Welcome to the Bearsden and Milngavie Highland Games

This year the Bearsden and Milngavie Highland Games will take place on Saturday 8th June at West of Scotland FC, Glasgow Road, Milngavie, starting at 11am. We have lots of events and activities throughout the day and evening for all the family and each year we look forward to seeing people from far and wide turn up and enjoy themselves!

Entry to the games is free, but we do ask for a small donation which goes to our charity partner Funding Neuro. Recommended donation £2.00 per Adult and £1.00 per Child.

We hope that 2019 will be our best ever games.


West of Scotland Football Club,
Glasgow Rd, Milngavie, Glasgow G62 6AQ


11.00am Saturday
8th June 2019

Traditional games with a modern twist

The Bearsden & Milngavie Highland Games started in 1974 as a small fundraising event, 35 years later it’s now the biggest single day out in East Dunbartonshire.

With all the usual traditional highland games events and a few modern activities it’s a great day out for all the family. The event is organised and run by volunteers who give up their time free of charge and any profits made on the day are donated to our charity partner, Funding Neuro.

We promise you a fantastic day out, so come along and enjoy the fun!

Our 2019 Chieftain - Bhasker Patel

We welcome as our Chieftain Bhasker Patel to the 2019 games. Bhasker plays Rishi Sharma in Emmerdale. He has also previously appeared in Holby City, The Bill, Spooks and Doctor Who.

We look forward to meeting him on the day and showing him what our great event is all about.

We will also be welcoming back Chris Chitell as Keeper of the Spirit of the Games and last year’s Chieftain Katherine Dow Blyton as our very own Lady Chieftain.

Coming Soon!

This year's games will start in...

Events and Activities

Events and activities run throughout the day and evening. See timetable below and listen out for announcements on the day.

  • Day Event Timetable

  • This year we are bringing a new event to the games, our very own Silent Disco, courtesy of Ya Dancer – Glasgow’s very own silent disco service.

    Fantastic, mood-lifting fun, and the chance for everyone to do a bit of fancy footwork to their own kind of music.

  • – Shot Putt
    – 28lb weight for distance
    – 16lb hammer
    – 56lb weight for height and caber

    By tradition a smooth, round stone from the riverbed is used, weighting approx. 16lbs. Such a stone is still often found outside many farmhouses in readiness for an impromptu competition. The stone, and now also a cast round ball or shot, is putted from behind a straight 4’6” long and 6” high called a trig. The throw is measured from the centre of the trig to the first mark made by the stone.

    The Scots hammer has a wooden shaft and developed from throwing the blacksmith’s hammer or farm male ham- mers. Today’s hammer with its round head and whippy shaft was developed because the standard hammer broke so easily. No turning of the body is allowed. The thrower stands with his back to the trig and digs in with the aid of two 6” spikes with protrude from the front of his boots. The shaft is grasped firmly with hands made sticky with resin. He then swings the hammer round his head 3- 5 times and lets go.

    The weight weighs 56lbs and is thrown over a bar. Three attempts are allowed at each height and failure to clear leads to elimination. The competitor stands underneath the bar, picks up the weight with one hand, swings it between his legs and then up and over the bar. If thrown correctly the weight narrowly misses the athlete on the way down.

    The weight is a ball and chain with a handle on the end, weighing 28lbs. One hand only may be used. Nine feet is allowed for stepping back and this is marked with a peg. The thrower stands beside the peg facing the trig and swings the weight to the side and then round behind him. Letting the weight drag as far behind him as he can he then pivots round once, twice and on the third turn he heaves the weight round and throws it as far as he can.

    Caber tossing started as a strength competition among woodmen to see who could turn the biggest tree over. Thus they started with a large tree and shortened it until someone tossed it successfully. A typical caber is a tree trunk weighing about 150lbs, 18 feet long and tapering from about 9” thick at one end to 5” thick at the other. The Caber
 is not tossed for distance but for style. The competition is judged on an imaginary clock face which the tosser creates as he completes the toss. The tosser runs up balancing the caber as best he can. When ready he stops and tosses. This point is taken as 6 o’clock. The caber describes an arc, lands end first and completes its fall to the ground. A perfect throw is one which goes straight over and lands at 12 o’clock.
    The judge usually runs behind the competitor as close as is safely possible, to judge the position of the caber on the ground relative to the run up. Here at Taynuilt we have a caber which has never been tossed successfully and there is a large money prize for the first person to do so.

    You can enter the Heavy Events on the day or fill in the contact form to book your place.

  • Teams of 6

    Age groups: Under 10’s / Aged 10 – 15

    Teams of six with a coach pull against each other. The rope is marked 6 feet on either side of the centre. When the Judge commands “take the strain” and the rope is taut, he marks the middle of the rope by placing a stick in the ground. The contest is decided when one or other of the markers on the rope passes the marker on the ground. Emphasis is heavily directed towards fun!

  • Teams of 6
    Groups: Adult Male / Adult Female / Adult Mixed


    Teams of six with a coach pull against each other. The rope is marked 6 feet on either side of the centre. When the Judge commands “take the strain” and the rope is taut, he marks the middle of the rope by placing a stick in the ground. The contest is decided when one or other of the markers on the rope passes the marker on the ground. Emphasis is heavily directed towards fun!

  • Throughout the day

  • Please: All entries for the competition must be submitted by Wednesday 5th June.

    Bearsden & Milngavie Highland Games is one of a number of venues for Highland Dance Competitions that carry a high status in the sport and attract dancers from around the World in addition to those from Scotland. Each year some 100 dancers come to Milngavie to take part in a number of competitions graded according to both age and skill level. Only dancers registered with the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing may take part, this ensures a uniformly high standard of judging and of dancing.

    Highland Dancing should not be confused with Scottish Country Dancing. The Highland Dance is a style of competitive solo dancing developed in the Scottish Highlands from steps taken from the French Court, probably through Mary Queen of Scots, where this style of dance was performed by the Scottish gentlemen who served in the French King’s Bodyguard. Forms of these dances had occurred much earlier in Scotland of course, the oldest being the Sword Dance which dates from 1054. Following a duel with claymore swords, the victor took his victim’s weapon and crossed it with his own on the ground. He then danced over the naked blades in the ecstasy of victory.

    Highland Dancing is very technical requiring considerable stamina and formed part of the physical training of the Highland Regiments and travelled through the United Kingdom, the New World and the Commonwealth with them. It evolved further during the 19th and 20th Centuries in competitions held at public events such as Highland Games and has been subject to many influences, ballet for example.

    At early Highland Games the dances were only performed by male performers, however, as women were not expressly forbidden from taking part, a girl called Lorna Mitchell entered a competition. She has been followed enthusiastically by other female dancers and today they make up over 95% of all entrants.

    Please download and fill in the entry form to enter the Highland Dancing Competition.

And there's a great evening too at The Big Marquee...

This year sees us host a special evening event at the games from 7.30pm till late.
Emmerdale Fling – The Emmerdale Band featuring the cast of Emmerdale will play in the Big Marquee, supported by No Plan B and Papa Mo Band plus a comedian.

There will also be a raffle and auction.

Please note: This event is ticket only, tickets will be available shortly and all the money raised throughout the day and evening will go to our charity partner Funding Neuro.


West of Scotland Football Club,
Glasgow Rd, Milngavie, Glasgow G62 6AQ

The official Highland Games car park is a short to moderate walk away from the venue and is well sign-posted, there is disabled parking close to the event.