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Need advice regarding Cowal Highland Gathering

Lexington Park, MD
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13 posts
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Need advice regarding Cowal Highland Gathering

My wife and I are coming to Scotland in August. We're going to spend two nights in Edinburgh, then rent a car and go to St. Andrews for a night. Next we are thinking of driving toward the Loch Lomond area and staying there for one night so we can get to the Cowal gathering on Friday the 24th.

First, are the Cowal games something you would recommend?

After the games we were going to take the ferry to Gourock so we can stay over in Glasgow before we fly back to London. Do we need to be prepared for a long wait to take the car ferry after the games?

Looking at the ticket website for the games they list an entrance ticket and then an option for a seated ticket. Is it worth it to get the ticket for seats? We would like to experience a little of everything and I'm not really sure what we would be able to see from the seats.

Anything else I should know?

Thanks for the help!

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1. Re: Need advice regarding Cowal Highland Gathering

The Cowal games are big - one of the biggest. If you've never been to a games before it's a real experience.

Most events take place in a circular area which is fairly large. If you stand, you'll be peering over other people's heads. If you want a good view, you need to be a few feet up the stand. You'll see more of the main events from the stand than you would on your feet.

There will be all sorts of events going on outside the ring as well - you'd look at the programme, spend part of your time watching the dancing, listening to the bands, and so on, then going round all the smaller events and the stalls.

Planning: although the games run from Thursday, Saturday is the main day, the one you will most likely want to see.

Ferry: inevitably there will be a queue. They don't pre-book. www.western-ferries.co.uk/genfares.shtml so either leave quite early or maybe plan on leaving late and eating a meal in town before going to the ferry.

Don't be confused by Argyll Ferries which is passenger only www.argyllferries.co.uk/our-service.htm

The airport is on the West side of Glasgow so there's no need to go right into Glasgow for an overnight stay. You might consider stopping in Dunoon overnight and heading for your plane in the morning? Just a thought. If so the hotels will be busy so book fast. If the fireworks are at 9 pm, many people will hit the bars for a few drinks afterwards, so the centre of town won't be quiet. But you might consider that part of the fun, I don't know.

Gourock to the airport takes half an hour, probably a bit more because Greenock can be busy. Greenock and Gourock are largely industrial ports and not really tourist destinations.

Lexington Park, MD
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2. Re: Need advice regarding Cowal Highland Gathering

Thanks for the info.

We would prefer to go to the games on Saturday but unfortunately we picked our travel dates before we knew the games would be going on and we fly back to the US on Saturday evening. We're excited to see what we can though.

We thought about staying in Glasgow because it will be our only opportunity to see any of the city at all, if only briefly. We are thinking of leaving the games in the early evening, around 1700 or 1800, and staying at the Hilton downtown. Will we be able to walk from that hotel to find some decent dinner and entertainment?

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3. Re: Need advice regarding Cowal Highland Gathering

How far is it from the train station in Dunoon to the Cowal Highland Gathering Games?

Does anyone have an actual location address for the games venue?

What is the best way to get to the games from the train station?

Any recommendations on a place to stay near the games since we will be traveling without a car?

Thank you!

Denise S.

Toronto, Ontario
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4. Re: Need advice regarding Cowal Highland Gathering

Can we leave our car at Gourock and just walk onto the ferry? Would that be easier than waiting in queue? We too have purchased out tickets to the gathering but cannot find lodging on Dunoon. Looks like we will be travelling at night. Will be watching any responses to Denise's questions.

Glo from Toronto

5. Re: Need advice regarding Cowal Highland Gathering

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