Nairn Central Beach

  • Nairn Central Beach - Highland
    © John Allan and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Nairn Central Beach - Highland
    © Douglas Nelson and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Nairn Central Beach - Highland
    © JThomas and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Nairn Central Beach - Highland
    © Julian Paren and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • The charming seaside resort of Nairn lies about 16 miles east of Inverness. Here visitors will find everything that would be expected from a such a pleasant seaside resort.  There’s a playpark, putting green, tea rooms and two Championship golf courses. There are also ice-cream and fish-and-chip stalls.

    Central Beach occupies the area closest to the town’s leisure facilities. Lying to the west of the river Nairn, Central Beach has pristine white sands fringed by low dunes.
    The climate in this area is surprisingly mild for the Highlands, making this an excellent summertime destination.

    Stroll along the promenade, taking in the fine views across the turquoise waters of the Moray Firth.  Admire the pleasure boats in the pretty harbour.  The harbour and beach are a good place for spotting wildlife – the Moray Firth is famous for its resident colony of dolphins.  These are frequently spotted from the beach and also at the mouth of the River Nairn. .  In the summer months boats from the harbour take day trippers out on dolphin-spotting trips.

    The beach has a marina which opens onto the River Nairn to give boats access to the sea.  A bar and restaurant can be found next to the marina.  From the marina a bridge crosses the river onto a wide expanse of clean sand, backed by a holiday village.  Even when the tide is in a strip of sand remains here.  The beach is popular with families, especially during the summer months.  From the beach there are views across the Moray Firth and out over the Black Isles.

    In the height of the summer season, Central Beach gets a little busier than the more remote East Beach, to the east of the river Nairn. It is also popular with swimmers and water-sports enthusiasts.

    There are plenty of popular walks in the area.  Heading east one can walk towards Kingsteps and Culbin Forest.  Heading west at low tide it is possible to walk to Whiteness Point, a long spit of sand which is home to a population of seals. The former fishing town of Nairn boasts two golf courses, a museum, a promenade and plenty of shops, pubs and places to eat.

    Parking is available in the town and access to Central Beach is easy.

    Type of beach


    Lifeguard service


    Dogs friendly beach?

    Dogs allowed

    Dogs are allowed on the beach at all times

    Highland dog friendly beaches »


    • Swimming/bathing


    • Cafe/restaurant
    • Toilets
    • First aid point
    • Shop
    • Picnic area
    • Promenade

    Nearest town



    IV12 4EN

    OS grid ref.

    NH 8831 5714


    Free parking

    Water quality

    Water quality star rating


    Beach Awards

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