Scottish Highland Games in Dunoon, Scotland (2017 Cowal Highland Gathering)


One of our last adventures of summer was a
Scottish road trip to the Highland Games. We had been to the games once before in Canada,
but now it was time to experience the real deal right where it all began, so after enjoying
a few days in Glasgow, we hit the road. Our destination: the Cowal Highland Gathering
in the town of Dunoon. We’re in Loch Lomond. First stop of the day. Yep. We’ve been driving how long do you think? Maybe a half hour? A bit more. More like 45 minutes to 50 minutes. Yeah, and we’ve been seeing the Loch eyeing
it out of the window for a while now. It looked beautiful so we finally pulled over. Trying to figure out an actual place to pull
over and then we finally did and then we found this nice little stretch. It is almost like this tiny little stretch
of sand. And yeah it has been great to fly because
it was raining before and it stopped just for us. So yeah, it is beautiful but gotta get back
to the car and continue this road trip. Our journey took us west out of Glasgow and
then north along the shores of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Loch Lomond is the largest loch in Scotland
and probably the most famous after Loch Ness, though we didn’t spot Nessie’s cousin. From there we continued along the shores of
Loch Fyne and Loch Eck, before arriving at our destination in the middle of a torrential
downpour. Seeing as the weather wasn’t cooperating,
we grabbed a quick dinner in Dunoon and drove to our AirBnB, which was set in an old merchant’s
manor right by the water. Alright Sam, what is this place behind us? This is where we stayed. This was home for the night. Tada. Look at how historic it is. I think it dates back to the 1800s. Yeah, and the host was so so nice. We loved our stay here and we slept like babies. So peaceful. Alright, time to hit the road. This is our beast of a car. We got a giant van. It looks like we’re going on tour but I guess
this was the only automatic they had. So we took it. So we have made it. We have arrived at the Cowal Highland Gathering. This is the main reason we’ve come all the
way to the town of Dunoon. It is a little bit early actually. We’re here too early because none of the events
have started yet. But we noticed there is a street food section
where we can sample some Scottish street food. So we’re going to go in search of a snack
and then it will be time for dancing and games. Let’s go. Ah, it is a big portion. Only if you can. You got neeps. Hahaha. That
is the stovies here. Beets. So we found a food truck called Scotland’s
Gourmet Kitchen and I ordered myself Beef Stovies. I had no idea what this was. So food tour. Yeah. The way they explained it to me it is kind
of like a potato mash with some dried beef, it also has some carrots and it comes with
beetroot and little oat cakes or oat cookies. So yeah, first time trying this Scottish dish. Let’s see what it is like. Is it good? Mmmm. That is quite nice yeah. Yeah. I loved mashed potatoes so I mean you could
have added anything to it and I’d be like yeah that is good. It is nice and hearty. And the beef is quite tender not too tough. And let’s add some beetroot in there. Beetroot and maybe I wonder if this is meant
to be dessert or you just eat it with the mash. Mmmm. New dish and it is a hit with me. I like this a lot. And I’m going for a classic Haggis, Neeps
and Tatties. Yeah. So let me show you which is which. Haggis over here and that is sheep’s pluck
which is heart, liver and lungs. Yes. And then we have the tatties which are the
potatoes. Yep. And the neeps which are the turnips. So yeah this is probably the most famous Scottish
dish you can try. Classic Scottish food right here. And I have to say wonderful food to be having
on a day that is a little bit chilly and overcast. Yeah. And rainy so. This is the kind of hearty food I need. Yeah. Oh my gosh that is nice. I’m glad we found some food before the games
begin. Because I think it is going to get quite busy. Yeah, this is delicious. Next, it was time to enjoy some of the events. Bagpiping is an integral part of the Highland
Games with both solo pipers and pipe bands competing, and we happened to be there on
the day the Cowal Pipe Band Championship was taking place, so we had to check that out. (Scottish Bagpipes and Drums) We also watched some Highland dancing. The Cowal Highland Gathering was hosting the
Scottish and World Highland Dancing Championships, so there were dancers from around the world
competing that day. It is great we’ve been granted access here
into the trophy room and there are some very impressive looking trophies so we’re just
going to have a quick little tour. But now let’s meet the man who was showing
us around the Cowal Highland Games. Hi my name is Alan Pettigrew. I’ve come down here for the Cowal Highland
Gathering. The biggest and most prestigious games in
the world. I’m here in Dunoon in Bonnie Scotland. And today there is going to be a fantastic
day and we’ve been here doing these games for about a 120 years. Today in the heavy events we have 6 events
to vie for this prestigious championship. We have the famous Cowal Stone which is 14.3
kilograms. We have the 16 pound shot. The 28 pound weight for distance. The 16 pound scott hammer and this is this
lovely beauty here. This is the original hammer which Scotland
gave to the world of International athletics. A wooden shaft which then changed to a wire
handle and used in the Olympics and World Championships all over the world. And after this event we have the 56 pound
weight over the bar for height and then last but not least we have the famous till hall
caber. So we just finished watching some of the Highland
dancing and the bagpipers and now the Heavy Athletics are about to begin. We’re going to watch the men and women compete
and that is happening just behind us and we’ve got front row seats so let me take you over. (Patting sounds) Arrggghhhh. (Grunting noises) But enough of the huffing and puffing, I think
we need some slo-mo magic to really appreciate this event. Well well how is your morning going so far? It is going great. I think I’ve been really enjoying the Heavy
Athletics. Yeah. Like the athletes are so strong yet they are
so coordinated as well. Yeah, it is just amazing to see how far they
are able to toss these different items that they are throwing. Yeah, especially that stone. Oh my gosh. I tried picking it up. Oh my gosh it weighs a tonne. So the festivities still continue. I can actually hear bagpipes off in the distance
but we actually need to head back to Glasgow because we have a flight to catch later tonight. Yeah, so we’re saying farewell games. Bye bye Highland Games. But it was a cool experience and it was really
nice to have a local like Alan show us around, give us a bit of a behind the scenes tour. Mmmhmm. And yeah it was just a great games. Great event and highly recommend going if
you’re in Scotland this time of year. Alright, let’s hop in the car. So we are making a random little stop in Benmore. We’re just outside Benmore Botanic Garden
because we saw sheep. We saw green fields, we saw forests, a river. Now we’re walking on a wooden bridge and it
just looked beautiful. What do you think Sam? Yeah, exactly. Baa! Baa! I don’t think you guys have gotten a full
tour of the van yet. And it is massive. This beast right here is a nine seater. It fits I think 8. It is three three and two in front. But yeah, when they pulled this car up we
were like are you kidding me. We’re going along these little narrow roads
country roads. It was a challenge and then we had like basically
a storm last night. So yeah. I think you improved your driving skills immensely. Woo hoo! We were both thrilled to be treated with much
better weather on the drive back to Glasgow, so we made it a point to stop and enjoy the
scenery. One of our favourite stops was the Rest & Be
Thankful lookout point – yes, that’s the actual name of the place, so we did exactly
as it suggested. And that’s a wrap for our road trip to the
Cowal Highland Gathering. We were only there to experience 1 day of
the events, but we hope this video gave you a little taste of what Scotland’s Highland
Games are all about.

47 thoughts on “Scottish Highland Games in Dunoon, Scotland (2017 Cowal Highland Gathering)

  1. How on earth did you pull off those shots in the first 25 seconds of the vid?! Seems like you guys are taking production to another level! 😧

  2. I really enjoy watching your videos! Great editing! Thanks for sharing! I have a suggestion the subtitles in Spanish are wrong sometimes! I meant it doesn't have the right translation.

  3. My wife is Scottish and we will watch this over dinner tonight when we are in from work , can't wait as you 2 make superb vlogs and so interesting, all the best guys and safe travels

  4. As usual, another interesting video! It was good to see the brief drone video photography, maybe a bit more in the future. Also, how was it driving when sitting on the right side of the vehicle? That must be a bit awkward at first. Have a wonderful time on your next destination!

  5. Great video, I live just outside Glasgow so Dunoon isent a million miles away , though I usually I get ferry from gourock . Shame to say I've never been to a Highland games .

  6. Hey guys! Great Vlog!.. we recently just discovered your channel. It's amazing! We're also fellow Canadian Travellers!!! We're watching your Poland videos now for tips! We're headed there soon 🙂 – Trevor

  7. Neeps, Tatties and Stovies I enjoyed this video on Scotland culture. Always assumed the Highland Games was staged somewhere much more northern but I dunno maybe if it was hosted in Edinburgh they would get more tourists attending.

  8. After watching your Scotland vids I have developed a groundbreaking theory: Hipsters originate from Scotland…….:-)……glad to see that even in cold highlands, Sam won't let go of the Jodpur shirt – figures……that Puma thing couldn't keep that secret…..:-)

  9. Do you mind if i ask where Sam's family is originally from?… being a redhead.. i presume he's pretty close to his ancestral home 🙂

  10. Very cool. I've heard much about these games. It's nice to see where they actually take place. It's also to see a good Scotsman (Sam) partake of some haggis.

  11. Such a fun filled video. I love watching your travel videos. You two are loads of fun!! So entertaining!! Be safe!! Enjoy all your travel endeavors. Xo—Darcy😘

  12. I was born and lived for most of my teenage years across the water from Dunoon, spent a great deal of time there cycling around the different Loch's and camping.
    Glad you guys caught The Highland games, the one at Dunoon is one of the bigger ones but all throughout the summer you can usually catch one at the weekend and some of the more local ones you can participate in with local events like pulling a taxi, rolling a bale of hay and lifting a big bloody stone hahaha.

    Also stovies are one of those things that you seemed to get on a Sunday when there was a load of leftovers and your mum or grandmother just threw it all in a pot and gave it to you.
    In my house we would serve it with a loaf of bread on the side, butter that bread up and spread the stovies on it to make a stovie sandwhich…. Sounds gross and pretty much is but you can't go far in Scotland before we either batter and fry something or put it on a roll or piece.

    Its a shame you two didn't get a chance to take a wander up pucks glen which is across from the Benmore Botanic Gardens, there are some lovely Redwood trees and just some generally beautiful scenery.

    I live in Glasgow now, if you are ever back this way give me a shout as I would be more than happy to show you around and also give you a few other places to visit.

  13. Attended in the late '80's when my submarine was in Holy Loch. My clan (MacKinlay) is from north east of the area. Always had a great time at Cowal Games.

  14. You could of saved a wee while going on the western ferries in Dunoon but the views are amazing in Loch Lomaond and Arochar, I went to those Highland games but on the second day I live in a small village about 20 miles away from Dunoon and I highly recommend it.

  15. Sorry…had to stop and take a minute to figure out how he could so badly mispronounce Loch Lomond haha Never heard it said that way before lol

  16. I think we can forgive his pronunciation of Loch Lomond since he didn’t say Glasgow as Glass-Cow like most Americans,

    Hope ye enjoyed 😂

  17. I love your videos, but please practise could you practise Loch Lomond. You make it sound exotic and almost French like blancmange. It's easier to say Loch Lowmond…that would sound a tad more Scottish. Safe adventures, you make great videos.

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