Follow the River Nairn from the Seaside to Cawdor

This area has got much to offer. For example, famous Culloden Battlefield, Fort George and Cawdor Castle. If you’d like to combine your visit to one of these historic places with a nice walk from Nairn to Cawdor, 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”. There’s a signpost 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, there is a shorter stroll. Just 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 into 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.

There are plenty of signposts, which are easy to find all the way. But it can be boggy at times, so we recommend good hiking boots. For the runners among you, this is a great 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!