If you’re looking for an authentic Scottish experience, look no further than the Highland Games. These games have been a part of Scottish culture for centuries and are a celebration of all things Scottish: from traditional sports to music and dance.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the Highland Games and where to find them in Scotland. So, put on your kilt and let’s get started!
The Highland Games are a series of traditional athletic and sporting events, rooted in Scottish history, that are held throughout the country. They are usually held in the summer and early fall, and they are a great way to experience Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.
Games Played During Highland Games
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of games played in the Highland Games. Tossing the caber is perhaps the most iconic event, where a participant lifts a large wooden pole or “caber” and runs with it before attempting to throw it in such a way that it turns end over end. This event is all about precision and timing, and it’s a sight to behold.
Another popular event is the hammer throw, where a participant throws a heavy metal ball attached to a handle as far as they can. This event requires strength, technique, and power. And last but not least, the tug o’war, where two teams pull on opposite ends of a rope in a contest of strength and endurance. It’s a fun and exciting event that’s sure to get the crowd cheering.
These are just a few examples of the types of games you can expect to see at a Highland Games, and there are many more events to discover. From piping and drumming competitions to Highland dancing, from weightlifting to hill race, the Highland Games have something for everyone.
It’s important to note that these games are not only a display of strength, skill and athleticism but also a way to connect with the Scottish culture and tradition. The games are a celebration of the Scottish heritage and identity, and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the country’s history and culture.
Where to See Highland Games
Now that you know what to expect at the Highland Games, let’s take a look at where to find them in Scotland. The Highland Games are held all across the country, from the Scottish Borders to the Scottish Highlands, and from the cities to the islands. Some of the most popular venues for Highland Games include:
The Braemar Gathering:
Held annually in the village of Braemar in the Scottish Highlands, and it’s one of the most famous Highland Games in Scotland. It’s attended by the Royal Family and thousands of visitors, and it’s a great opportunity to see the games in a royal setting.
The Lochaber Agricultural Show:
Taking place in the gorgeous setting of Fort William, it’s one of the most popular Highland Games in the west of Scotland. It’s a great opportunity to see the games in a beautiful mountain setting and enjoy the local food and drink.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo:
Definitely the most spectacular Highland Games in Scotland. It’s a great opportunity to see the games in a historic setting and enjoy the traditional Scottish music and dance.
These are just a few examples of the venues for Highland Games in Scotland, and there are many more events to discover all across the country. Many games are held during the summer and early fall, but some are all-year-round, so it’s important to check the schedule and plan accordingly.
It’s a great idea to check the schedule and plan your trip according to the games you’d like to see. Some events are held annually, but some are held only every few years, so make sure to check the schedule in advance.
Enjoying a Festival Highland Games
The Highland Games are not only about athletic competitions, they are also a celebration of Scottish culture and tradition. Many Highland Games are held in conjunction with a Highland Games Festival, where visitors can enjoy traditional Scottish music, dance, food, and drink. Some of the most popular festivals include:
- The Royal National Mòd: This festival is held annually in different locations around Scotland, and it’s the largest celebration of Scottish Gaelic culture in the world.
- The Stonehaven Fireball Festival: held in the town of Stonehaven
- The Cowal Highland Gathering: Staged yearly in the town of Dunoon
Food and Drink at the Games
When it comes to food and drink, the Highland Games are a great opportunity to sample some traditional Scottish fare. From haggis to neeps and tatties, from whisky to beer, there’s something for everyone. Here are some traditional Scottish foods and drinks you should try:
A traditional Scottish dish made from sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, mixed with oats, onions, and spices, and traditionally served with neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes).
A traditional Scottish soup made from smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions.
Scotland is famous for its whisky, and the Highland Games are a great opportunity to sample some of the best. From the smoky peaty flavors of Islay whiskies to the fruity and floral notes of Speyside whiskies, there’s something for everyone.
Scotland is also famous for its ale, and the Highland Games are a great opportunity to sample some of the best. From traditional Scottish ales to modern craft beers, there’s something for everyone.
These are just a few examples of the traditional Scottish food and drink you can try at the Highland Games, and there are many more to discover. Many games also have vendors selling traditional Scottish food and drink, so be sure to sample some while you’re there.
Arrange a Scottish Tour to See The Games
The Highland Games are a great opportunity to experience traditional Scottish culture, from music and dance to food and drink.
They are a great way to connect with the Scottish heritage and identity. So, put on your kilt, grab a whisky and come experience the Highland Games for yourself – get in touch with our travel planners by filling out the form below!