Travel | Posted 11 Jul 2012

Here at Jurys Inn, we love Scotland! We love the Highlands, rivers, lakes and historic cities but we’ve noticed that one fantastic aspect of Scotland is often overlooked: the Highland Games! With this in mind, we’ve created the Jurys Inn guide to The Highland Games so that you won’t miss out.

The Highland Games are something that everyone should experience at least once - a true celebration of Scottish and Celtic heritage. It’s easy to witness the games as there’s always an event on the cards somewhere in the Highlands. If you can visit Scotland in August, the biggest Highland Games in the world take place in Dunoon each year. Dunoon is just an hour and a half drive from Glasgow and would make for a great daytrip.

The most well known aspects of The Highland Games revolve around sporting events and tests of strength, such as the caber toss, weight throw and sheaf toss. For those with little interest in sport, The Highland Games have evolved to include events that appeal to all tastes, including music and dancing (wearing the obligatory kilt!).

Experience bagpipe music in Scotland

Musical elements of the Highland Games festival are nearly guaranteed to include a traditional pipe band or two. These bands will often group together to play in a special feature known as a ‘massing’ of the pipe bands. The chief instrument used in these displays is, of course, the bagpipe - a stirring symbol of the games and of Scotland.

Foodies will delight in the variety of traditional fare available at the games. Sampling some bannocks (scones), Scotch broth, black buns, colcannon and haggis is a true initiation into Scottish culture. At the games there are plenty of traditional market stalls to satisfy shop-a-holics and plenty of souvenir options available to bring home (our favourite being the mini-caber!).

If you can’t visit Scotland in August for the Dunoon Games, take a look at The Scottish Highland Games Authority website for more dates to suit you.

  • The Braemar Gathering is the Royal Highland Games event, held every September in Braemar.
  • This charming town is just an hour and a half from Aberdeen.
  • The Burntisland Highland Games take place each July,just 40 minutes from Edinburgh City Centre.
  • The Ceres Highland Games are held in June and are within an hour of Edinburgh.
  • The Invercharron Highland Games, located up north near Inverness, are a 3 hour drive from Aberdeen.

The main cities in Scotland are prime locations for a daytrip to the Highland Games. Whether you’d like to base yourself in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen, hotels for the highland games are widely available.

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