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It’s that time of year again, yes you guessed it—the Cowal Highland Gathering! Never ones to miss out, we've already started preparing, and think this may well be the best year yet! Renowned for its unique atmosphere, world-class competitors, and stunning location, the Cowal Highland Gathering is the biggest and best Highland games in the world. Taking place Thursday 29th - Saturday 31st August 2013, we’ve put together the following information to help you make the most of your time, as well as find out more about the games fascinating history.

Highland Game events are held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Certain aspects of the games have become better known than others, making themselves emblematic of Scotland, for example bagpipes, the kilt, and the heavy events, such as the caber toss. Although the games centre on competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, and Scottish heavy athletics, they also include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture, making it the perfect family day out! Several ancient Scot sports such as the Hammer Throw & the Shot Putt are now part of the international circuit, indicating just how influential these games have been worldwide.

The Cowal Highland Gathering features a mix of highland dancing, pipe bands, wrestling, heavy athletics, solo piping, drum majors, ceilidh, children’s entertainment, fun run, and local food. If you’ve never been before and feel somewhat spoilt for choice, we’d recommend visiting on the Saturday where you’ll see the top highland dancers in the world compete in the finals of the World Highland Dancing Championship, hear over one hundred pipe bands battle it out in the Cowal Pipe Band Championship, and witness some of the world’s best heavy athletes as they toss the caber. If you’re interested in catching some fine Scottish music, make sure you head to the Ceilidh Tent, and round off the day with the spine-tingling salute to the Chieftain. We promise the sound of 3,000 pipers and drummers playing in unison in one you won’t forget in a hurry!

As well as a fine array of entertainment, we know no day out is complete without some delicious food! The Gourmet Kitchen will be cooking up a tasty hog roast and a variety of other hot dishes, and there will also be a baked potato vendor offering a wide selection of fillings. There will be catering points scattered across the stadium, including everything from smoothie bars to traditional fish and chips. If you’re after something to wash it down (of course you are!), there are three bars run by the Supreme Group offering a fine selection of beverages. On the Thursday and Friday there will be a Patron’s Tent offering tea, coffee, sticky buns and hearty Scottish lunches provided by local caterers Argyll Catering, all within walking distance and offering fantastic views of the main arena.

If you’re bringing the whole family, rest assured there is a great selection of children’s activities on-site, among the highlights being kids entertainer Artie Trezise, who spent 30 years as one half of The Singing Kettle - Scotland’s biggest children’s act. The veteran entertainer will be performing ‘Artie’s Tartan Tales’, his only prop being a tartan trunk filled with souvenirs and trinkets, the perfect accompaniment to his interactive Scottish stories. Artie will be doing four sessions on Saturday, free to any child with a stadium ticket. The Cowal kids tent will also be present this year with its usual range of entertainment, including puppet shows, magicians, and clowns - don't miss it!

You can book tickets through the official website here, and don’t forget to check out our August Special Offers before you do so!

See you all there!


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