the beautiful city of Edinburgh this past April. The highlight of my trip was the bus tour to the Highlands. I cruised on Loch Ness and saw Urquhart castle.

      Voted up and awesome

    • Academicviews profile image
      Author

      Academicviews 5 years ago from Scotland

      I live in Edinburgh. I can understand the highlight being a highland tour. The Edinburgh city centre is still a mess due to the "TRAM" works, or as we locals call it now "those bloody tram works"

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Nairn's golf courses hold no attraction, so owing to a few drops of Scottish blood and reading several volumes of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, I'd visit for the local history.

      Voted up, awesome and interesting! ;D

    • Academicviews profile image
      Author

      Academicviews 5 years ago from Scotland

      Golf is not everyone's cup of tea. Thanks for reading it.

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