Sport and Recreation




Nairn has some excellent sporting facilities and an active sporting community. A wide range of sports is available either in the town or within easy travelling distance.

Nairn is a centre of golfing excellence with two 18 hole championship courses  –  the Nairn Golf Club and Nairn Dunbar Golf  Club which between them have staged the 1999 Walker Cup in 1999, Scottish Ladies’ and Girls’ Championships, Scottish Men’s Championship, British Ladies’ Championship, the Amateur Championship, the Vagliano, Jacques Eglise Trophy and the Northern Open.  Nairn Golf Club hosted the Curtis Cup in 2012. With a number of other excellent courses within a short distance, including Castle Stuart, Nairn is an ideal base for golfers.

2015-08-01 18.36.05In 2015 Nairn hosted the World Orienteering Championship and had a key role in the Scottish 6 Days event. Championship events were held in various locations around the Highlands and Moray. The TV coverage was carried live to around two million people.

Another major sporting annual event sets off from Nairn, the first weekend in September – the Scotland Coast to Coast. Rat Race’s original adventure race takes place in the wild hills of Scotland. You can join 1000 #RatRacers as they run, bike and kayak over 105 miles through one of the most famous mountain landscapes in the world. Awe inspiring views and a stunningly epic course await you in the Scottish Highlands.

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.

Fitness Centre with a View

Fitness Centre with a View

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.  Located just outside the Leisure Centre is a 10 station outdoor Gym and further along at Nairn Leisure Park is an 18 hole putting and crazy golf course (April – October) and paddling pool (June – August).  Low-cost access to these facilities are available through the High Life scheme, offering unlimited entry for a monthly fee. Daily payment is also available for one-off visitors.

Football fans have a choice of two teams to watch: Highland League team Nairn County and junior side Nairn St Ninian.

Cricket was introduced to the town by English railway navvies and the town still plays its local league home games at the Links.

A founder member of the North of Scotland Cricket League in 1893 and participant in the original knock-out cup competition that marked the birth of the organisation that first summer, Nairn County Cricket Club was born out of a tradition of cricket in the town predating the formation of NoSCA by some fifty years. And as cricket in Nairn moves towards its second century the inheritors of this grand old club are ensuring that it remains at the centre of this close-knit Highland community.

Nairn County 1906 – picture by Donald MacLeod

Cricket goes back a long way in this part of the world. The Nairnshire Telegraph first mentions the sport in 1843 and twelve years later records in its pages a match between Nairn and a team from Inverness. More here.

A wide variety of clubs are available for most sporting activities, such as martial arts, athletics, road running, bowling and swimming.

Outdoor activities are well catered for, with some excellent walking among the rivers, woods and hills of Nairnshire. Cycling is growing in popularity as a means of enjoying the countryside. A Nairn Cycle Project has provided a network of signposts to enable bikers to follow tracks along both rural and urban routes. See Sustrans Route Map through Nairn.

Two local stables provide a range of activities from introductory lessons and tuition for all abilities to beach riding and a residential training centre.

And, being a seaside town, watersports are well covered. Nairn harbour and the Moray Firth are home to an active sailing club, as well as attracting windsurfers on breezy days. There is also some demanding kayaking available on the River Findhorn.

If climbing and hillwalking are more your thing, there are plenty of places within easy travelling distance for you to access. For skiers, the Cairngorm and Lecht areas are also easily accessible from Nairn.

Angling is another popular activity in and around the town. Sea fishermen will probably have more luck from a boat, although some fish are caught from the piers and the shore.

The Rivers Nairn and Findhorn have good runs of salmon and sea trout, there is river and loch fishing for brown trout and there is a well-stocked fishery just three miles out of town.

Information and permits are available from Pat Fraser’s electrical shop on the High Street.

And nearby estates provide for the huntin’ shootin’ and fishin’ set, with salmon and trout fishing on a number of rivers and lochs, along with grouse, pheasant and rough shooting, as well as deer stalking.