There are three Highland Games that take place each year on the Road to the Isles. There is one at Glenfinnan, one at Arisaig, and the combined Mallaig and Morar Games. Each is held at the same time each year so you can plan well ahead to be there to watch the colourful spectacle of highland dancing, field and track and ‘heavy’ events. The culmination of each games is the ‘tossing of the caber’, not to be tackled by the faint hearted.
Glenfinnan Gathering - The annual Highland Games
The Glenfinnan Gathering or Glenfinnan Highland Games are one of the best in the Highlands. There isn't another place in Scotland that exceeds the loch side location surrounded by mountains and much of Scotland's history from 1745 onwards began here at Glenfinnan.
The Games are well organised. There is ample parking for the multitude of visitors, a beer tent serving a large variety of refreshments, and food available all day. This year the Games will be on 19 August 2017.
Glenfinnan is a pleasant 17 mile drive from Fort William and if you are visiting Lochaber on the day, we really do recommend these Games to you.
Arisaig Highland Games and Clan Ranald Gathering
The Arisaig Highland Games and Clan Ranald Gathering are held every year on the last Wednesday in July. 2017 sees the 81st Arisaig Highland Games which will be held on Wednesday 26 July. The venue is the scenic location of Traigh Farm, Arisaig. What a treasure is Traigh! White sandy beaches looking out over the magnificent vista of the Atlantic ocean, and our protectors, the Small Isles of Eigg, Rum, Muck, and Canna. In these waters that we share with the fishes, there are whales, dolphins, and otters to be seen. Eagles soar, red deer roar, shearwaters fly, and herons stretch between water and sky.
The Games features a full list of traditional events including solo piping, throwing the hammer, tossing the caber, highland dancing, and a range of track and field events including children’s races. The heavy events are sponsored by the Road to the Isles Marketing Group.
The games begin with a ceremonial parade through the village itself, led by the Lochaber Schools Pipe Band. The focus then switches to Traigh with the Games officially opened by Ranald, 24th Captain of Clan Ranald. Around the arena there are a variety of side shows, exhibition tents, trade stalls and refreshment stands.
And to round it all off, the games finish with a traditional cèilidh dance in the village hall in the evening.
Mallaig & Morar Highland Games
Mallaig & Morar Highland Games are normally held on the first Sunday in August (6 August 2017) and are held at the Lovat Memorial Field, Morar. The events include Junior Highland Games, Piping, Solo Piping, Piobaireachd, March, Strathspey, Highland Dancing (various age groups), Light Field and Junior Athletics, International Relay Race, Heavy Events, lots of children's events.