Blair Castle to welcome thousands for the Atholl Highlanders parade and gathering
Preparations are under way for the historic Atholl Highlanders Parade and Gathering which takes place this weekend, May 23-24, at Highland Perthshire’s Blair Castle, near Blair Atholl.
The historic event, an annual gathering hosted by The Duke of Atholl, has been enjoyed for generations and is set to attract thousands of people to the area to witness the famous parade and competitive gathering over the course of the weekend. Events start at 11am on Saturday with an Atholl Highlanders talk at which you can discover more about the history of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s only private army, led by castle archivist Jane Anderson and Atholl Highlander CSM Geoff Crerar.
After the talk, the spectacular parade begins in the castle forecourt at 2pm with music from the Atholl Highlanders Pipe Band, parade inspections and traditional marching followed to military precision. The parade is followed on the Sunday by a traditional Highland games, featuring events from caber tossing and wrestling to Highland dancing, piping competitions and family races. Starting at 10am, the day is packed with the unrivalled sights and spectacles of Blair Castle and Highland Perthshire.
Andrew Bruce-Wootton, general manager at Atholl Estates, said: “Every year, the Atholl Highlanders Parade and Atholl Gathering attracts visitors from all over the world. There is no better place to see and participate in historic Highland traditions than here at Blair Castle. The amazing spectacle of Europe’s only private army parading on the castle’s forecourt and the sounds of the bagpipes is something really special that is not to be missed.
“As well as the range of events taking place throughout the weekend, there is also a series of war exhibitions inside Blair Castle commemorating the centenaries of three major conflicts. It is 100 years since the Dardanelles Campaign during World War I, which is especially poignant.”
Visitors can also enjoy the castle’s scenic grounds and experience the brand-new five-course taster menu in the Castle’s Tullibardine Restaurant. As a member of VisitScotland’s prestigious Taste Our Best quality assurance scheme, the restaurant will showcase the Scottish provenance of the ingredients used on the taster menu.
Andrew said: “As there is so much to see, do and taste, we are offering special annual passes for £12 that allow people to visit Blair Castle and its grounds as many times as they like for a full year, so visitors don’t have to see everything we have to offer all in one trip.”