Once described as the ‘Brighton of Scotland’ this pretty little seaside town was very much a place to escape the everyday woes of daily life and let your hair down for a while and relax. The town of Nairn is located on the Moray Firth Coast; the ‘Granite City’ of Inverness is approximately fifteen miles away and despite what you might think, Nairn is actually one of the sunniest places in the whole of the UK. It was the development of the Victorian railways though that saw the town’s popularity boom, with thousands of people coming here to escape the city for a while it became one of the most popular seaside resorts in Scotland.
There are three distinct ages and areas to the town. And there is a Victorian feel that comes from all of the developments that happened in the town as a result of the arrival of the railway, this saw the development of the town as a real resort destination. Victorian mansions and beautiful villas are still very much in evidence. The Victorian build was really the last real development that the town saw, which means that it is just as attractive now as it was then.
There are two golf courses here, which separate the resort town from the beautiful countryside that surrounds it; it is a wonderful place to play with the sounds of the sea as your accompaniment around the course. The course has seen the odd championship played out on it too, as the Walker Cup was held here in 1999.
Before the arrival of the railways Nairn was very much an agricultural market town, with farms and a small fishing village; the settlement is believed to have been established by Norse settles some time before 1000AD. The location of the town has not always been of benefit to it, sitting as it does between what was once the Gaelic Speaking Highland fishermen and the English speaking farmers of the north east of Scotland.
The heart of the town is very much the main shopping area, set in the heart of what was the old farming community. This is where Nairn Castle once stood, remembered now by only the square that was named after it. The castle was built in the twelfth century and demolished in the late 1500’s, but you will notice that many of the buildings in this part of the town are constructed of a certain grey stone, believed to have once been the stone that made up the castle walls.
What was once the main hub of the fishing industry here, the town harbour, is now home to the sailing club. The beach is highly attractive and the promenade area is a lovely area for a stroll. Close to the mouth of the river there is a nature reserve for you to visit, with plenty of rolling dunes and mud flats on which the wildlife can roam freely. Nairn is still very much a place to escape to where you can enjoy its tranquil and timeless surroundings.