Summer 2013 Events in Cowal and Argyll
Waverley Paddle Steamer Trips
May – October
Waverley, the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer stops at Tighnabruaich pier every Wednesday on her way to the fishing village of Tarbert. Climb on board this magnificently restored paddle steamer with its distinctive towering red, black and white funnels, timber decks, gleaming brass and woodwork, then relax in the lounges, take in the stunning scenery on deck and visit the engine room to see the immaculate (and loud!) engine hard at work.
For more details about boat trips on the Waverley visit the Waverley Excursions website.
7th – 8th June
Following the success of the first Kyles Festival in 2012 the event returns to Argyll’s secret coast in 2013 with live music, real ales aplenty. Additional events last year were open mic spot, acoustic session, BBQ, local producers market, tug-o-war contest and a horse and carriage ‘taxi’ on the Saturday. All in all it’s ‘a weekend of good music, great food and fabulous company’.
Benmore Botanic Garden Open Day
A great family day out with free admission to the Garden, children’s activities, plant sale, craft fair and home baking. Opens 12 noon.
Sailfish Tighnabruaich Triathlon
Over 100 triathletes will descend on neighbouring Kames to take part in the 3rd Sailfish Tighnabruaich Triathlon, an arduous event for experienced triathletes only. Starting with a 750km swim in the Kyles of Bute, the triathletes will cycle 20km around the ArdlamontPeninsulaand finish the race with a 5km coastal run. Families and friends welcome to spectate and join the competitors, organisers and volunteers for a barbecue after the race. For more details, visit the Sailfish Tighnabruaich Triathlon website.
Fife Regatta 2013
1st – 3rd July
The Fife Regatta is a rare chance to see the spectacular coming together of over 20 classic Fife yachts.
These magnificent yachts with their varnished woodwork and polished brass fittings range in length from 20 to 100ft and will be a stunning sight as they sail through the Kyles of Bute and join in the onshore events and celebrations. This is truly a world class event which only happens every 5 years and this year will be attracting Fifes from as far afield as California and the Caribbean.
The yachts sail into Tighnabruaich on the afternoon of Monday 1st July after which there will be a street party with local food, games, tug-o-war and Scottish skiff rowing race.
On Tuesday 2nd July the Fifes leave Tighnabruaich in a massive flotilla and sail down the KYles of Bute round to Loch Fyne where they will moor at Portavadie Marina.
Wednesday 3rd July will see the Fifes race in Loch Fyne around Portavadie while the larger yachts will race to Otter Ferry further up Loch Fyne. Meanwhile in Tighnabruaich, paddle steamer Waverley departs from the pier in the afternoon.
Tarbert Seafood Festival
6th – 7th July
The annual two day Tarbert Seafood Festival is a fantastic celebration of the sea packed with activities and events for the whole family. Seafood lovers can watch cookery demonstrations by local chefs who know a thing or two about the locally caught fish and shellfish, and of course taste delicious Scottish seafood at the market stalls. Other events include the crowning of the Seafood Queen, live music, Scottish Highland dancing, the seafood parade, ready, steady cook off, and children’s rides are available all day.
Inveraray Traditional Highland Games
Inveraray Highland Games is surely one of the best and most popular Highland Gatherings in Scotland. The Games begin with the march of pipers led through the town by the Duke of Argyll to Winterton Park with the magnificent Inveraray Castle in the background. The traditional Highland events of athletics, wrestling, highland dancing and piping attracts many top national and international athletes, dancers and musicians with the Caber Toss World Championship the undisputed highlight. The events field will accommodate trade stalls operated by local food producers, and arts and crafts will also be on display. The Armed Forces will hold demonstrations, children can play on the rides and side shows provide even more entertainment. It’s a great day out for all the family! The 2013 Games take place on Tuesday July 16, starting at 10am.
Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival
19th -21st July
2012’s relaunch of the Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival attracted huge numbers of visitors as well as around 30 traditional boats from Scotland and Ireland. As well as the fascinating boats on display there were stalls set up on the shore including boat building and wood working, local produce and the RNLI. Other attractions included skiff racing, greasy pole and live traditional Scottish music.
Bute Agricultural Society Annual Summer Show
The Bute Agricultural Society Annual Summer Show is held annually in August at Rothesay Showground close to Rothesay town centre. The locals call it “The Cattle Show” and is essentially a smaller version of the Royal Highland Show as it features livestock from Bute farms as well as dogs, horses, poultry and pigeons.
23rd – 25th August
Art lovers will enjoy Argyll’s Open Studios events as it is an opportunity to visit artists at their own studios and experience the creative atmosphere of working art studios. Examples of work include paintings, ceramics, weaving, woodwork, glassware, stone carving and much more. More details about Artmap Argyll.
Bute Highland Games
Bute Highland Games, held at Rothesay Public Park, sees traditional Highland heavy athletic events where athletes compete for the Duke of Rothesay Trophy donated by Prince Charles, 10k road race, pipe bands, schools athletics and shinty. There’s plenty for the kids to do, trade stalls, a variety of snacks and a licensed bar. More details about the Bute Highland Games.
Cowal Highland Gathering
29th – 31st August
Dunoon once again hosts the biggest Highland Games in the world between Thursday 29th and Saturday 31st August. Join the thousands who flock to this event from all over the world to see traditional Scottish events such asHighland dancing, solo piping, pipe bands, heavy athletics (caber toss, Scottish hammer throw, shot putting the Cowal Stone) and wrestling. There will also be a classic car parade, ceilidh and the customary close of games fireworks.
Children are also well catered for with the usual rides, stalls and bouncy castles as well as a rodeo bull and snowboard simulator, while the Kid’s Tent sees magic and Punch and Judy shows during Saturday afternoon as well as with balloon modelling and face painting on offer between performances. Find out more details from the Cowal Highland Gathering website.
As usual – good food, friendly staff, comfortable surroundings and beautiful scenery. - Feb 2011 ...