Well toss my caber it’s Highland Game season already!

2015 promises to bring you more dancing, hurling, stone putting, Scottish Hammer Throwing and bag-piping fun than ever before. While staying at Strathallan Guest House in Grantown on Spey, why not visit some Highland Games or even take part in the events yourself. Yes, we have had guests from Canada and the USA enter the Braemar and Inverness Highland Games. You can usually enter events, dependant on your fitness levels, by contacting organisers of the event on their relevant Highland Games websites. Or you can just go along and watch the competitors while lazily sipping some whisky. I know which option I’d pick!

Did you know that Highland Games or ‘Gatherings’ take place around the world? Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Hungary to name but a few hold their own Highland Game events. (Don’t forget the most important event is the Grantown on Spey Highland Games on the 23rd August. Just five minutes walk from Strathallan House.)

At Strathallan B&B we get asked the same question. What is a ‘Caber’ and why does it get tossed?

‘Caber’ is a derivative of a Gaelic word meaning wooden beam and when used in sporting events measures approximately 19 feet and 6 inches and is made of pine. Highland Games are believed to have started when clans wanted to compete against each other and show off their strongest fighters. One of the earliest records of Caber Tossing was noted in 1574 as the ‘tossing of ye barr’.

It isn’t the distance thrown but flipping the caber round completely so that it lands vertically and then falls away from the ‘thrower’ that is most important when competing for points. So keep this in mind when you are having a go!

Personally, I’d stick to watching from afar as other people do the hard work, having a few drinks and then coming back to Strathallan Guest House for a relaxing end to the day.

There are so many Highland Games taking place this year, but here are just a few we’ve picked out for you.

Strathmore Highland Games
Date: Sunday 14th June, 2015
Location: Glamis Castle, Strathmore

Aberdeen’s Highland Games
Date: Sunday 21st June, 2015
Location: Hazelhead Park, Aberdeen

Inverness Highland Games
Saturday, 18th July
Bught Park, Inverness

Tomintoul Highland Games
Date: Saturday 18th July, 2015
Location: Public Park, Tomintoul

Dufftown Highland Games
Date: Saturday 25th July, 2015
Location: Mortlach School Sports Field, Dufftown

Aberlour Strathspey Highland Games
Date: Saturday 1st August, 2015
Location: The Alice Littler Park, Aberlour

Newtonmore Highland Games
Date: Saturday 1st August, 2015
Location: The Eilan, Newtonmore

Grantown On Spey Highland Games
Date: Sunday 23rd August, 2015
Location: Heithfield Park, Grantown on Spey

Braemar Highland Gathering
Date: Saturday 5th September, 2015
Location: Braemar, Braemar