Nairn Harbour

Follow the River Nairn from the seaside to Cawdor

This tranquil riverside walk takes you to the historic village of Cawdor

We have already introduced you to a few walks around Inverness and Loch Ness, but don’t miss a visit to the villages and visitor attractions east of Inverness!

The area east of Inverness has got much to offer, for example famous Culloden Battlefield, Fort George and Cawdor Castle – and if you’d like to combine your visit to one of these historic places with a nice walk, read on!

In Scotland, you’re never very far away from the sea and this walk starts in the beautiful seaside village of Nairn, approximately 20 minutes’ drive from Inverness on the A96 Inverness to Aberdeen road. The best place to park your car is the free car park at “The Maggot”, it’s signposted on the left shortly after the main roundabout in the town centre. From the car park, stay on the same side of the river and follow the sign “Riverside path to Cawdor”. Follow the path along the river and under the railway bridge – you can often see ducks, swans and various sea and wading birds along the river here. If you are a bit short of time or just looking for a short stroll, you can cross the river at Firhall Bridge and return to Nairn (this circuit is about 3 miles/5k). Otherwise, keep going on the grassy path and take care when crossing the road further along, it can be quite busy. The path follows the river for some time, passing tranquil pools perfect for fishing before winding away from the river. After 5.5 miles you reach the conservation village of Cawdor, where you can visit beautiful Cawdor Castle and gardens or pop in to Cawdor Tavern for lunch or a refreshing drink.

If you don’t fancy the walk back, you can catch a bus back to Nairn (check the timetable with Traveline Scotland before you set off), or if you are feeling energised after enjoying a wee refreshment, return to Nairn on the same path.

The path is well signposted and easy to find all the way, but it can be boggy at times and good hiking boots are recommended. For the runners among you, this route is highly recommended if you like a trail run without hills (bring your trail shoes though!).

The distance from Nairn to Cawdor is just over 5 miles and will take around two hours to walk. Allow for plenty of time for photo stops and exploring Cawdor, of course!

River Nairn