Thousands enjoyed a fantastic spectacle in tartan

Over 4000 visitors headed to Blair Castle in Pitlochry for the Atholl Gathering weekend.

A key date in the diary for locals and visitors alike, attendees were able to see The Atholl Highlanders’ Parade on Saturday, before enjoying the festivities at the Highland Games on Sunday.

Europe’s last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders gathered for the annual inspection by Lord Duncan of Springbank on Saturday afternoon, before parading on the forecourt of the Castle accompanied by the traditional sounds of pipes and drums.

A truly memorable experience, the Atholl Highlanders Parade is a longstanding tradition which displays Scotland’s rich cultural heritage in its full glory.

Before the parade, attendees were invited to find out more about the fascinating history of Blair Castle’s private army from Castle Archivist Keren Guthrie, who was joined by members of the Atholl Highlander regiment.

Continuing the weekend’s festivities, the Atholl Highlanders officially opened the Highland Games during the Atholl Gathering on Sunday. A full-day affair, the event saw sporting fans from across Scotland and further afield come together to battle it out at the Games.

Throughout the day athletes participated in several traditional events, from tossing the caber to putting the shot and throwing the hammer.

Visitors were also treated to a number of other events to keep them entertained, including highland dancing, solo piping competitions, family races and a tug of war. A range of retailers also participated in the weekend’s proceedings, taking stands at the Gathering.

Over the course of the weekend, 2,550 guests also purchased admission tickets to Blair Castle and Gardens, which allowed them to explore the historic venue and stunning grounds.

Andrew Bruce Wooton, general manager at Atholl Estates, said: ‘The Atholl Gathering always proves to be an incredible weekend, with visitors coming from near and far to take part in the weekend’s events and watch the fantastic Atholl Highlanders’ Parade, and this year was no different.

‘On behalf of everyone at Blair Castle and Atholl Estates I’d like to say a massive congratulations to the winners of the Highland Games, and a big thank you to the Atholl Highlanders for their participation this weekend.’