Main Events

Events and festivals

There are events and festivals throughout Cowal all year, starting with the Loch Fyne Food Fair in May and including innovative sporting events such as the Swamp Soccer tournament in early July. Autumn is the time for many of Cowal’s main annual events, starting with the world-famous Cowal Highland Gathering at the end of August. Cowal Open Studios takes place in September, taking you to every corner of Cowal with the opportunity to visit over 40 artists in their own studios. Cowalfest is a unique major celebration of walking, the arts and outdoor activities, taking place over ten days in October.

There are some great local events taking place too; the forestry commission lays on some delightful wildlife and outdoor events and there are exhibitions, theatre and music in the local halls and venues throughout Cowal. For further information on all events contact Dunoon Tourist Information Centre on 08707 200629 dunoon@visitscotland.com

Main Annual Events

Loch Fyne Food Fair: May

The Loch Fyne Food Fair has an idyllic setting at the Head of Loch Fyne. A fabulous feast of food and entertainment is available at Loch Fyne Oysters, Cairndow, set in some of the finest Highland scenery yet only an hour from Glasgow.

The Cowal Highland Gathering, last weekend in August

The Cowal Highland Gathering is by far the biggest festival in Cowal and of course the largest highland games in the world! It attracts more than 3500 competitors, many of whom come from Scottish communities-in-exile such as British Columbia, Australia and New Zealand. Over the three days of the games, around 23,000 people visit to enjoy the unique Cowal Highland Games atmosphere. Apart from the competition which includes Highland Dancing, pipe bands, wrestling, heavy athletics, and solo piping, to watch, visitors can participate in the ceilidh tent, a children’s tent and a quality food fair from the best of local producers. For more information visit www.cowalgathering.com or phone 01369 703206

Cowal Open Studios: September

Cowal Open Studios is a fascinating way to view the art and crafts of Cowal as local artists throw open the doors of their homes and studios in September. You will experience at first hand the processes that go into making finished works and enjoy visiting artists in their workshops and studios, many of which are found in intriguing and inspirational locations. For more information visit www.cowalopenstudios.co.uk or phone 01369 860 099

Cowalfest Walking and Arts Festival, October

Cowalfest is one of the largest and most varied walking festivals in Scotland, with more than 80 walks led by expert and knowledgeable walk leaders including National Park and Forestry Commission Rangers. All ages and abilities are catered for and the walks cover wildlife, bird watching, drama, photography, art, history, heritage, folklore, tai chi, great gardens, great houses and even potholing. There are also some great hill walks including the opportunity the complete the long distance trail ‘The Cowal Way’ over a 6 day period. Horse riding, cycling and a range of musical and arts events are also in the programme. For more information visit http://www.cowalfest.org or phone 08707 20062