10 Must See Events In The Highlands of Scotland For 2018

From its famous “Road to the Isles” surrounded by the beautiful and rugged vistas of Glen Coe and the Cairngorms, to the ubiquity of the great water of life (whisky), the Scottish Highlands features many must see natural landscapes and historic sites, but it also is home to a range of cultural events throughout the year. From the Highland games to Hogmanay, we list the must-see moments for 2018.

North Coast 500

Although not technically an event, Scotland’s answer to Route 66 is a perfect way to orient the great Scottish landscape. Starting and finishing in Inverness, the 500 miles is a long favourite now fully endorsed by the Scottish tourist industry. As a result, the route constantly features new B&B deals and attraction passes along the route. With ancient castle ruins, fell passes and winding coastal views, the North Coast 500 is a must do for 2018. If travelling between July and August, it offers many chances to witness small and local galas.

Highland Games

Held between spring and summer throughout Scotland, these games celebrate Scottish culture with a series of performances and feats of strength, such as the sheaf toss stone put and the hammer throw. With bagpipes, kilts, dancing and the famous caber toss, the largest games take place in Dunoon every August. However, smaller galas are held throughout the area and are well worth a visit. For more, see the association website’s listed events.

Hogmanay

The most famous Hogmanay street party is held on Princes Street in Edinburgh, but Inverness also offers one of the largest free celebrations in the Red Hot Highland Fling. Complete with live music, fireworks, comedy and good whisky, this is a lively way to ring in the New Year. Other smaller festivities are dotted around the Highlands and are also worth a pull, particularly local fire festivals.

Comrie Flambeaux

Like Hogmanay, the pagan originating Comrie Flambeaux takes place on New Year and features fire displays, music, processions and fancy dress in the Southern Highlands town of Comrie. If you want to get down to the raw pagan roots of Scottish Celtic culture, then this is an event to behold. In it, a series of eight large wooden torches are set ablaze and marched through town at midnight.

Northern Lights

Although the auroras borealis cannot be guaranteed, the autumn and winter periods are ideal for spotting the Northern Lights. The secluded North West Highland landscape offers many ideal opportunities for clear nights beneath the stars and, if you are lucky, the glittery glow of an aurora.

Ullapool Book Festival

If you enjoy literature and literary heritage, the annual Ullapool book festival is held on the shores of the beautiful Loch Broom between 11-13 May. We can’t think of a better book spot than this quaint little town nestled between the mountains of Bheinn Ghobblach, An Teallach and Ben Mhòr na Còigich.

Fort William Mountain Festival

In October, Fort William hosts a unique experience celebrating mountaineering. With exhibitions, films and lectures, the event is topped with guided walks, hikes, climbs and skiing lesson.

Whisky Month

That’s right, whisky has a month as well as a day (May 19th, 2018). Distilleries, bars and pubs are all hosting the event with deals and tastings. Why not make the most of it and visit some of the best purveyors of Highland whisky? From Glengoyne and Glen Dronach to Glenmorangie, Highland whiskies are some of the best in Scotland. What is more, if you arrive a little early, Inverness is hosting a whisky and gin festival in April, complete with rare drams and fresh Scottish gins.

 


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Highland Military Tattoo 8-10 September 2017 At Fort George

Highland Military TattooThis event is a unique and truly authentic experience. Set inside the magnificent ramparts of Fort George, this spectacular military ceremony always impresses and enthrals its audiences. From the roar of jets to the magical sound of the massed pipes and drums, from Highland dancing to fiercely contested competitions, from contemporary music to historical re-enactments, and climaxing in the Lone Piper ceremony and the terrific fireworks display, spectators always enjoy this fantastic show.

The experience starts with a walk across the drawbridge into the Fort and the opportunity to sample high quality affordable food and drink in the Catering and Retail Village next door to the Tattoo arena. Wander around the largely in-house retail stalls and Armed Forces charity tents, visit the military vehicle and equipment displays – including a World War 1 Sopwith Camel – and talk to the servicemen and women. Take a stroll up onto the ramparts and admire Fort George’s classical buildings and examine its large cannons and mortars which defended it and the sea route to Inverness. There’s a good chance you might see dolphins in the Moray Firth too!

Then take your seat in the stands wrapped around the arena with the Fort’s frontage as the iconic backdrop to the Tattoo.

This year the main themes are focussed on the RAF: its beginnings as the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in the First World War, the formation of the RAF Regiment in the Second World War and the RAF today, celebrating their 75th anniversary. We will also be celebrating Visit Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology – and what better place to do that than Fort George with its history of soldiers from after Culloden up to the present day and the impressive buildings of this mighty fortress. It is also the year of the Gaelic Welcome and there will be Gaelic songs and the opportunity to learn a few Gaelic phrases.

A fitting tribute and a highlight of this year’s Tattoo shall be with a performance from the Queen’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force. The specialist unit is charged with the safe-keeping of the Queen’s Colour for the RAF in the United Kingdom and is manned by officers and men from the RAF Regiment.

The Programme lasts about 1 ¾ hours. The outline follows:

Aerial display by World War 1 SE5A biplane

Fly pasts by RAF Typhoon jets

Fanfare by The Royal Regiment of Scotland Military Band.

The Massed Pipes and Drums from some 9 military and local bands – both adult and youth: 4 Bands from the Royal Regiment of Scotland, I R IRISH, RAF Lossiemouth, 2622 Sqn RAuxAF, Forres, The Highlanders’ Army Cadet Force, Inverness City Youth and Gordonstoun School.

The Royal Regiment of Scotland Military Band display.

Historical vignettes: firstly, tracing the history of Fort George from Culloden through the soldiers based and trained there from the 1750s to the formation of the Seaforth Highlanders in 1881. And secondly, remembering the RFC in the First World War, the formation of the RAF Regiment in the Second World War in North Africa and the RAF Regiment on operations more recently in Afghanistan.

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Armed Forces’ Competition with teams from the Royal Engineers, The Black Watch 3 SCOTS and the RAF Regiment battling it out for the Urquhart Cup.

Highland Dance sets – both traditional from the City of Inverness Dancers and contemporary from the City of Inverness Choreography Dancers accompanied by a dance band and pipers.

The Ceol Na Clarsach Group playing wonderful clarsach and fiddle music accompanied by Gaelic singing.

The Queen’s Colour Squadron of the RAF Regiment give an internationally renowned marching and drill display.

Closing Sequence with all the cast led on by the Massed Bands, RAF Guard of Honour, the Evening Hymn, Auld Lang Syne and the National Anthem.

The spectacular fireworks display is followed by the Evening Hymn – this year The Airman’s Hymn – and the Lone Piper.

The cast then march off to the rousing sound of Scotland the Brave and The Black Bear.

The Catering and Retail Village is open 2 ½ hours before each show begins and remains open afterwards which helps a smooth exit from the carparks situated just outside the Fort.

Shuttle buses will also be running from Inverness.

This Tattoo is in its fourth year at Fort George. It delivers ‘what it says on the tin’. It’s a fantastic show for all the family with three evening performances and a matinee on the Saturday.

Contact Information

Tel:  01667 404243
Mob: 07921 816360
Postal Address: c/o The Highlanders Museum, Fort George, Ardersier, Near Inverness IV2 7TD
e-Mail: janis@highlandmilitarytattoo.com
web: http://www.highlandmilitarytattoo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighlandMilitaryTattoo/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hmtfortgeorge


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Santa’s Grottos – Inverness

Santa is going to be very busy in Inverness for the next few weeks as he has set up a few grottos where he can meet with the children. Here are a couple of his venues:

Simpson’s Garden Centre – Wednesday 7th to Saturday 24th December 2016

Enjoy a magical visit to see Santa in his fabulous grotto at Simpsons, where you can have fun with his elf, colour in, then visit Santa for a good old festive blather.

4.30pm -6pm: Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th, Friday 9th
11am-4.30pm: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th
4.30pm-6pm: Wednesday 14th, Thursday 15th, Friday 16th
11am-4.30pm: Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th
11am-4.30pm Wednesday 21st, Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd
11am-2pm Saturday 24th

 

Eastgate Shopping Centre – Sunday 20th November – Friday 23rd December 2016

Visit Santa in his Magical Dick Whittington Grotto in Eastgate located by Next

Grotto will be open every Friday to Sunday, 11am-5pm, from 20th November * – 23rd December. (Grotto opens at 1pm on the 20th November)

All proceeds will go towards our chosen charity, The Archie Foundation Highlands which supports sick children and their families across the whole of the North of Scotland.


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The 2014 Festival Highlights Concert Inverness

The 2014 Festival Highlights Concert is taking place on Saturday 7th June 2014 at 7:30pm in the OneTouch Theatre at Eden Court.

The Inverness Festival Association will present another outstanding concert of highlights from this year’s Inverness Music Festival as a tribute to the breadth of talent we have on display in the Highlands.  Here is a chance to experience some of those memorable moments that caught the attention of judges and audience alike during the festival itself.

The concert will not only display that impressive talent, but also reveal the wide variety of artistic ends to which it is applied. From nursery rhyme through folk song, piano sonata, music theatre, string ensemble to ceilidh band, there is much here to appreciate both as sound and spectacle.

This year’s line up will include, the amazing Clarsach duet Imogen Hay and Lucy Faulkner, Milton of Leys Rockin Recorders plus much, much more.

The Highlights concert represents the culmination of the festivals efforts to provide performance opportunities for talent of all ages and is set to be a night not to miss.

Tickets £10 from Eden Court Box Office. Discount Available for IMF Members. Call: 01463 234 234

www.eden-court.co.uk


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Inverness Whisky Festival 2014

Inverness Whisky Festival is back at Bogbain Farm for its fourth year this April and is delighted to be part of the Scotland Homecoming 2014 celebrations.

The festival takes place on the 4th and 5th of April and kicks off the festival season perfectly with a tour, tasting, music, food, and dancing!

Friday 4th April

The festival commences with a tour around some of Inverness’ best-known and oldest pubs. The tour will encourage guests to submerse themselves in the history of our nations drink, the music and the local craic! Bruce MacGregor, founder of Blazin Fiddles (Folk Band of the Year, 2013), will lead the troops as they enjoy a selection of fine drams and some impassioned story telling. The evening culminates in the award-winning Hootanannys where guests will enjoy a traditional Scottish knee’s up courtesy of Bruce and friends.

Tickets cost £30 and include your tasting glass and a dram at each stop.

Saturday 5th April

Inverness Whisky Festival exhibition at Bogbain begins at noon on Saturday 5th April. It’s a chance to sample an abundance of malt whiskies, and to learn from the masters how to drink, savour, and most importantly, enjoy your whisky. With live music, talks, master classes, and good Scottish food, it’s a feast for all the senses.

The Whisky Exhibition runs from noon until 5pm (last pour 1645 hours) and tickets cost £25 (master class tickets sold separately), which includes complimentary drams and your tasting glass.

To finish off the festival we invite you to join us for some Scottish music, courtesy of the Bruce MacGregor Ceilidh Band. After a few drams and a bit of dutch courage we expect to see everyone on the dance floor!

A combination ticket can be purchased for £50, which allows access to all three events.

Minimum Age: 18

Date: 4th/5th April 2014


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