Events in the Highlands

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  • The Burning of the Clavie at Burghhead, an annual fire festival held in January to celebrate the old Scottish New Year
    The Burning of the Clavie, Burghhead
  • Tossing the caber at the Inverness Highland Games, Highlands
    The Inverness Highland Games
  • Sampling whiskies at the Inverness Whisky Festival, now rebranded as NIP, at Bogbain Farm near Inverness
    Sampling a dram at the Inverness Whisky Festival, now rebranded as NIP, at Bogbain Farm near Inverness
  • Excited crowds cheer on a rider at the MTB World Cup in Fort William © Gary Williamson
    Excited crowds at the MTB World Cup in Fort William © Gary Williamson
  • Competitors at Piping at Forres, the European Pipe Band Championships © John Paul Photography
    Competitors at Piping at Forres, the European Pipe Band Championships © John Paul Photography

Don’t miss the variety of events in the Highlands, from the ancient Burning of the Clavie fire festival in January, to the legendary summer Highland games.

The Highlands’ exciting programme of events also include some of Scotland’s most popular music festivals including SkyeLive, Brew at the Bog, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and Loopallu.

For many, the sound of whisky being poured is music to their ears. The Highland has some great whisky events, such as Nip, a whisky festival held at Bogbain Farm on the outskirts of Inverness. The legendary Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival always promises to be a memorable weekend, with lots of tastings, demonstrations and live music.

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup comes to Fort William each summer with the world’s best mountain bikers thrilling the crowds on the downhill tracks of Nevis Range. For those who prefer walking, grab your boots and join one of the many walking festivals that take place throughout the year.

Enjoy the spring celebrations and connect with nature at the Wild Lochaber Festival or the Great Glen Paddle.

In 2015, Moray and the area around Inverness plays host to both the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) and the Scottish Six Days Orienteering events, giving competitors a real challenge as they negotiate tough terrains of ancient Caledonian forests, dramatic coastlines and rugged countryside.

There are various Highland games in the region throughout the summer months where you can watch the heavy events like tossing the caber as well as Highland dancing and piping contests. Among the highlights are the Dornoch Highland Gathering, Newtonmore Highland Games and the Inverness Highland Games.

For more great spectacles of Scottish tradition, experience the European Pipe Band Championship at Piping at Forres. The event also oversees a rather tasty competition - the Tattie Scone Championships.

In the Year of Food & Drink 2015, check out Scotland's fine offering of craft beer, cider, gin and street food at North Hop, held in Inverness in August.

Enjoy the winter celebrations of Inverness, with craft fairs, pantomimes, and Christmas festivities. Start the year in style at the ancient fire festival of the Burning of the Clavie, held on 11 January to mark the Pictish New Year, in the small community of Burghead on the Moray coast.

Take a look at this year-round Highland events calendar and plan your holiday in Scotland today.