Nairn harbour

An ancient fishing port transformed into a popular leisure vessel facility and holiday destination. Nairn harbour provides a limited number of visitor berths to mariners who are keen to explore the Highlands and enjoy the hospitality the town of Nairn has to offer.

More information can be found at www.nairnscotland.co.uk and www.visitnairn.com

Harbour details


Latitude 57° 35.61’ N
Longitude 03° 51.64’ W

Harbour area

All waters below the level of MHWS commencing at the A96 trunk road bridge over the River Nairn at Bridge Street and following the West bank of the River Nairn at the level of MHWS via the harbour mouth to:

  1. Latitude 57° 35.39’ N, Longitude 03° 52.236’ W; thence in a N'ly direction for a distance of 905 metres to:
  2. Latitude 57° 35.877’ N, Longitude 03° 52.299’ W; thence in an E'ly direction for a distance of 1420 metres to:
  3. Latitude 57° 35.396’ N, Longitude 03 50.874'W; thence in a S'ly direction for a distance of 470m to:
  4. Latitude 57° 35.681’ N, Longitude 03 50.846'W; on the level of MHWS, and following the East bank of the River Nairn on the level of MHWS to the A96 trunk road bridge over the River Nairn at Bridge Street.


  • Berthing pontoon
  • Showers (Nairn Sailing Club). Key available from the Harbour Master.
  • Public toilets

Draft alongside berths

Minimum draft alongside pontoons No's 2 and 3 is 1.0 metre. Less water is available on the south side of pontoon No 1. Alongside the central pier, minimum water depth is 1.3 metres.

Maximum vessel size

Maximum vessel size is governed by available water depth and ability to manoeuvre within the confines of the dock. The maximum recommended vessel length for visitors is 12m and draught 1.8m.

Types of vessel

  • Leisure
  • Fishing
  • Tour boats

Safe anchorages

Although no designated anchorages exist locally and no shelter is available from onshore winds, good holding can be found on grounds off the harbour entrance whilst waiting for the tide.


There are no wrecks within or near the harbour authority area.

Dangerous goods


Pilot services and advice

No pilotage services are available, although it is recommended local advice is sought from the Harbour Master.

The entrance to the harbour lies at the mouth of the River Nairn, between the two piers that extend seaward each side of the river mouth. The entrance should only be approached from the N.N.W. direction within the white portion of the sector light located on the East pier head.

The harbour entrance is very tidal and not navigatable at low water. Entry should not be attempted at night unless familiar with the harbour.

At extremely low water, a sand and gravel bar is exposed approximately 200 metres N.N.W. from the pier head. Caution should be exercised when crossing the bar, especially on the ebb tide in a swell.

The safest times for entry are at 1.5 hours either side of HW. However, it is recommended visiting vessels plan their passage to arrive on the rising tide to reduce the risk of stranding in the river on the falling tide.

Radio communication

VHF radio channel 9/16

Applicable charts

115 Moray Firth
223 Dunrobin Point to Buckie
1462 harbours on the North and East Coast of Scotland

Harbour personnel

Robbie Barron, Harbour Master

For all other enquiries please contact harbours HQ by email harbours@highland.gov.uk

David Seddon, Harbours Manager

Jospeh Mackay, Marine Superintendent