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Atholl Gathering: 4,000 visitors expected as Perthshire event returns after three years

The Atholl Highlanders at Blair Castle.
The Atholl Gathering is held at Blair Castle.

More than 4,000 visitors are expected when a Highland Perthshire event returns for 2022 after a three-year break.

The Atholl Gathering, which is held at Blair Castle, takes place on May 28 and 29.

It has been cancelled the last two years due to Covid-19.

The event has been held for more than 170 years, with the first gathering taking place in 1845.

The Atholl Highlanders will make an appearance at the Gathering
The Atholl Highlanders will make an appearance.

The two-day event will feature traditional highland games along with pipe band competitions, marches and other activities.

Visitors will also be able to explore the grounds of Blair Castle including the deer park, a ruined kirk and a walled garden.

What can visitors expect?

The itinerary for the weekend has been confirmed.

Saturday May 28:

  • Parade led by the Atholl Highlanders starting at 2.30pm
  • Local historical talks
  • General salute

Sunday May 29: 

  • Highland dancing competition
  • Atholl Highlanders march
  • Pipe band competitions
  • Family races
  • Tug of war
  • Awards ceremonies

Andrew Bruce Wooten, CEO of Blair Castle, said: “The parade and Atholl Gathering hold tremendous significance because they are firmly rooted in the history of Blair Castle and sit at the heart of the local community.

“The very first was held in 1845 to celebrate being awarded royal colours, and with these the right to bear arms, by Queen Victoria.

Blair Castle.
Blair Castle.

“Since then the Atholl Highlanders and these events represent traditions and values very close to all our hearts.

“I’m delighted to see both the parade and the games back after the enforced break.

“It is going to be a wonderful weekend which will bring both international and local visitors together in a celebration of our heritage with fun and spectacle.”

First look inside 500-year-old Blairgowrie castle set to be opened for public use

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