Our guide to Highland Games & Gatherings in the Cairngorms National Park!
Attending a Highland Games is a summer highlight for many visitors to the Scottish Highlands. The Cairngorms National Park has a long tradition and history of Highland Games, being home to some of the most famous gatherings.
Atholl Gathering & Highland Games
Last weekend in May each year
The two day Atholl Gathering weekend consists of The Atholl Highlanders’ Parade on the Saturday followed by the Highland Games on the Sunday. Games include traditional events such as tossing the caber, putting the shot and throwing the hammer.
It looks like it’s going to be another scorcher today for the Atholl Gathering! Programme of events and prices can be found on our website https://atholl-estates.co.uk/events/atholl-gathering-highland-games/ Tickets can only be bought with cash For today only, we are giving FREE entry to the castle gardens and grounds (including restaurant and gift shop) when you show your Atholl Gathering ticket, or why not UPGRADE your ticket (for less than £5!) to see our Victoria exhibition! Don’t forget to tag us! #blaircastle See you soon 😎 #athollgathering #highlandgames #funforallages #family #sunshine #athollestates #blaircastle #strongman #athollhighlanders #marchon #pipesanddrums #pipingcompetitions #racing #tugowar #visitperthshire #scotspirit #scotlandsforall #scotlandisnow #visitcairngorms
Braemar Junior Highland Games
2nd Saturday in July each year
The Junior Highland Games allows children between the ages of 5 and 18 the opportunity to participate in traditional events normally reserved for adults and create interest for the next generation.
195/365 great weather for Braemar Junior Highland Games ☀️ #project365 #1picaday #braemar #scotland #visitscotland #visitaberdeenshire #beautifulabdn #scotlandsbeauty #loves_scotland #ig_scotland #insta_scotland #scotland_greatshots #hiddenscotland #visitcairngorms #cairngormsnationalpark #unlimitedscotland #ukpotd @visitscotland @visitabdn @ig_scotland @insta.scotland @scotland_greatshots @scotlandmagazine @ukpotd @visitcairngorms @hiddenscotland @unlimitedscotland
Tomintoul Highland Games
3rd Saturday in July each year
One of Scotland’s longest running Highland Games, showcasing traditional heavy (and light events), highland dancing, piping competitions and lesser-known entertainments like tilt the bucket and barrel racing.
Newtonmore Highland Games
1st Saturday in August each year
One of the feature events of the Newtonmore games is the hill race up Creag Dhubh Hill. The length, of the course, is approximately 4½ miles and has a vertical ascent of 1200 feet.
Ballater Highland Games
2nd Thursday in August each year
The Ballater Games began in around 1864. This year they are celebrating Captain Alwyne Farquharson’s 70th successive year as Chieftain, who was appointed in 1948!
Abernethy Highland Games
2nd Saturday in August each year
Known as the ‘friendly games’ and home of the Clan Grant Gathering the Nethy Games first began back in 1880 and are the only Games to have the wonderful spectacle of massed Pipe Bands, a sight to behold!
4th Saturday in August each year
The unique feature of Lonach is, the march of the Lonach Highlanders, some 200+ members of the Lonach Society in full Highland regalia plus the Lonach Pipe Band, leave Bellabeg at 8am to march the 6 miles around the area stopping every so often for a Dram. They then parade around the Games arena.
The Lonach Highlanders marching from country house to country house is an annual ritual around Strathdon, Scotland. I think it’s an almost surreal scene from a lost age. They have a quaint name, too, The Lonach Highland and Friendly Society which continues to fulfill the society’s original mission of preserving Highland dress and “supporting loyal, peaceful, and manly conduct; and the promotion of social and benevolent feelings among the inhabitants of the district.” I guess carrying pikes through the country lanes qualifies as manly conduct. @natgeo @natgeocreative #scotland #lonachgathering
Grantown Highland Games
4th Sunday in August each year
The Grantown games were revived around 1984 and feature traditional events, Highland Dancing and junior fun games. The Scottish Record for High Jump was achieved and held till this day at Grantown Highland games in 2008 by Andrew MacDonald from Lossiemouth with a jump of 6ft 6.5”.
1st Saturday in Sept each year
Since 1848, The Gathering has been attended regularly by the reigning Monarch and members of the Royal Family. The foot races at The Gathering are the world’s oldest, having been organised on a regular basis by the same body since 1832.
Looking forward to the world famous @braemargathering tomorrow! We love this photo of the Queen and Prince Charles there a few years ago taken by @chrisjacksongetty 👑 . . . . . . . #cairngorms #nationalpark #visitcairngorms #braemargathering #braemar #royaldeeside #royal #queenelizabeth #princecharles #scotland #scotspirit #highlandgames #gathering #instagood #photooftheday #whatson #events
Visit www.shga.co.uk for more info about all the games mentioned!
To view all the annual events which take place in the Cairngorms each year click here!
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