Posts Tagged: Ballater Highland Games
Ballater is a quaint Victorian village near to the Royal Family’s Scottish home Balmoral Castle. Many shops and tradesmen proudly display the Royal Warrant outside their premises. Some shops are by appointment both to Her Majesty The Queen and to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
Lochnagar is a former volcano
The whole area is adjacent to areas of outstanding natural beauty such as Glen Muick & Lochnagar.
Many excellent walks set off from the Loch Muick area; including the walk to Lochnagar – an extinct volcano depicted above.
The Deeside Line was a Victorian railway which used to take Queen Victotia to Ballater Railway Station.
The Railway station was restored and featured; amongst other things; Queen Victoria’s toilet.
The Old Ballater Railway Station was turned into a museum. Subsequently it was destroyed by fire and has now been rebuilt.
Highland Games Heavy Events.
Highland Games Heavy Events are a fore runner of the modern Olympic Games.
Donald Dinnie from Birse, Aboyne was the worlds first sporting superstar due to his Highland Games exploits.
Highland Games Heavy events include tossing the caber, weight for distance, hammer throwing, putting the stone or ball, and weight over the bar.
Click here for The Dinnie Stones
Putting the stone or ball. This is where the Olympic event of putting the shot came from.
Weight for distance. – The competitor spins around to throw a heavy weight on the end of a chain. One hand is used to throw the weight and the other arm is used for rotational balance. The competitor throws the weight as far as he can.
Throwing the hammer. The hammer is spun around the head several times using both hands and then released. The competitors have long spikes attached to the front of their boots to anchor them to the ground.
Weight over the bar (for height) A weight is thrown upwards over a bar; which is raised up, to assess the highest height achievable.
Tossing the caber. Competitors balance a long wooden pole on one end then run with it until they are going fast enough to tip it over end over end. The caber is thrown for accuracy and not for distance.
Braemar Gathering takes place on the first Saturday in September. The Gathering is held at at The Princess Royal & Duke of Fife Memorial Park in the centre of Braemar. The patron of The Games is Her Majesty The Queen whose Scottish residence is nearby Balmoral Castle. Events start at 9.30 a.m.
The photo shows The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh; arriving in their Bentley; at Braemar Gathering. The Royal couple are accompanied by Prince Charles.
Parking facilities are on the fields on the edge of the village. The grassy banks of The Memorial Park form a great natural vantage point. You can also buy grandstand tickets in advance (recommended).
You are advised to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion. If you are coming over Glenshee watch out for red deer. The best chance of spotting red deer in summer is in the evenings. Remember if one runs across the road it’s likely to be immediately followed by several others.