When was the last time you visited Scotland and the area around Argyll and Bute on the west coast? If the answer is never or not recently, then maybe it is high time you put it on your to-do-list. As summer time in Scotland is very special, not only is it when the Scottish countryside is in full bloom and very attractive to the eye, but it’s much more than that, as you get a feel for the real Scotland and its heritage.
For any visitor who has not experienced a traditional “Highland Games” event, I think it’s a definite “must” on your to-do-list for things to whilst staying and visiting in Scotland. This brings the true spirit of Scotland together at such “gatherings” as some locals call them (which refers historically to the gatherings of Highland Clans), but also gives a glimpse of Scottish tradition in the rural highlands and lowlands over the previous hundreds of years. In essence each area and county department around the Scottish countryside has its own Highland Games, which for the rookie Scottish visitor is like a country fair to show of local produce like; Whisky tasting from the Oban Distillery, local art, crafts, agricultural displays, local music including traditional bagpipes, highland dancing displays and competitions, with the main event being the Highland Games themselves.
If you are fortunate enough to visit the Argyll and Butte area this summer, as from the 25th of August is the start of the “Argyllshire Gathering & Oban Games” which will be a spectacular display all the best in highland games events. Featuring the Hammer Throwing, Caber Tossing and Tug of War to name a few, also the Highland dancing events of which feature 22 this year including; Gillie Chalium, Sean Triubhas, Strathspey, Reel and the famous Highland Fling. The piping events are also not to be missed and show off the best in traditional Scottish Bag piping. The Games traditionally starts from “Argyll Square” in Oban with the Stewards Match at 10 o’clock, which are led by the Pipers competing that day, this is a spectacle in itself not to be missed.
The other big event taking place during August that is worthy of a mention is the “Mull of Kintyre Music Festival” which takes place at Campbeltown in Argyll between the 18th and 21st of August. This line up of events and artist performing this year draws from artists around Scotland and beyond, which features the very best in traditional Scottish music, pipe musicians, brass bands, folk music, pop and rock. For those of you like to shake a leg on the dance floor there are traditional “Ceilidh” (Scottish Country Dancing) events which are great fun and allows you to join into the real spirit of a country Scottish event like this. Events like these are sure to be a great experience for all the family, as there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.