The Argyllshire Gathering has a long history, dating back to 1871

Image courtesy Murray Hamilton

The Argyllshire Gathering


The Argyllshire Gathering has a long history, dating back to 1871 when local families got together to renew clan contacts, declare loyalties and settle scores with Clan chiefs and chieftains meeting to discuss important issues of the day.

The annual Gathering is now a celebration of our colourful heritage and culture as the Argyll clans and spectators from near and far come together for a spectacular day of traditional Highland Games.

On Games day, be sure to visit the Heritage Tent to gain an insight in to Argyll's past, present and future. Find out more>

The Argyllshire Gathering has a long history, dating back to 1871
The Argyllshire Gathering Oban Games

Founded in 1871, The Argyllshire Gathering began when several landowners and families of Argyll decided to get together annually to socialise and to compete against each other. It was the forerunner of Highland Games as we know them today.

For almost 150 years, the Games have been a highlight of the Argyllshire summer season - interrupted only once or twice during the World Wars.

Argyll is a big county, rivalries existed and a Gathering with traditional sports and tests of strength & stamina  managed to keep a sense of unity and peace.

Since the 19th Century, it has continued to serve as a social occasion both for those who live here and for those whose roots lie in the area, many of whom make a point of returning every year.

The Games feature events whose origins lie in the past - from tossing the caber to the tug of war. Competitions designed to pitch individual against individual, district against district or clan against clan.

Today we welcome visitors from all around the world, who have come to compete, to watch, to listen and to meet each other at this traditional spectacle of friendly competition.

See more photos of Games past and present on our Gallery pageR

Argyll covers a large area stretching from Loch Lomond and Loch Long in the south to Ballachulish and Loch Leven in the north. It includes the islands of Mull, Coll, Tiree, Colonsay and Islay as well as the fertile lands of Kintyre - all areas with strong clan ties and loyalties.

Argyll is home to several clans with the chiefs of the Campbells, the MacDougalls, the Malcolms, the MacLeas (the Highland Livingstones), the MacLeans and the MacLachlans all having their seats in Argyll.

Living in such a huge county with many miles separating various clans and families and their kinsmen, The Argyllshire Gathering was born in 1871 to foster kindred spirits, declare loyalties and settle old scores through traditional sports competitions - the forerunner to today's Highland Games.

At today's Argyllshire Gathering many clan chiefs still come from far and near to renew old acquaintances and celebrate this traditional highland spectacle alongside The Argyllshire Gathering's President, His Grace The Duke of Argyll.  

Look out for the clans' heraldic banners flying in the Members' Enclosure - a sight to be seen.