The Atholl Gathering

The two day Atholl Gathering weekend consists of The Atholl Highlanders' Parade on Saturday followed by the Highland Games on Sunday. This unrivalled spectacle gives locals and visitors alike the chance to participate in a unique Highland tradition that has taken place for generations.

The Atholl Highlanders Parade is the annual inspection of Europe’s last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders by His Grace, The Duke of Atholl. The parade takes place on Saturday 26 May, 2.30pm on the historic forecourt of Blair Castle accompanied by the stirring sound of pipes and drums. A special feature of this year’s parade will be the commissioning ceremony of Lord David Murray, The Duke’s grandson, who will be presented with a sprig of juniper, (a symbol of his acceptance into the regiment). If you would like to learn more about the fascinating history of the Atholl Highlanders in advance of the afternoon’s parade you are warmly invited to attend a talk in the castle ballroom at 11am. Jane Anderson, Castle Archivist will describe the history of the regiment assisted by an Atholl Highlander in full dress. There will also be an opportunity to view the newly acquired shield presented by the Atholl Highlanders at the 1839 Eglinton tournament. The talk is free as part of standard Castle admission and includes access to the afternoon’s parade.

On Sunday 24 May, the Atholl Highlanders will “march on” officially opening the annual Atholl Gathering and Highland Games in the grounds of Blair Castle. Led by their pipes and drums, the regiment circle the arena saluting His Grace, The Duke of Atholl who will then fire the cannon. This year’s Highland Games take a new format with many of the events being organised by and participated in by the Atholl Highlanders themselves. These include the ever popular Highland Dash, the sword dance and a relay race. A line-up of Scottish heavies will compete in traditional highland games such as tossing the caber, throwing the hammer, putting the shot and tossing the sheaf over the bar. Expect a fun fair atmosphere with plenty of other attractions, such as highland dancing, solo piping, tug o’ war, wrestling and a new car-pulling event. The gates open at 10am. Local heavies competition from 11am. “March On” at 1.15pm. Scottish Heavy events from 1.30pm.

Admission is Adults £6.00, Seniors £4.00, Children £2.00 (5-16 years). Under 5's FREE. Parking Free .

For further information please contact Blair Castle on 01796 481207.

Please note: Blair Castle is open as normal, 9.30am – 5.30pm throughout the Atholl Gathering weekend. The castle will close briefly on Saturday from 1.15pm before reopening at the end of the parade.

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