Crowds descend on Dunoon for day one of Cowal Highland Gathering - Cowal Highland Gathering
25th - 27th August 2022


News  »  Crowds descend on Dunoon for day one of Cowal Highland Gathering

Crowds descend on Dunoon for day one of Cowal Highland Gathering

Dunoon welcomed thousands of people today as the world’s most spectacular Highland Games finally kicked off.

Visitors have been pouring into the town over the last few days in the run-up to what is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the Scottish calendar.

Today they joined crowds of local people in flocking to Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG) for the start of the action. At 9.30am sharp the first event got underway - the Scottish National Highland Dancing Championships.

The Nationals, which continue tomorrow, is one of three dancing competitions being held during the Gathering. The others are the Scottish Championship and the World Highland Dancing Championship, the finals of which provides the most eagerly anticipated and biggest afternoon in the global dancing calendar on Saturday.

Today’s action saw top class entertainment from 388 dancers in 11 categories. Among the winners were: CHG chair Ronnie Cairns was delighted by both the size and enthusiasm of the crowds and the entertainment they witnessed.

“It’s no exaggeration to say Dunoon is the centre of the Highland dancing world this weekend,” he said.

“Highland dancing aficionados from all corners of the globe will be waiting with bated breath to see who comes out on top in the various competitions. “If today’s action is anything to go by, we’re in for a real treat over the next couple of days.”

Ronnie added that the meticulous preparations for this year’s event seem to be paying off, with everything going without a hitch today. “Even a bit of wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of competitors and spectators, most of whom come prepared for rain at some stage of the proceedings!,” he added.

“We’ve got a packed schedule for tomorrow and Saturday with something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be Highland Dancing, pipe bands, solo piping, heavy athletics, ceilidh music, running, stunt cycle teams, birds of prey displays, kids’ entertainment or any of the other many attractions the Gathering now boasts.

“I’m delighted with how the first day has gone, and we very much look forward to welcoming everyone back again tomorrow for another day of spectacular entertainment.” The day’s events are not yet over, with the 5K Cowal Run due to start from the Boat House (formerly the Yachtsman’s Café) in West Bay at 7.15pm this evening.

For more information about the event or to buy tickets for either tomorrow or the big day on Saturday, please visit the Gathering’s website at or contact the event office by emailing or phoning 01369 703206. A full list of today’s results will be posted on the website as soon as possible.