Giacinta Orton

Written by Giacinta Orton

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games is a spectacular annual event that celebrates Scottish culture and tradition. Held in the charming town of Peebles, located in the beautiful Scottish Borders region, these Highland Games attract visitors from all over the world. The games showcase a range of traditional disciplines and contests, including caber tossing, hammer throwing, and tug of war, along with vibrant displays of bagpipe bands, highland dancing, and Scottish music. This beloved event not only offers thrilling sporting competitions but also provides a unique glimpse into the rich history and heritage of Scotland. In this article, we will explore 13 fascinating facts about the Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games, giving you a deeper understanding of this exciting event.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games is a historic event dating back to 1856, featuring traditional Scottish sports, bagpipe music, and a strong sense of community spirit.
  • Visitors can enjoy a vibrant celebration of Scottish culture at the Highland Games, with activities for all ages, including a kilted run, Highland cattle display, and traditional Scottish food and drink.
Table of Contents

Oldest Highland Games

The Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games is one of the oldest Highland Games in Scotland, dating back to The event has a rich history and has been entertaining crowds for over 150 years.

Traditional Highland Games Sports

The games feature a wide range of traditional Scottish sports competitions, including caber tossing, hammer throwing, shot put, tug of war, and the famous Highland dancing.

Bagpipe Music

The sound of bagpipes is an integral part of the Highland Games. Spectators are treated to mesmerizing performances by skilled bagpipers, creating an enchanting atmosphere.

Kilted Run

One unique event at the Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games is the Kilted Run, where participants don their kilts and race through the town, showcasing their Scottish pride.

Strongman Competition

The games also host a thrilling strongman competition, testing the strength and endurance of participants as they compete in various challenges.

Highland Cattle Display

Visitors can enjoy a spectacle of majestic Highland cattle, a breed native to Scotland, during the Highland Games. These magnificent creatures add an authentic touch to the event.

Clan Village

The Clan Village at the games allows visitors to explore and learn about their Scottish heritage. Clan members gather here to connect with their roots and share their traditions.

Traditional Scottish Food and Drink

From haggis and Scotch whisky to traditional Scottish shortbread, the Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games offers a delightful array of culinary delights to savor.

Tented Market

A bustling tented market is set up during the event, filled with stalls selling traditional Scottish goods, crafts, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to explore and find unique treasures.

Massed Pipe Bands

One of the highlights of the Highland Games is the massed pipe bands performance, where numerous pipe bands from different regions come together to create a spectacular display of music and coordination.

Kids’ Activities

The Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games offers plenty of activities for children, including face painting, mini-games, and storytelling sessions, ensuring a fun-filled day for the whole family.

Military Displays

In honor of Scotland’s rich military history, the games feature captivating military displays, showcasing traditional drills, weaponry, and uniforms.

Community Spirit

A key aspect of the Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games is the sense of community it fosters. Locals and visitors come together to celebrate Scottish heritage, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games is a vibrant event that truly captures the spirit of Scotland. Whether you’re interested in witnessing thrilling sports competitions, immersing yourself in Scottish culture, or simply enjoying a day of festivities, these games have something for everyone. Don’t miss out on this remarkable celebration of Scottish traditions!


The Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games is a historic and exciting event that showcases the rich Scottish traditions and culture. From thrilling athletic competitions to traditional music and dance performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are a local resident or a visitor to Peebles, attending the Highland Games is a fantastic way to experience the vibrant Scottish community and witness the competitive spirit of the athletes. So mark your calendars and join in the festivities of this remarkable event!


1. When are the Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games held?

The games are usually held on the first Saturday in September.

2. How long do the games last?

The games typically start in the morning and last throughout the day, with various events and performances scheduled.

3. Are there admission fees for the Highland Games?

Yes, there is usually an entrance fee. However, children and senior citizens may be eligible for discounted or free entry.

4. Can I participate in the athletic events?

Yes, there are opportunities for both amateur and professional athletes to participate in the Highland Games. However, registration is required in advance.

5. What other activities can I expect at the Highland Games?

In addition to the athletic events, there will be traditional Scottish music and dance performances, food stalls, and various cultural demonstrations.

6. Is the event suitable for children?

Yes, the Highland Games offer a family-friendly atmosphere with activities and entertainment catering to all age groups.

7. Are there any parking facilities available?

Yes, there are designated parking areas near the event venue, but it is advisable to arrive early to secure a spot.

8. Can I bring my pets to the Highland Games?

Pets are generally not allowed at the Highland Games to ensure the safety and comfort of all attendees.

9. Are there nearby accommodations for visitors?

Yes, Peebles offers a range of accommodation options including hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfast establishments.

10. Is the event accessible for people with disabilities?

Efforts are made to make the event accessible, with designated parking spaces and accessible facilities available. However, it is recommended to contact the event organizers for specific assistance.

If you enjoyed learning about the Royal Burgh of Peebles Highland Games, why not explore more fascinating facts about Scottish culture and traditions? Discover the vibrant world of Scottish Highland Games across the Pacific Northwest, where ancient traditions come alive. Witness the incredible strength and skill of athletes as they tackle the iconic caber toss, a true test of might. And don't forget to celebrate National Tartan Day on April 6th, a day dedicated to honoring the rich heritage and history of Scotland's famous tartan patterns.

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