Coastal Walk: Nairn to Port of Ardersier
Date: Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Company: Myself and Cuillin
Distance: 13km, Ascent: 80m
Time: 3Hrs

Over the past several years I have been walking various short sections of coast with a view to eventually walking the entire stretch of coast between Aberdeen and Inverness. Last month, I walked the section of coast from Nairn out to Whiteness Head and back. Today, I again began at the same starting point but this time intended walking out to the Port of Ardersier and back.

Coastal Walks Index

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the Golf View Hotel in Nairn, we made our way down to the coast and began to walk along the beach. On walking this section of coast the month previous, it was high tide. Today it was low tide so we were able to walk along the lovely sandy beach instead.

Beach next to Nairn West Golf Club:

Looking across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle:

As we progressed along the coast, I saw what I thought were a number of ducks just offshore. I didn't recognise the species but it turns out they were in fact Brent Geese, not ducks. These must be a localised population as according to the RSPB Bird Identifier map for Brent Geese, these are not normally found in Scotland.

Brent Geese:

For such a lovely stretch of coast, and on such a nice day, it was a little surprising that we had the beach to ourselves.

Looking back towards Nairn West Golf Club:

After walking a couple of kilometres along the beach, we left the beach to cross the Carse of Delnies to get to the Port of Ardersier rather than Whiteness Head. On reaching a fence, we followed the track running alongside it.

Walk through the Carse of Delnies:

Looking across the Carse of Delnies:

Cuillin at the Carse of Delnies:

We eventually reached a small stretch of water which was easy to walk across as it was low tide. I suspect this crossing would be wider and deeper at high tide.

Water crossing:

Just beyond the water crossing, we made our way through a grassy area interspersed with small gorse bushes to reach the disused road leading to the Port of Ardersier. I think we had little choice but to head for the road at this point as there was a significant amount of thick gorse ahead.

Making way towards road leading to Port of Ardersier:

Heading towards gate leading out to the disused Port of Ardersier road:

Once on the disused road we made our way to the road end at the Port of Ardersier. The deep harbour at the Port of Ardersier was apparently used in the past for the construction of oil platforms. What remains is a mess. I believe the site has recently been purchased. Whoever takes on the site will hopefully get rid of all the concrete.

On the disused road leading to the Port of Ardersier:

Entrance to the Port of Ardersier:

Once beyond the barrier, we made our way back to the coast and then walked towards the far end of the harbour.

I currently have a couple of ongoing injuries - my left knee and my right hip. I was now getting really sore feet too possibly because I was walking unnaturally to avoid pain in my knee and hip.

Remains of flattened buildings in the old platform yard:

Following the coast along the deep water harbour:

Looking across to Whiteness Head:

Following the track alongside the deep water harbour:

By the time I reached the end of the harbour my feet were aching and I knew getting back was going to be a struggle.

Looking across to Whiteness Head:

The point previously walked to during walk from Fort George to Port of Ardersier:

Looking across to Whiteness Head:

I made it back as far as the entrance to the Port of Ardersier and then hobbled along the disused road to its end. I had to call for a cab to pick me up as I could not progress any further. Perhaps I need to see a doc as it is now over 9 months since I injured my knee with no sign of it healing.

During the walk I was extremely fortunate to see my first ever Scottish Wildcat. I am not however providing the exact location in this report. Having since looked up the internet, they are listed as being common in Nairn.