Highland Gathering

Highland Gathering

The annual Strathpeffer Highland Gathering, one of the longest-established Highland Games in Scotland, takes place in the grounds of Castle Leod every August.

The first Strathpeffer Games for which records are available took place on Wednesday 20th July 1881. It was noted that some six professional athletes took part (including two from Inverness) supported by amateurs from Bonar Bridge, Munlochy, Dingwall and elsewhere.

These first Games were not without their controversy. The Ross-Shire Journal noting: “The sports, the bulk of the prizes for which go to the pockets of the professionals who are connected with such events, are not worthy of the name of athletic sports, and at any rate they cannot be considered local in any sense of the word. In several races, some dissatisfaction was rightly manifested that amateurs were not handicapped with avowed professionals. However, be these things as they may, we were proud to see some of our local amateurs come so close to the professional gentlemen.”

Whilst Games took place in 1881, the following year appears to have marked the inaugural Strathpeffer Highland Gathering under the direction of a committee formed to encourage Highland sports within the district. Hence, we consider 1882 to be the true birth of our Games.

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