What’s on?

Many events take place in the North Highlands throughout the year. Lots are annual celebrations which we’ve listed some of below. As well as these, there are countless spontaneous events that offer entertainment for the whole family as well as those who flock to the North Highlands during the Summer season. 

April

John O’Groats Book Festival

Started in 2018 and organised under the auspices of the John O’Groats Development Development Trust, the John O’Groats Book Festival is an annual, multi-day celebration of literature and the arts in one of Scotland’s most northerly communities. The event features a vibrant mix of local authors and artists, as well as some of the best-known names in Scottish literature.

May

Cycling in the Straths

A fun-filled day of cycling and Highland hospitality, featuring a range of challenging cycling routes and evening social events. Organised by the Mackay Country Community Trust, this annual celebration of cycling features multiple routes in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the Scottish Highlands.

June

Halkirk Gala Week

A weeklong celebration, Halkirk’s Gala Week events include a procession of floats and a fancy dress parade, a fun run, and performances by local pipe bands.

Wick Lifeboat Harbour Day

Arranged in support of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, Wick’s annual Harbour Day features a range of entertainments and performances of pipe band music and Highland dancing, as well as a chance to tour the lifeboats and the historic ship the Isabella Fortuna.

July

Caithness Artists Exhibition
An annual showcase of local talent from the Society of Caithness Artists

Canisbay Show

Kicking off the season of agricultural shows in the region is the Canisbay Show. As well as agricultural displays and prizegivings, the show also features a range of entertainments and activities for the whole family.

Caithess Agricultural Show

The premier event of the agricultural show calendar, the Caithness Show rotates between Wick and Thurso every year. Taking place over two days, the show features a wide range of activities including a funfair and daredevil motorbike show in addition to the wide range of agricultural and horticultural displays.

Halkirk Highland Games

A traditional and spectacular Scottish sporting event established in 1886, the Halkirk Highland Show attracts the country’s best amateur and professional competitors. As well as the “heavy” events, where kilted strongmen compete in disciplines like the caber toss, hammer throw and shot put, the event also features pipers, Highland dancers, track and field athletes, cyclists and clay pigeon shooters all competing for top prizes.

Sutherland Agricultural Show

The Sutherland Agricultural Show began in 1951 to showcase the vitality and productivity of the largest county in the United Kingdom. As well as agricultural events, the show features pipe band performances, quad bike stunt shows and vintage vehicle parades.

Latheron Agricultural Show

Bringing the show season in the North Highlands to an end, the Latheron show features a range of agricultural events as well as displays of home baking, flower arranging and arts and crafts.

Wick Gala

A weeklong programme of events every year in order to celebrate and raise funds for the town of Wick, Wick Gala always begins with an impressive procession of floats decorated by local groups, and finishes with a literal bang with a bonfire and fireworks display. In between is a week of events offering fun for the whole family, from treasure hunts to musical performances.

August

John O’Groats Harbour Day

For more than 20 years, John O’Groats has welcomed visitors from across the north to join in the celebrations at one of the most popular events of its social calendar. A day of entertainment featuring lifeboat rescue demonstrations, a barbecue, bouncy castle and much more.

Lyth Family Festival 

A weekend of family fun at Lyth Arts Centre featuring outdoor circus, bush craft, story telling, arts & crafts workshops and a puppet caravan, the festival is suitable for all ages and there are lots of fun activities to keep the kids and big kids occupied.

Mey Highland Games 

A celebration of the hospitality, culture and talent of the people of the North Highlands, the first Games were held in the village of Mey to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother’s 70th birthday. The Queen Mother, the guest of honour on the day, declared the event such a success that she encouraged its organisers at the time (the local branch of the Royal British Legion) to make it an annual event. Over 45 years later and the Games continue with the help and encouragement of their Chieftain, HRH The Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay – each years event will be a showcase of competition, exhibition and demonstration that all the family can enjoy. 

Thrumster Game and Countryside Fair 

A combination of agricultural show and celebration of countryside activities, the Thrumster Game and Countryside Fair features demonstrations and competitions of falconry, archery, fishing and stone carving along with a range of stalls and other activities. 

September 

Tunes by the Dunes

An annual music festival held in the beautiful seaside hamlet of Dunnet, near John O’Groats, Tunes by the Dunes takes place over two days and features live music from a range of well-known rock and traditional acts.

October

Taste North 

A celebration of the finest food, drink and craft produce the North Highlands has to offer. The event attracts crowds from all over and usually welcomes a special celebrity chef to host cooking demonstrations at the iconic John O’Groats venue. 

November

Bonfire Night

A traditional bonfire and fireworks display organised by the Thurso Rotary Club. 

Fun Day Wick

A day dedicated to shopping local with special visits from Mr & Mrs Claus and lots of family friendly entertainment. 

December

Fun Day Thurso

A day dedicated to shopping local with special visits from Mr & Mrs Claus and lots of family friendly entertainment. 

Wick & Thurso Players Pantomime

Each year the amateur dramatics clubs take to the stage and entertain audiences with hilarious adaptations of the chosen panto script. 

March

Caithness International Science Festival 

A celebration of all things Science offering exciting opportunities for schools and the whole family with their spectacular programme of events. 

Caithness Chamber of Commerce
Naver Business Centre
Naver House
Naver Road
Thurso
KW14 7QA

Telephone: 01847 630200
Email: enquiries@investcaithness.com