The Brighton Of Scotland

I’d an early start this morning. Nairn is about fifteen miles east of Inverness and a good three hour drive from home, but by 7am I was standing by the pier, looking out over the Moray Firth to the Black Isle.

Nairn may not be the first place that springs to mind for a seaside break but maybe it should be. With its wide, spotlessly clean, sandy beaches stretching for mile upon mile and a rightful claim to having one of the sunniest climates in the country, you might well appreciate how this wee town became dubbed the “Brighton of Scotland”.

King James VI once boasted that he had a town within his kingdom so large that the folks one end of its High Street even spoke a different language from those at the other end. That town was Nairn.

He was no doubt trying to impress some southern nobleman at the time. Of course, the King wasn’t telling a lie-the fisher folk had the Gaelic while the inland farmers spoke English.

Down at the harbour stands the “Nairn Fishwife”. A hardy soul she is, too. Rain or shine you’ll find her here with her laden basket and creel, more than happy to pose for the camera. She’s just the first of many colourful characters I’ll be meeting today on my wander around Nairn.