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When on holiday, it is great to get involved with local events and a brilliant way of experiencing the Highlands and Islands way of life. We have tried to list a range of local events within this area from small village hall affairs to slightly larger scale.  Some are to entertain you and others are to get involved with. To find out more, simply click on the event name.

 

July 2017

St Magnus Marathon – Kirkwall to Birsay, Orkney – 2nd

Tain Highland Gathering – 8th

Tiree Music Festival – 14th – 16th

Lochcarron Highland Games – 15th

Tomintoul Highland Games – 15th

HebCelt music festival, Outer Hebrides – 19th – 22nd

Mull Highland Games – 20th

Inveraray Highland Games – 18th

Cairngorms Ceilidh Trail – 23rd July – 6th August

Durness Highland Gathering – 28th

Dufftown Highland Games – 29th

September 2017

Starlings display their incredible murmurations – flocks of thousands moving in synchrony – in September, October and November. Although Scotland’s not known for these displays as much as our southern neighbour, they have been reported in Lossiemouth!

Autumn is peak season for the salmon run, when you can see the incredible jumps that they make up waterfalls! Falls of Shin near Dornoch is one of the best places for this – have a look at this video!

Blas Festival – 1st – 9th – Celebration of gaelic song, music and culture around the Highlands

The Northern Meeting Piping Competitions – 31st August – 1st September – Inverness

Braemar Highland Gathering – 2nd

Best of the West Festival – 8th, 9th and 10th – whisky and beer, music, celebrity chefs and more at Inveraray Castle on the banks of Loch Fyne!

The Highland Military Tattoo – 8th – 10th – a showcase of the vest of Highland and military culture and traditions, set against the stunning backdrop of Fort George near Inverness

The Baird of Bute Festival of Flight – 9th – Bute – celebrating the first all-Scottish heavier-than-air powered flight by Andrew Baird. With kite flying and family games!

Tiree Ultramarathon – 10th – a circumnavigation of the stunning island of Tiree!

Nairn Book and Arts Festival – 12th – 17th

Ceol Cholasa – Colonsay Music Festival – 12th -17th

Coll and the Cosmos Stargazing Weekend – 16th and 17th

Jura Music Festival – 22nd – 24th

Autumnal Equinox – first day of Autumn – 23rd

Loch Ness Marathon – 24th

Mendelssohn on Mull – 30th September – 2nd October – classic and opera festival on Mull

 

October 2017

Starlings display their incredible murmurations – flocks of thousands moving in synchrony – in September, October and November. Although Scotland’s not known for these displays as much as our southern neighbour, they have been reported in Lossiemouth!

October and November are peak rutting season for Red Deer – you can hear them roar as they compete for mates!

Mendelssohn on Mull – 30th September – 2nd October – classic and opera festival on Mull

Craggy Island Triathalon – 7th and 8th – with the start of the race being a swim across to the island of Kerrera, this isn’t for the faint-hearted!

Tiree Wave Classic Windsurfing Championship – 13th – 19th

Mull Rally – 13th – 15th

Made in Assynt Craft and Produce Market – 13th – Lochinver

The Dramathon – 21st – a marathon with a twist, taking runners by Speyside distilleries for ‘whisky experiences’! Stamps from the distilleries give runners a well-earned miniature from each distillery at the end!

The Royal National Mod – 13th – 21st – a celebration of gaelic music and culture in Lochaber

Colonsay Autumn Food and Drink Festival – 14th – 28th

Skye Swing and Jazz Festival – 27th – 29th

Dornoch Whisky Festival – 27th – 30th

End of Daylight Savings – 28th – put your clocks back and wake up to lighter mornings!

Ness Islands Halloween Show – 28th and 29th – a spooky display on the atmospheric Ness Islands in Inverness! See a previous display here!

November 2017

Starlings display their incredible murmurations – flocks of thousands moving in synchrony – in September, October and November. Although Scotland’s not known for these displays as much as our southern neighbour, they have been reported in Lossiemouth!

October and November are peak rutting season for Red Deer – you can hear them roar as they compete for mates!

Inverness bonfire and fireworks display – 4th

Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night) – 5th November. Celebrated throughout the UK with bonfires and fireworks, find out what this night is about here!

NorthHop Aviemore – food, drink and music – 10th and 11th

Inverness Christmas Lights Switch On – 20th

Dunoon Dazzles – 25th – a celebration of the switch-on of Dunoon’s Christmas lights including santa, reindeer, music and a market!

Made in Assynt Christmas Crafts and Produce Market – 25th – Lochinver

Book Week Scotland – 27th November – 3rd December – with events across the country, keep an eye out on their website for what’s going on!

St Andrew’s Day – 30th – find out who St Andrew was here!

December 2017

Book Week Scotland – 27th November – 3rd December – with events across the country, keep an eye out on their website for what’s going on!

Cromarty Film Fetsival – 1st – 3rd – an eclectic collection of films, popular and unknown, projected across the fishing village of Cromarty – including onto a lighthouse!

St Andrews Fayre, Dornoch – 2nd

Inverness Winter Wonderland – 15th – Whin Park is turned into a wonderland with fantastic illuminations, Santa and his reindeer!

Aviemore Santa Run – 16th – watch a crowd of Santas race around Aviemore in aid of Disability Snowsports UK!

Winter solstice (Yule) – shortest day of the year – 21st

Strathspey Railway Mince Pie Special – mince pies and mulled wine aboard a steam railway – 27th December – 3rd January

Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) – 31st. Traditionally, New Year was more important than Christmas in Scotland and it is still celebrated more in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.

Red Hot Highland Fling – 31st – “the largest free Hogmanay party in Scotland” in Inverness!

 

January 2018

Strathspey Railway Mince Pie Special – mince pies and mulled wine aboard a steam railway – 27th December – 3rd January

The Burning of the Clavie – 11th – a celebration unique to Burghead where a flaming barrel is carried to a hill fort as a second Hogmanay celebration. Pieces of burnt clavie are considered good luck!

Strathpuffer – 20th-21st – the hardiest of mountain bikers riding through the night, in the depths of winter, in a 24 hour race!

Burns Night – 25th – see our Haggis recipe here!

Up Helly Aa – a revived Norse festival in Shetland – 30th

February 2018

FebruaryFest – 2nd February – 3rd March – Glencoe – good beer, good food, live music, whisky tasting, snow – what more could you ask for?

Pancake day – 9th February – try our Scotch Pancakes recipe!

Valentines day – 14th

Fort William Mountain Festival – 21st – 25th

Inverness Music Festival – 24th February – 7th March

March 2018

FebruaryFest – 2nd February – 3rd March – Glencoe – good beer, good food, live music, whisky tasting, snow – what more could you ask for?

Fibre Fest – 9th – 11th – a celebration of fibre and woolen crafts in Dornoch

Inverness Music Festival – 24th February – 7th March

Mother’s Day – 11th

Beginning of daylight savings – 25th – put your clocks forward an enjoy an hour more of lovely Highland evenings!

 

April 2018

Puffins return to Scottish shores in April after being at sea for the winter. There are many places around the Highlands where you can see them – try Handa Island off the Sutherland coast!

Capercaillies – the largest grouse species – start ‘lekking’ in April, when they put on an impressive display for mates! If you can get out of bed at 5am, you may just see them from the RSPB Loch Garten Caper Watch!

Chanonry Point on the Black Isle is famously the best place in the UK (if not Europe!) to see dolphins from land. They start appearing in April and can be regularly seen all summer! The best time to see them is an hour or two after low tide.

Ospreys start returning to Scotland from their West African winter grounds in April. See them at RSPB Loch Garten or Scottish Wildlife Trust Loch of the Lowes!

Aviemore Adventure Festival – 18th – 22nd – world-class athletes, speakers and films about mountains and the outdoors

Colonsay Festival of Spring – 30th April – 20th May

May 2018

May is Whisky Month! Not content with just one day, Scotland dedicates an entire month to its national drink. Find out how to celebrate here!

Shetland Folk Festival – 3rd – 6th

Spirit of Speyside Malt Whisky Festival – 3rd – 7th

Islay Festival of Music and Malt – 25th May – 2nd June

Colonsay Festival of Spring – 30th April – 20th May

June 2018

July and August are peak Basking Shark season – you can spot these majestic creatures cruising in the Inner Hebrides!

Islay Festival of Music and Malt – 25th May – 2nd June

Moray Walking and Outdoors Festival – 15th – 24th

Father’s day – 17th

Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – 21st. Many of the standing stones and cairns around Scotland were built in relation to the midsummer sun and so are particularly special at this time of year!

Piping at Forres, the European Pipe Band Championships – 30th

 

July 2018

 

 

August 2018

September 2018

Starlings display their incredible murmurations – flocks of thousands moving in synchrony – in September, October and November. Although Scotland’s not known for these displays as much as our southern neighbour, they have been reported in Lossiemouth!

Autumn is peak season for the salmon run, when you can see the incredible jumps that they make up waterfalls! Falls of Shin near Dornoch is one of the best places for this – have a look at this video!

 

 

October 2018

Starlings display their incredible murmurations – flocks of thousands moving in synchrony – in September, October and November. Although Scotland’s not known for these displays as much as our southern neighbour, they have been reported in Lossiemouth!

 

 

November 2018

Starlings display their incredible murmurations – flocks of thousands moving in synchrony – in September, October and November. Although Scotland’s not known for these displays as much as our southern neighbour, they have been reported in Lossiemouth!

October and November are peak rutting season for Red Deer – you can hear them roar as they compete for mates!

Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night) – 5th November. Celebrated throughout the UK with bonfires and fireworks, find out what this night is about here!

 

St Andrew’s Day – 30th – find out who St Andrew was here!

December 2018

Winter solstice (Yule) – shortest day of the year – 21st

Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) – 31st. Traditionally, New Year was more important than Christmas in Scotland and it is still celebrated more in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.