Guide to the Braemar Gathering: A Celebration of Scottish Culture and Heritage

Welcome to the Braemar Gathering, a spectacle of Scottish culture and tradition nestled in the heart of Aberdeenshire. This historic event, deeply rooted in the heritage of Scotland, offers visitors an unparalleled glimpse into the vibrant customs and competitive spirit that define the Scottish Highlands. Held annually on the first Saturday of September, the Gathering attracts thousands from around the globe, drawn by its unique blend of athletic competitions, dancing, piping, and community festivities.

The origins of the Braemar Gathering can be traced back over 900 years, making it one of Scotland’s oldest and most esteemed Highland games. Its royal patronage, granted by Queen Victoria in 1848, has continued unbroken to this day with regular attendance by members of the Royal Family. This royal seal of approval adds a layer of prestige to an already distinguished event.

What makes The Braemar Gathering stand out among other Highland games?

The Braemar Gathering stands out due to its long history dating back over 900 years, its royal patronage since 1848 with regular Royal Family attendance making it unique among Highland games.

At its core, the Braemar Gathering is a celebration of physical prowess and cultural heritage. The heavy events are a highlight for many; athletes compete in traditional Highland games challenges such as tossing the caber and throwing the hammer. These tests of strength are complemented by more graceful pursuits like Highland dancing competitions and bagpipe performances, showcasing Scotland’s rich artistic traditions.

Beyond the competition field, visitors can explore a variety of stalls offering Scottish crafts, foods, and souvenirs – perfect for taking a piece of Scotland home with you. The sense of community is palpable throughout the day as locals and visitors alike share in the joy and camaraderie that these games inspire.

For those looking to immerse themselves fully in this quintessential Scottish experience, planning your visit to coincide with other local events happening around Aberdeenshire can make for an even richer journey. Castles dotting the landscape offer historical insights into Scotland’s past while nearby distilleries provide a taste of its famed whisky-making tradition.

The Braemar Gathering is not just an event; it’s a testament to Scotland’s enduring spirit and cultural vibrancy. Whether you’re drawn by athletic feats or cultural exploration – or simply seeking connection within a welcoming community – this gathering promises an unforgettable experience set against some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery.


  • Held annually on the first Saturday in September
  • Over 900 years old with continuous royal patronage since Queen Victoria
  • Features traditional Highland games competitions like tossing the caber
  • Includes Highland dancing competitions and bagpipe performances
  • Attracts thousands from around globe for its cultural significance
  • Offers stalls selling Scottish crafts, foods, and souvenirs

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