All You Need to Know About the Highland Games

All You Need to Know About the Highland Games 

It’s Highland game season! People all over Scotland (and the world) are flocking to watch and partake in the famous games. A tradition for hundreds of years, attending can be intimidating as several traditional elements go into it. But not to fret! Here’s everything you need to know about the Highland Games.

What are the Highland Games? 

The Highland Games has some speculation behind how it started and rose to such popularity, but it’s been traced back as far as the 1300s, if not sooner. It’s thought the highland games originated as games soldiers would play as a method to determine who was strongest and excelled at certain strengths, useful to know for preparing for battle. The first recorded reference to this was when King Malcolm III ordered his soldiers to race to appoint the quickest royal messenger.

These games became used more commonly, with clans using them to choose the strongest men to be Chief of the household. This evolved further than just brute strength, and dancers, musicians and cooks soon joined as a way to prove their abilities within the clan.

This tradition of hosting a multitude of games continued for hundreds of years and is still one of Scotland’s biggest events of the year. However, there is not one singular set of Highland games, there are hundreds hosted around Scotland, varying in size and popularity.

What events are in the Scottish Highland games? 

There are several events held at the Highland games, and competitors train all year round in preparation for them. Some of the most popular include the Shot Put (throwing a 20-pound stone as far as you can), Tug O’ War, Hammer Throw and Tossing the Caber. Most are best summarised as throwing something very heavy as far as possible. However, there are also Highland dancing competitions, as well as drums and bagpipes performances and lots and lots of Scottish food prepared.


Where are the Scottish Highland games held? – 

The Ceres Games in Fife, which began in 1314, are thought to be the oldest, continuous Highland Games in Scotland. For this reason, the highland games hosted in Fife are one of the most popular today. However, there are also massive events held at Inverness, Stirling and Angus to name a few. Because of the massive popularity of the Highland Games, they are not limited to being hosted in Scotland. There are several Highland games hosted in the US, Canada and Europe.

We are peaking into Highland Game season, usually held for a few months staggered across the summer.

Can I hold my own Scottish Highland games competition? 

If attending a Highland Games still seems overwhelming, or the dates and locations don’t work for you, you can always host your own Highland Games! Homemade Highland games are very common in Scotland, and with the right preparation are great family fun.

Some easy games you can easily set up in your garden or a park include the three-legged race, long jump, relay race or a simple sprint race. Bring along some haggis, Irn Bru and scones with some traditional Scottish music playing in the background, and you have yourself some homemade Highland Games!

Final Thoughts

The highland games have a rich and long history, and today are more popular than ever. If you’re looking for the perfect Highland Games outfit, have a browse at our versatile selection of Kilts. Whether you’re attending one of the original prestigious games or throwing your own, make sure you look the part! Click here to view our range.