A trip to Scotland would not be complete without a visit to the Highland Games. Held all over Scotland throughout the summer, these events range in size from huge stadium crowds to the smallest village gathering, and competitors gather from all over the world to take part. Highland Games are fun for all concerned, even a little tongue cheek, but there is a serious side too. The bigger events are about sportsmanship at an Olympic standard, but every single event across Scotland is a celebration of the culture, tradition and history that beats proudly in the heart of every single Scot.
A small, community event, the Ardlui Highland Games take place in our little corner of Loch Lomond. A friendly gathering, between Ardlui and Beinglass, amidst the majestic beauty of the surrounding landscape, this is Scotland at her finest. This is local Scotland, with local hospitality; a true glimpse of community, away from the impersonal crowds and the littered plastic cups. Held on Fri 14th August 2015, there is no better way to experience Ardlui Retreat. If you hurry, there is just time to book a lodge for the Ardlui Highland Games. You can even compete in the Games.
Highland Games have been part of Scottish culture for centuries; clans competing against each other in shows of strength and bravery. Now, one of the most important parts of the Scottish sporting calendar, the season runs from end of May to mid-September. Traditional Highland Games, requiring full traditional dress, encompass culture, sport, and social entertainment, in the hundreds of activities taking place. Each games has its own unique stamp, a personal blend of heavy sports such as hammer throw, caber toss and tug of war, lighter events such as Highland dancing and solo piping. The pipers also gather in huge bands; if you have never heard the bagpipes in their native land then it is worth coming just for that. Something about the rising mountains and Scottish air adds a touch of authenticity to the sound and carries with it the weight of all the history gone before.
Highland Games are first and foremost a community gathering, and this is where the individuality comes in. You could find, quite literally, anything. Think village fete, meets pub lock-in, with a touch of the Olympics and a smattering of the Women’s Institute. You might see how far you can hurl a haggis, then decide who can eat that the haggis the fastest. Tossing a caber, which incidentally is judged on style not distance, might be followed by a plate of homemade tattie scones. You might win a bottle of whisky in a raffle or even win the heart of fair maiden. You never know what you might find, but one thing is sure; it could change your life for the better if you are willing to give it your all.
Book a lodge at Ardlui Retreat for the Ardlui Highland Games and you will have a home from home right on the doorstep. If you need a change of clothes, you can just pop back and do so. One dram too many? Slip away for an hour or two of peaceful slumber. After an action packed day out, you might want to chill out in the hot tub, or gather around the fire in the Finnish barbecue hut. Either way, relaxing in the luxurious comfort of our self-catering accommodation could be just what you need.
Come on in. The water is lovely…