Are you a visitor to Scotland? Want to liberally dowse yourself in our country’s culture, food, and attitude? There’s no better way to do it than to attend one of our many Highland Games. These fun family events are nothing short of Scotland being distilled into one playing field. Scotland squared. Scotland with its kilt on, and tongue firmly in its cheek. Come one, come all, to the fabled Scottish Highland Games.
Heavy athletes take part in traditional events
Competing in a kilt is part of the challenge
Here’s just a few, in and around Stirling, or a comfortable jaunt in the car.
Airth Highland Games, 28 July, 2018
Claiming to be Scotland’s oldest, Airth Games in their current guise were founded in 1871, though their origins stretch back centuries before that. Thousands of visitors come each year for the unique and friendly atmosphere of these Games, surrounded by the picturesque setting of the River Forth and Ochil Hills. The usual recipe is here: highland dancers, solo pipers, heavy athletes and track competitors. But bystanders can get hands-on in the Smiddy Stane Challenge and the famed Tug-O-War. Keeping everyone smiling are the local pipe band, children’s entertainment, craft stalls, local foods, refreshment tents, a fairground and much more. For information and tickets: http://www.airthgames.co.uk/
Bridge of Allan Highland Games, 5 August 2018
Less than two miles from Stirling’s City Centre, Bridge of Allan hosts one of Scotland’s premier Highland Games. The annual event attracts crowds of between 8,000 and 10,000 people. The games field nestles between Stirling Castle, the Ochil Hills and the National Wallace Monument. This year, there will be Highland dancing, pipe bands, and a full programme of traditional Highland Games competitions covering athletics, cycling, heavyweights, tossing the caber, and wrestling. There will be plenty of interesting stalls to browse, as well as food stands and an adjoining fairground for the kids. Bus and car parking is free. For info and tickets, see: http://bofagames.com/
Perth Highland Games, 12 August 2018
Situated at Perth Racecourse, you’ll find all the ingredients of a great Highland games. Watch athletes compete in traditional heavyweight competitions from the sidelines and put yourself to the test by participating in one of the running events. There will be Highland dancing, solo piping competitions, and the massively popular pipe band contest, showcasing many international bands. Browse the stalls for some delicious local produce and crafts. For more information and tickets: perthhighlandgames.co.uk
Stirling Highland Games, 18 August 2018
One of the City of Stirling’s signature annual events, Stirling’s Highland Games welcomes visitors from around the world to witness traditional Highland games competitions. The games field behind Stirling Sports Village offers brilliant views over to the Wallace Monument, Cambuskenneth Abbey and Stirling Castle. There’s a full programme of traditional events that include running, cycling, Highland dancing, heavyweights, long jump and triple jump. Enjoy piping performances throughout the day, too. In addition, the Traders Village will present some fabulous Scottish fare. Wander through a delicious range of food and coffee servers, craft and whisky stalls, as well as an onsite bar. For details and tickets (discounted online) see: http://www.stirlinghighlandgames.com/
Solo and band piping contests are a regular feature
Highland Games are big on audience participation