Summer 2014 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.
20th – 22nd June
The Kyles Festival returns to Argyll’s secret coast in 2014 with 3 days chock full of live music, amazing food and real ales aplenty as well as an 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
Date to be confirmed
Over 100 triathletes will descend on neighbouring Kames to take part in the 4th Sailfish Tighnabruaich Triathlon, an arduous event for experienced triathletes only. Starting with a 750m swim in the Kyles of Bute, the triathletes will cycle 20km around the Ardlamont Peninsula and 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.
Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival
25th – 30th June
The Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival attracts 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.
Visit the Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival website for more details.
Tarbert Seafood Festival
5th – 6th 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.
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.
Dates to be confirmed
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
28th – 30th August
Dunoon once again hosts the biggest Highland Games in the world between Thursday 28th and Saturday 3oth August. Join the thousands who flock to this event from all over the world to see traditional Scottish events such as Highland 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.