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highland games Scottish traditional games

Scotland's Highland Games are renowned throughout the world as a unique event combining skills, culture and music. Whilst the games still contain a very competitive element, the spectacle of Highland dancing and pipe bands combined with the tradition and excitement of the occasion make Highland games a real highlight for any visitor lucky enough to be in Scotland at the right time. Highland Games are held in Scotland from the end of May to the middle of September every year, attracting crowds from several hundred to over ten thousand at some of the larger Highland Games.


Scottish Highland Games


The origin of the games are, like most traditions, lost in the mists of time - however the popularity of highland games is as strong as ever especially in America where there are many more Highland Games held than in Scotland.

Colourful, exciting, fun, competitive, memorable, world famous - just a few of the words that sum up Scottish Highland Games. From the skill and agility of the heavies, the colourful and proud massed pipebands, and the traditional costumes of the highland dancers, this is a great spectacle not to be missed. A typical Highland Gathering will include pipe band competitions, highland dancing and traditional feats of strength such as tossing the caber, throwing the hammer, the shot putt and a tug-of-war.

Here are a list of games and information on those which are within reasonable driving distance of our holiday cottage - some are within a 10 minutes drive, most within an hour and a few special ones are up to 2 hours away. The traditional highland games and clan gatherings are a wonderful day out and the swirl of the kilt and the sounds of the pipes will be with you long after the games are over.

Scottish Highland Games

BLAIR ATHOLL GATHERING & HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: last Sunday in May at 1:30pm
Location: Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Perthshire.
Usual Events:Light Field, Heavy events, Highland Dancing, Solo Piping. Many trade stands Special Event: Scottish Tug O' War Championship.

BATHGATE & WEST LOTHIAN HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 27th May at 10.30am
Location: Meadow Park, Bathgate.
Events: Running, Cycling, Light Field, Heavy and Track events, Highland Dancing, Pipe Bands

BLACKFORD HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 27th May at 12:30pm
Location: Games Park, Blackford, Perthshire
Usual Events:Running, Cycling, Light Field, Heavy and Track events, Highland Dancing. Special Event: Scottish Tug O' War Championship.

SHOTTS HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 3rd June
Events: Pipe Band Competition, Heavy Events, Highland Dancing, Athletics, Coupon Painting, Story telling etc, Track and Field.

STRATHMIGLO HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 3rd June Commencing at 1.00pm Solo Piping from 12pm
Location: George V Playing Field, Strathmiglo, Fife.
Events: Pipe Band Contest. Grades 11,111 & 1V, Solo Piping, Highland Dancing, Running. Heavyweight Events, Tug O' War, Cycling.

CARRICK LOWLAND GAMES (GIRVAN)
Event Date: Sunday 4th June
Location: Victory Park, Girvan
Usual Events: Running, Cycling, Light Field, Heavy and Track events, Highland Dancing. Under 12 Football competition, Tug-o-War, stalls, snack bars etc, Pipe Band competition.

MARKINCH HIGHLAND GAMES
Date of Event: Sunday 4th June at 12.30pm
Location: John Dixon Park, Markinch, Fife.
Events: Programme starting at 12.30pm. Track and Field Events, Cycling, Heavyweight Events, Junior & Senior Solo Piping Starting at 10.00am Highland Dancing Commencing at 12.30pm, Pipe Band Competition Grades 1,11,111,1V & N/J, Adult and Junior Drum Major Contest, Fun Fair.Ê

BEARSDEN & MILNGAVIE HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 10th June
Location:ÊWest of Scotland Football Club, Burnbrae, Milngavie, Glasgow.
Events: Local Events and Highland Dancing commence 10.30am, Running, Heavy Events, Tug O' War, Pipe Bands, Highland Dancing, Wrestling, Football Competition (Soccer).

FORFAR HIGHLAND GAMES
Event date: Sunday 11th June at 12.30pm
Location: Glamis Castle, Glamis.
Special Event: Scottish 800 Metres Cycling Championship. Scottish caber tossing Championship. Other Events: Running, Cycling, Highland dancing, Solo Piping. Heavy Events, Tug O' War. Pipe Band in Attendance.

NEWBURGH HIGHLAND GAMES
Date of Event: Saturday 17th June at 1pm
Location: Mugdrum House Games Park. Newburgh, Fife.
Events: Open & U21 Boat Race, Running, Cycling, Heavy/Field Events. 90m & 1600m Youth Running, Pipe Bands. Stalls.

CERES HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 24th June
Location: The Bow Butts, Ceres, Fife.
Usual Events: Heavyweight Events, Hill Race, Open & Local Tug O War, Solo Piping Highland Dancing.

PEEBLES BELTAIN SPORTS Foot Racing In the Scottish Borders.
Event Date: Saturday 24th June
Location: Hay Lodge Park, Peebles.
Events: British Championship 110 Mtrs (Scratch Race) Handicap Events: Foot Races, 100 Mtrs, 200 Mtrs, 800 Mtrs, 1600 Mtrs, 3200 Mtrs, and for 10 - 16 Yrs, 90 Mtrs, 1600 Mtrs, Highland Dancing competition at 1300 hrs.

GLENGARRY HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 3rd July at 1pm
Location: Shinty Park, Invergarry.
Events: Hammer Throwing, Caber Tossing, weight for distance and weight for height, track events, Highland Dancing, Pipebands, Hill race.

149th THORNTON HIGHLAND GATHERING
Event Date: Saturday 1st July at 12.00pm
Location: Memorial Park, Thornton, Fife.
Special Event: Pipe Band Contest, Grades 11 & 1V. Draw at 12.30pm Usual Events: Open Athletics, Cycling, Heavy Events, Youth events, Highland Dancing, Solo Piping

CUPAR HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Sunday 2nd July
Location: Duffus Park, Cupar, Fife.
Special Event: Heavy Event Championship. Usual Events: Tug O War, Road & Track Cycle Races, Track/Field Events, Solo Piping, Highland Dancing, Obstacle Course Fun Event.

KENMORE HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Wednesday 5th July
Nearest Towns: Aberfeldy, Pitlochry.

ALVA GAMES
Event date: Saturday 8th July
Location: The Johnston Park, Alva, Clackmananshire.
Special Events: Scottish 3200m Cycle Race Championship. British 800m Championship Footrace. Hill Race Championships.Senior & Junior. Usual Events: Running, Cycling, Heavy/Field Events. Youth Running Events, 5 man Tug O War. Solo Piping, Highland Dancing.

STIRLING HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Sunday 9th July at 11:30am
Location: Stirling County Rugby Ground, Stirling.
Special Events: Wrestling inc. 9st 7lb Scottish Champs. Usual Events: Highland Dancing, Heavyweights. Tug o'war, Pipe Band Competition, Solo Piping (under 18's).Centre Arena Events, Fun Fair, Stalls etc

BALLOCH (LOCH LOMOND) HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 15th July at 10am
Location: Balloch Castle Country Park.
Special Events: Pipe Band Competition. Scottish 80 Metres & British 200 Metres Running Championships. 12st 7lb Scottish Backhold/Cumberland Style British Championship. SGA World Heavyweight Championship. Usual Events: Solo Piping, Highland Dancing. Running, Cycling, Track & Field Events, Tug O War, Heavy Events, Wrestling.

TOMINTOUL HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 15th July
Location: Public Park, Tomintoul, Near Grantown on Spey
Usual Events: Solo Piping, Highland Dancing, Heavy & Track Events, Tominabat Hill Race, Childrens Fancy Dress in Evening.

AIRTH HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Sunday 16th July at 11am
Location: North Greens Park, Airth.
Usual Events: Running Track/Field and Heavy Events, Cycling Tug O War, Wrestling.

BURNTISLAND HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Monday 17th July
Location: Burntisland, Fife
Events: Heavy Weight and Cycling Events. Open Foot Race, 90 Metres, 200 Metres 400 Metres, 800 Metres, 1600 Metres, 3200 Metres, Invitation 90 Metres Handicap. Highland Dancing. Special Race: Binn Hill Race, Local.

LUSS (LOCH LOMOND) HIGHLAND GATHERING
Event Date: Sunday 23rd July 11.00am
Location: Luss, Alexandria, Loch Lomond.
Usual Events: Solo Piping, Highland Dancing, (SOBHD rules), Track/Field and Heavyweights, Hill Race, Tossing the Sheaf, Cycling, Wrestling. Local & Open Events.

BALQUHIDDER, LOCHEARNHEAD & STRATHYRE HIGHLAND GAMES.
Event Date: Saturday 22nd July at 12.00pm
Location: Balquhidder,Perthshire.
Special Event: British Heavyweight Championship. Usual Events: Highland Dancing, Solo Piping, Light Field & Track, Tug O War, Novelty Races.

CALLANDER HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 22 July & Sunday 25th July at 1pm
Location: Callander Games Field.
Usual Events: Traditional Highland Games and Strongman Events, pipe bands, Highland Dancing etc

INVERNESS HIGHLAND GAMES
Date of Event: Saturday 22nd July at 12am.
Location: Bught Park, Glenurquhart Rd, Inverness.
The Games features all the traditional Heavy Events, Highland Dancing, Piping and traditional music.

ST. ANDREWS HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Sunday 30th July
Location: North Haugh , St.Andrews.
Special Events: European Heavyweight Championship, 1600 Metres Footrace Championship. Usual Events: Highland Dancing, Solo Piping, Cycling, Running, Heavy Events, Field Events.

KILLIN HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Wednesday 2nd August at 1.30am.
Location: Breadalbane Park, Killin, Perthshire.
Events: Piping Competitions, Dancing Competitions, Celebrity Appearance, World Strongmen Events, Open Hill Race, Childrens Races, Local Tossing the Caber Competition, Fly Fishing Demonstration and Casting Competition, Side Shows, Amusements and Stalls.

INVERKIETHING HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 5th August. Location: Inverkeithing, Fife.
Special Events: Scottish 6400 Metres Cycle Championship. Pipe Band & Drum Major Contest, Usual Events: Heavy Events, Cycling, Running, Solo Piping, Highland Dancing, Tug O War, Wrestling.

NEWTONMORE HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 5th August
Location: The Eilan, Newtonmore.
Usual Events: Track and Field, Heavy Events, Hill race.

BRIDGE OF ALLAN HIGHLAND GAMES
Date of Event: Sunday 6th August
Location: Games Park, Bridge of Allan
Special Events: Central Scottish Tug O' War Championship, Scottish National Ladies Tug O' War Championship, Scottish Wrestling Championship (13st 7lb), Scottish Cycling Grass Track Championship, Heavyweight Championships, Pipe Band Contest: Grades I, II, III, IV. Solo Piping, Highland Dancing, Track and Field events. Heavy events, Cycling, Wrestling, Half Marathon.

NETHYBRIDGE HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 12th August
Location: Playing Fields, Nethybridge.
Events: Heavy Event, Piping Competition, Track Events, Highland dancing, Spectacular March onto the field of over 100 pipers in the massed bands display.

NORTH BERWICK HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 12th August at 10.30am
Location Recreation Park, North Berwick
Events: Scottish Amateur Heavy Championships 2001, Piping Competition. Highland Dancing. Heavy Events, Track and Field Events.

PERTH HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Sunday 13th August
Location: South Inch Perth.
Special events: Pipe Band Contest, Grades 1, 11, 111, 1V. Also, Cycling 1000 Metres Championship.Running 90 Metres Championship. Other Events: Highland Dancing, Solo Piping, Tug O War, and Field events including Heavyweights.

GLENFINNAN HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 20 August at 11.30am
Location: GlenfinnanÊ
Events: A uniquely traditional Highland Gathering set in the internationally famous setting - where the Jacobite standard was raised in 1745.

CRIEFF HIGHLAND GATHERING Event Date: Sunday 20th August at 12.00pm
Location: Market Park, Crieff
Featuring: Scottish Heavyweight Campionship. Pipe Band Competition Grades 1,11,111 & 1V Usual Events: Solo Piping, Highland Dancing, Running, Cycling, Light & Track Events, Heavyweight events. Tug O War.

GRANTOWN-ON-SPEY HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Sunday 20th August
Location: Heithfield Park, Grantown-on-Spey
Special Event: 56lb Weight for Distance Championship, Usual Events: Highland Dancing, Solo Piping, Open Tug O War, Running, Cycling, Field and Heavy Events, Mass Pipe Bands.

BIRNAM HIGHLAND GAMES
Date of Event: Saturday 26th August
Location: Little Dunkeld, Perthshire. Usual Events: Blairgowrie and Rattray Pipe Band, Solo Piping, Highland Dancing. Tug O War, Field & Track Events, Heavy Events Cycling. World Haggis eating championship as well as large funfair.

THE BRAEMAR GATHERING Braemar Highland Gathering
Event Date: Saturday 2nd September
Special Event: Queen's Visit plus other members of The Royal Household. 80 metres British Championship. Pre-entry required for Piping, Dancing, Track & Hill race. Mass Band Display. Usual Events: Highland Dancing, Solo Piping. Light and Heavy events. Tug O War.

BLAIRGOWRIE AND RATTRAY HIGHLAND GAMES
Date of Event: Sunday 2nd September
Location: Bogles Field, Essendy Road, Blairgowrie.
Special event: Dog show. 4 mile Hill Race Clan Gathering. Usual events: Highland Dancing, Solo Piping. Running, Field, Heavy Events, Tug O War, Cycling, Highland Battle. Also children's mini-highland games.

PITLOCHRY HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Saturday 9th September at 11:00 am
Location: Pitlochry, Perthshire
Special Events: Massed pipe bands, Solo Piping. Pipe Bands Grades 1 & 11, Highland Dancing Competition SOBHD Rules Light Field Heavy Events - Venue of 1997 World Hammer throw record of 153' 1". Track events, Tug-O-War, Cycling, Charity Stalls.

PEEBLES HIGHLAND GAMES
Event Date: Sunday 10th September at 11am
Location: Hay Lodge Park, Peebles
Events: Highland Games, Pipe Band Comp, Highland Dancing, Heavy Events, Tug o War, Stalls.

There are other Highland Games and Traditional Scottish Gatherings in further flung towns and villages in Scotland.