Heritage and Culture
The Braemar Gathering - The Best Highland Games
The World famous Braemar Gathering is the final event in the Grampian Highland Games qualifying event series. This esteemed event takes place annually on the first Saturday in September and Her Majesty the Queen is Chieftan of the gathering.
The Braemar Gathering is the most famous and best-attended Highland Games in Scotland and features the finest pipe bands, Highland dancers and athletes in a stunning setting surrounded by heather clad mountains.
The heritage of the Highland Games goes back over 1,000 years, with each games held under the patronage of Scottish Kings and Clan Chiefs. Baemar has seen Highland Games held on its land for over 900 years, since the reign of King Malcolm Canmore. Organising a hill race in the 11th Century, Canmore's event is thought to be the first ever event held at Braemar. Queen Victoria first attended the event in 1848 and Royal patronage remains to the present day.
These days, vast crowds of visitors flock to the venue at Braemar to watch the massed pipe bands. The Gathering events also include strong men, known as The Heavies, who toss cabers and throw stones, weights and hammers. There is also highland dancing, athletics, tug of war, and a children's sack race.
Here are just a few images of the Braemar Games, to help you soak up the atmosphere if you can't make it along this year: