Every August, no matter what the weather, you can guarantee there will be a roar of engines coursing through the glens as well as hundreds of beautiful, shiny Harley Davidsons heading out onto the roads allowing their riders to take in the views and enjoy the wind in their hair. Thunder in the Glens is an event that pulls people into the area from across the country and is well anticipated by the local villages too.
However, this year there’s competition in the form of four wheels… The MG’s are coming to town!
So, What’s On donned our leathers, shammied our cars and went out in search of the definitive low down on both events. Have a read, but we are sure that both events will give you just reason to take the highroad and visit the area.
Thunder in the Glens
The annual Harley Davidson gathering in Strathspey – Thunder in the Glens – has been a highlight of the local calendar for 17 years. Not only that, but the event has grown year on year ever since 1996, and it is now one of the Strath’s most popular summer events. This year, more than 5,000 bikes are set to head to the region for the annual meet.
Taking place on the 23rd, 24th and 25th August and organised by the Dunedin Chapter and George McGuire, Thunder in the Glens brings a real sense of exhilaration to the area. With an annual ride out through the Highland villages and a host of live music and events too, George says: “The event is the highlight of our calendar and every year the buzz of excitement surrounding the event gets bigger. The Cairngorm scenery is spectacular – there is no denying that – but it’s the locals and the businesses up and down the Strath that make the weekend for us and one of the biggest reasons we continue to come back.”
This year’s event will see more than 16 live bands play at venues throughout Aviemore, and there will be a Mods and Rockers night on the Sunday. The Cairngorm Hotel will, as usual, host their annual rocking outside music festival, which welcomes rock fans of all ages. There’s a great family atmosphere.
One of the highlights for families is the annual ride out where, this year, 3,000 bikes head from Aviemore to Dulnain Bridge, Lochindorb, to Grantown-on-Spey (where they will stop off to enjoy the local hospitality) and then back to Aviemore. As with previous years, a map of the full course will be available to the public so that everyone can catch a glimpse of this magnificent spectacle.
Over the years the event has grown massively in popularity – not only due to the Highland landscapes, but also because of the genuine Highland welcome all of the bikers are given whilst they are here. It’s a brilliantly organised event and brings such an amazing mood to the region.
MG Car Club European Event of the Year
This year, Aviemore is the venue for one of the greatest gatherings of classic MG cars ever seen. More than 300 MG cars from all over Europe and beyond will make the trip to the Cairngorms National Park for this year’s European Event of the Year when enthusiasts and their cars from all over the world congregate at a single location for five days of automotive fun and celebration of the marque.
From 16th –20th August, Aviemore will be the base for a scenic touring rally and associated events that will showcase the very best that the Highlands has to offer.
The MG Car Club was founded in 1930 with the blessing of the MG Car Company and now has 40,000 members and 73 affiliated clubs across the globe, it is the world’s largest single marque club
Robert MacGillivray, one of the MG Caledonian Centre’s organising team, said: “Without doubt the focus of the MG world and beyond will be on Scotland and Aviemore for these five days in August when we intend to showcase the Cairngorms National Park as a world-class leisure destination.”
Vintage MG cars through to more modern day vehicles will head out across the country roads of the Cairngorms National Park, making for a great spectacle across the region. Based at the MacDonald Aviemore Resort, the event will also coincide with the 21st anniversary celebrations of the MG Car Club’s Caledonian Centre. For car enthusiasts young and old, there’ll be nothing better than taking a walk around the MGs and meeting the owners that keep the vehicles in pristine condition.
Whether you are a petrol head, whether you love live music or whether you simply love being in a place with a electrifying atmosphere, there’ll be no better place to spend quality, interesting and exciting family time than the Cairngorms National Park this August.
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