Around Nairn and Moray


Museums / Galleries

  • Nairn Museum – offers visitors and locals alike a fascinating insight into the life and times of the town and surrounding area over the centuries. The wide range of permanent displays featuring various aspects of Nairn’s history are well laid out and informative and a huge collection of archive material is available for study.
  • Highland Aviation Museum – Located close to Inverness Airport, this volunteer-run museum has a wide range of exhibits, indoors and outdoors, including various aircraft with access to their cockpits.
  • Falconer Museum, Forres – Council-run museum featuring Moray heritage. Permanent displays include social history, geology, natural history and archaeology.
  • Findhorn Heritage Centre and Icehouse – The Centre tells the story of Findhorn from prehistoric times to the present day, and the 150-year-old Icehouse (originally for storing ice to keep salmon cool) is now used for displays about the local salmon fishing industry.
  • Moray Motor Museum, Elgin – Collection of veteran, vintage and classic cars (including race winners) and motorbikes, plus model cars and related items.
  • Elgin Museum – Scotland’s oldest independent museum, with objects displayed from all around the world, but especially from Moray, including archaeology, fossils and Elgin social history.

Nature

  • North 58° Sea Adventures, Findhorn: Wildlife expeditions or scenic tours.
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre, Fochabers: Land‐based dolphin watching at Spey Bay, tours/nature walks, exhibition, café, gift shop, kids’ activities. Free admission.

History

  • Culloden Battlefield – The course of history was changed here on 16 April 1746, when the Jacobite army fought to reclaim the throne of Britain from the Hanoverians for a Stuart king.
  • Clava Cairns – Three Bronze Age burial cairns, one of Scotland’s most evocative sacred prehistoric sites.
  • Fort George – Created by George II in the 18th Century as the ultimate defence against Jacobite unrest. Still in use, Fort George is the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain.
  • Cawdor Castle – Dates from the late 14th Century, built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. A superb fairy‐tale Castle with a sumptuous interior; also has extensive grounds and gardens.
  • Brodie Castle – 16th Century castle, sensitively restored to show what everyday life was like for one of Scotland’s most ancient clans. Set in peaceful parkland with landscaped gardens, pond, woodland walk and adventure playground.
  • Sueno’s Stone, Forres – Carved Pictish stone, described as “the most remarkable sculptured monument in Britain”.
  • Burghead Fort – A site of significant power in the heyday of the northern Picts. Visitor Centre, rock-cut well, great views, dolphin-watching.
  • Elgin Cathedral – Magnificent ruin, much of which dates back to the 13th century, and is home to Scotland’s finest octagonal chapter house.
  • Duffus Castle – One of the finest examples of a motte and bailey castle in Scotland (now ruined, but still impressive).
  • Spynie Palace – The fortified seat of the Bishops of Moray for about 500 years until 1686. The founding of the palace dates back to the late 12th Century.
  • Auchindoun Castle (near Dufftown) – Built about 1480 by Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Mar.
  • Ardclach Bell Tower – A little fortified bell tower, built in 1655. About 5 miles from Nairn.
  • Nelson’s Tower, Forres – Monument on Cluny Hill, looking out over the town. The tower is open every day in the summer from 14:00-16:00 , with panoramic views from the top.

Sports / Fitness / Adventure activities

  • Moray Leisure Centre, Elgin – Sports and leisure centre with an ice rink, swimming pool, squash court, fitness suite, relaxation suite (spa pool, sauna, steam room), beauty therapy and café.
  • Nairn Leisure Centre  and Swimming Pool is located by the beach and is a hub of leisure services based in one central location. NLC incorporates a newly developed modern 28 station fully air conditioned Fitness Suite.  The 25 meter swimming pool has a small viewing area with vending facilities.
  • Nairn Sports Club caters for a number of activities, including tennis, badminton and squash, as well as having a fully-equipped gym, and a sauna and solarium. The gym is available for anyone over the age of 14. There is a wide range of Cardio Equipment, Fixed Weight Stations and Free weights ( including dumbbells 5lbs – 60kg). There’s also an instructor in the gym at specific times to offer guidance on correct usage of equipment and general training advice.
  • Ace Adventure, Auchnagairn – Outdoor adventure activities on the River Findhorn, including white water rafting, cliff jumping, river tubing, canoeing, canyoning.
  • Pinz, Elgin – Ten-pin bowling centre with soft play area, restaurant and bar.
  • Aquaplay Scotland – a premier outdoor activity provider based in Rothes, Aberlour. Outdoor activities for stag/hen parties, coaching and development.

Family activities

  • The Loft, Kinloss – Multi‐activity centre and family-friendly café on a working farm.
  • Logie Steading, near Forres – Shopping village and visitor centre with a wide variety of attractions including an art gallery, bookshop, antiques, heritage centre, gardens, café and lovely walks along the River Findhorn to Randolph’s Leap.

Distilleries

  • Benromach Distillery, Forres – Family-run distillery offering distillery tour, visitor centre, tastings.
  • Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery, Forres – Whisky industry museum and visitor centre. Built in 1898, no longer working. See and hear how whisky was made – and sample a free dram.
  • Glen Moray Distillery, Elgin – Small, friendly and informal distillery run by avid supporters of the Moray running scene. Vistor centre, tours, tastings.
  • The Malt Whisky Trail – Signposted route including 8 distilleries and the Speyside Cooperage (where whisky casks are made).
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