Halkirk Games | Halkirk Highland Games, Scotland

Halkirk Highland Games, Scotland


The Halkirk Highland Games, a traditional and spectacular Scottish sporting event established in 1886, is held in Caithness in the far North of Scotland, near to Thurso and the famous end of the road landmark of John O’Groats. It is always held on the last Saturday in July and attracts crowds of up to 3,000.

The Games is the premiere sporting event in the North of Scotland. The prize money of over £28,000 for 2016, is one the best in Scotland and attracts the country’s best amateur and professional competitors. There are 2 Scottish Championship titles to be won on the day: 800m open cycle race & 1,600m junior cycle race.

Halkirk will be celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2016 and we are delighted to announce that the 2016 World Invitational Highland Games Heavy Events Championships will be held in Halkirk on Saturday 30th July 2016, alongside all our other normal events. The world’s top ten Heavyweight athletes from six different countries will compete for the prestigious Webster trophy. The competition starts at 11am. See our dedicated web page for details.

There are nearly 100 events packed into an afternoon and it is the Scottish version of a mini Olympic Games! There are normally dozens of competitors from all over the country and often from abroad. The “Heavies” are the kilted strongmen who toss massive wooden cabers, throw scots hammers and weights and putt the shot. A sight not to be missed. There are pipers, Highland dancers, track and field athletes, cyclists, clay pigeon shooters and children, all competing for top prizes. Spectators are kept informed of all the action by both our roving commentator and announcer. Surrounding the arena are entertaining side-stalls, charity stalls, a thrilling fun fair, plus food and drink stalls/marquees.

The heavy events are not the only star attraction, as the Halkirk Committee has pulled off a bit of a major coup by booking the appearance of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards pipe band for 2016. This is the first time that the military band has played at Halkirk.

The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are world famous. Achieving a prestigious Classical Brit Award in 2008 for best album “Spirit of the Glen: Journey”, partly recorded while on operations in Iraq in 2008. Regularly performing at high-profile engagements, including the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Basel Tattoo, the Pipes and Drums are constantly engaged in the composition of music, international performances, such as the Hong Kong International Tattoo in 2012, and competing across the world. Remarkably all the members of the band are fighting soldiers first and musicians second.

The band will lead the Grand March from Bridge Street to the Games field at 12 noon, prior to the official opening of the Games at 12.15pm by the Rt Hon Viscount Thurso. They will play at regular intervals throughout the day and also perform in a street parade in the evening from 7.45pm to 9pm. The day is rounded off by a grand marquee dance at 10pm, with live music by Big Sky.

A warm friendly welcome awaits you at the Halkirk Games, which is always a great family day out.

The Halkirk Highland Games is a member of the Scottish Highland Games Association.