Programme of Events

In 2017 the Games are to be held at Monaltrie Park Ballater on Thursday 10th August. Events will commence approximately as in the  programme of events. Any changes will be notified as soon as available.

No entry forms or fees are required for the events. Competitors enter at the Secretary’s Tent 30 minutes before each event. Several events have classifications for younger competitors.

The Chieftain of the Games and his party traditionally arrive at 2.30pm and are attended by a Regimental Guard of Honour.

At certain intervals throughout the day, the Pipe Bands parade around the perimeter track and this is always a great spectacle.

It is stressed that, in the interest of public safety, no unauthorised person will be permitted entry onto the track or onto the competition area itself at any time during the Games.

Open Piping Competitions

We have been delighted at the number of pipers participating in the solo piping competitions in recent years. However this has inevitably led to competitions finishing quite late in the day, following longer registration times before the draws for the competitions can be made.

Those pipers wishing to compete on Games Day this year are therefore requested to enter in advance by completing a Competition Entry Form and forwarding it to our Piping Convenor, whose contact details are on the Form.

Thank you very much in anticipation of your cooperation. We look forward to welcoming you to this year's Ballater Highland Games.

The Hill Race

Entry for the Hill Race is on Games Day, those proposing to participate should be aware of the Hill Race Briefing, which will be as follows:


You are all competing in this event with the full knowledge and understanding that you are doing so entirely at your own risk.

All participants should display their race numbers as clearly as possible to aid identification for both the race commentary and at the finish line.

The race route is twice anti – clockwise round the Games arena, through the village centre following the main road / but on the footpath and any instructions from race marshals or police. You then cross the bridge over the River Dee and follow the clearly marked route to the summit of the hill, where you run around the cairn (receiving a proof stamp from the race official) before descending the same route down the hill, through the village and complete one lap anti - clockwise of the arena.

The recognised route is directly up the middle of the hill following a well-worn path. The path varies in underfoot conditions and difficulty.

The path narrows in several places and may result in runners having to leave the path to overtake slower participants.

Slower participants still making their way to the summit should give way and move aside to faster runners making their descent.

Any participant who chooses to retire early from the race must report to a member of the field team immediately upon their return to the games field.


To save time on Games Day, participants in the Hill Race may wish to complete the Entry Form in advance and simply hand over the completed form at the time of registration.

Hill Race - Ladies prize money

In 2017 and thereafter the prize money for the first lady home in the Hill Race will be increased to £100.

For the avoidance of doubt, if the first lady is also the overall winner of the Hill Race, she will receive the winner’s prize, (£139 this year), instead of £100, as well as the relevant trophies.
If the first lady is in any of the second to sixth places, she will receive the first lady prize money of £100, instead of the prize money allotted to the relevant place.

Hill Race - Bonuses

A reminder of the bonus for anyone setting a new record for the Race. We believe our Hill Race record has existed longer than any other in Scotland!

The existing record is 16 minutes 59 seconds, set in 1978. The bonus will be £10 for every year that the existing record has stood, meaning that if the winner of the Hill Race in 2017 sets a new record, they will receive a fabulous bonus of £390!

If no new record is set this year, £10 will be added to the bonus each year until a new record is set, up to a maximum bonus of £500. Thereafter, that bonus will remain available until there is a new record.

There will also be a £50 bonus for any lady breaking the existing record in the ladies' category, presently 20 minutes 38 seconds.  If the record is not broken this year, this bonus will be available each year thereafter until it is.

Local Events

Important change to Rule 2 defining eligibility for competitors in LOCAL events at Ballater Highland Games

2. Each competitor for a local prize must be either:

(a) a native of, or resident for at least a year in any of Ballater, the parishes of Crathie, Glenmuick, Tullich and Glengairn, Logie Coldstone or Tarland; or

(b) eligible for local events at the Aboyne, Lonach or Braemar Games in the current competing year, providing the competitor is residing that year within ten miles of the respective Games Field gate. 

If requested, a form of evidence to satisfy these conditions must be produced.

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