A year of fantastic events
Below are just some of the events happening in and around Inverness during 2016. Just click on the event to find out more information. Certain events, especially The Loch Ness Marathon and The Inverness Highland Games do attract many visitors and early booking of your accommodation is essential.
Inverness Farmers’ Market is held on the first Saturday of every month at the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Just click on the event name to go to the appropriate website.
- Eden Court Theatre & Cinema Complex – for a wide range of entertainment including plays, music, lectures, dance
- Hootananny & Mad Hatters – Music Venues
- The Ironworks – Music and Entertainment Venue
- Gellions Bar – Pub with live music
- The Waterfront – Bar and restaurant with live folk music on Thursday nights
Highland Games & Gatherings
During the summer months from May to September the Scottish Highlands play host to many Highland Games & Gatherings. Some of these are listed below, but more information can be found on our Highland Games Page
January to March
- January – Aviemore Sled Dog Rally – The largest Sled Dog Rally in Britain
- February – The Snowman Rally – Round 1 of The Scottish Rally Championships is run around the Inverness area
- 12 March 2017 – Inverness Half Marathon – Includes 5k Fun Run
April to June
- 9 April 2017 – Glenlivet 10k Road Race – This beautiful 10km road race follows a scenic route from the distillery around the secret glen with stunning views all around
- 14 April 2017 – Good Friday Bank Holiday
- 16 April 2017 – Easter Sunday
- 17 April 2017 – Easter Monday Bank Holiday
- April – Etape Loch Ness – A cycle sportive taking place around iconic Loch Ness offering the chance to cycle 66 miles / 106 km around the loch on traffic free roads.
- 27 April – 1 May 2017, Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – Various Distilleries, Elgin, Morayshire
- 1 May 2017 – Bank Holiday
- 21 May 2017 – Gordon Castle Highland Games – Gordon Castle, Fochabers – Solo Piping and Highland Dancing Competitions as well as a full programme of heavy events.
- 30 May – Spring Bank Holiday
- 3 & 4 June – Brew at the Bog – Possibly the best new music festival in Scotland
- 25 June – Piping at Forres – 4,000 Pipers & Drummers, 150 Pipe Bands, 100 Exhibitors. Great Glen Park will be alive with pipers and drummers competing in the European Pipe Band Championship
July to September
- 9 July – Forres Highland Games – Traditional Highland Games starts at 12:30 with the opening ceremony with massed Pipe Bands. Followed by all the traditional events and entertainment throughout the day, Including Tug o’ War, Heavy events, Solo Piping, Athletics, Highland dancing Grass Cycling, a road Race and Pipe band competition.
- 7-10 July – Scottish Open Golf Tournament – Returning to Castle Stuart Golf course after a two year break, some of the best golfers in the world will be on show.
- 16 July – Inverness Highland Games – Held in the centre of Inverness. a must see event that is hugely popular with locals and visitors. Book early if you want to see this magnificent spectacle
- 29-31 July – Speyfest – The best in traditional and contemporary celtic music is represented in the Moray town of Fochabers
- 30 July – Nairn Show – A whole host of entertainment with livestock exhibitions, craft fair, food fair, show jumping, trade stands, cookery demonstrations and much more. A great family day out.
- 3 August – Black Isle Preview – From 4pm at Mannsfield Showground, Muir of Ord, Ross-Shire
- 4 August – Black Isle Show – Held At Mannsfield Showground, Muir of Ord, Ross-Shire. The biggest agricultural show in the North of Scotland. Book early to avoid disappointment.
- 5 August – Dornoch Highland Gathering – Another hugely enjoyable event held in the picturesque village of Dornoch just a 40 minute drive north of Inverness
- 5 & 6 August – Highland Field Sports Fair, Moy, Inverness – Entertainment and activity for both young and old. Mainly featuring field sports activities but also competitions such as fly casting, gun dog handling and clay pigeon shooting.
- 4 – 6 August – Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival – Held on the Belladrum Estate near Beauly. This is an outdoor music festival for all the family with an eclectic range of music from rock to country, and blues to world music
- TBA August – Celebration of the Centuries – Fort George will come to life as over two hundred and fifty performers depict centuries of history from Picts and Romans, through Viking, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation and Jacobite eras to World War I and II.
- 20 August – Nairn Highland Games
- 20 August – Groove Loch Ness – A great new dance music festival at a great location overlooking Loch Ness
- TBA August- North Hop Festival – Celebrate craft beer, artisan gins, creative cocktails, Scottish food and homegrown music, the Highland way! at Eden Court Theatre Inverness
- 27 August – Glenurquhart Highland Gathering & Games – Another highly popular event held in the small town of Drumnadrochit on the shore of Loch Ness
- 29 August – Summer Bank Holiday
- 30 August – 4 September, Nairn Book and arts festival –Nairn’s celebration of literature, drama, art, film and music beside the Moray Firth
- 3 September, Loch Ness Beast Race – A 10k race with rough terrain and awesome obstacles to overcome. Not for the faint hearted!
- 9-11 September – The Highland Military Tattoo – The Highland Military Tattoo will take place at the magnificent Fort George just outside Inverness.
- September – Blas Traditional Music Festival – A celebration of traditional music
- 17-18 September – Living Food Festival – This festival at Cawdor Castle is the Highland’s original food and drink festival with an emphasis on artisan, organic, local and sustainable produce.
- 21- 26 September, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival – The biennial Findhorn Bay Festival is a spectacular five-day celebration of arts and culture, taking place at the heart of Moray and showcasing artists of national and international renown.
- 25 September – Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running – Not only a marathon, but aslo 5K and 10K River Ness fun runs. The Marathon takes place along the shores of Loch Ness. Book accommodation early as everywhere gets booked up very quickly.
- 29 September – 2 October – Loch Ness International Knit Festival – experience the unique combination of the spectacular Highlands of Scotland and magical Loch Ness with world class international knit designers as they present world class tuition with the backdrop of this inspirational landscape
October to December
- October Dates TBA – Blazin’ in Beauly – A superb event for anyone who loves fiddle music
- 30 October – The Culloden Run – The legendary Culloden Battlefield provides the stunning background for a superb running event with historic landmarks at every turn. Runners chose between two race routes; a 10K race or the infamous 17.46k race which pays homage to the Battle of Culloden in 1746
- October – Halloween Show, Ness Islands – The biggest Halloween Party in the Highlands and a great event for all the family
- November Dates TBA – Inverness Film Festival – A celebration of film at the Eden Court Theatre and Cinema
- 31 December – The Red Hot Highland Fling – We certainly know how to throw a New Years Party.