Highland Games are as Scottish as freckles. From caber tossing and hammer throwing, to dancing competitions, stalls and – yes – beer tents, they make a colourful day out. Here's a few to visit over the next few months.

1. Bearsden and Milngavie Highland Games, today (Saturday June 9).

West of Scotland Football Club, Burnbrae, Glasgow Road, Milngavie

10.30am-5.30pm, 01419 425 177

Ten minutes’ walk from Milngavie station (with trains running direct from Glasgow), this is one of the more accessible Highland Games. The Bearsden games began as a small fundraiser 40 years ago, but are now a huge day out: with popular events like Haggis Hurling and a It’s A Knockout competition. The events go on until 5pm, but the best bet is to head down around 12 when the fun is in full swing.

2. Newtonmore Highland Games, Saturday August 4.

The Eilan, Newtonmore, Strathspey, 10.30am-5pm, 01540 673 348

If your surname is Macpherson, these are the games for you. Newtonmore plays host to the annual Clan Macpherson Association Gathering, which sees people unite from around the world to celebrate their shared heritage. But if you aren’t a clan member don’t worry- there are plenty of other events to enjoy: a heavyweight contest between Scotland and the US, a race up the Creag Dhush, and lots of Highland dancing.

3. Lorne Highland Games, Oban, Sunday June 24.

Mossfield Park, Oban, Argyll and Bute, 11am-3pm, 01592 753439

Dog lovers rejoice: the Lorne Highland Games has an extensive dog show, with awards in tongue-in-cheek categories such as the Waggiest Tail and The Dog That Most Resembles Its Owner. And with an entry fee of only £1 per canine per category, it's worth putting forward your four-legged friend to see if they win and can enjoy their 15 minutes of fame. Lorne also holds all the traditional events, from caber tossing to hammer throwing and track and field.

4. Ceres Highland Games, Saturday June 30

Bow Butts, Ceres, Fife, 12.45pm-5pm, 01337 832682

As the oldest free games, the events at Ceres are steeped in history and well worth a visit to appreciate the sense of ancient tradition. The village was first given a charter to hold the games in 1314, bestowed on the locals by Robert the Bruce in thanks for their support at the Battle of Bannockburn. This heritage brings hundreds of visitors to the games, transforming the sleepy village into a hub of activity. You can enjoy traditional heavyweight events, bagpipe music and even a bouncy castle, all from the comfort of the village green.

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5. Strathmore Highland Games, Sunday June 10.

Glamis Castle, Strathmore, Angus, 12pm-5pm, 01828 632348

Set in the grounds of one of Scotland’s most beautiful castles, the Strathmore games are one of the most picturesque offerings. The childhood home of the Queen Mother, Glamis Castle is certainly not lacking in grandeur and makes a great backdrop for Highland flinging, caber tossing and marching pipers. As an added bonus, the cost of your entry ticket to the games gives you free access to the gardens and grounds of the castle for the day.

6. Durness Highland Gathering, Friday July 27

Shore Park, Durness, Sutherland, starts at 12pm, 01971 511 338

One of the most northerly games in the calendar, the Durness Games boasts an impressively wild backdrop: with rocky clifftops and the swirling sea creating a suitably Highland setting. As well as all the usual competitions and piping, there are plenty of children’s activities, as well as a dance in the evening to round the day off in style.

7. Dundonald Highland Games, Saturday August 11

Games Field, Winehouse Yett, Dundonald, Ayrshire,12pm-5.30pm,07599192126

In a great setting beneath Dundonald Castle, the games are one of the biggest events in Ayrshire’s summer diary. The festivities start with a pipe band procession through the streets of the village, before arriving at the games field to enjoy a tug of war, heavyweight events and plenty of music. For an extra bit of excitement, there is also a battle re-enactment

8. Lochcarron Highland Games, Saturday July 21.

Attadale Estate, Lochcarron, Wester Ross, 12.15pm-5.30pm. 01520 733474

Celebrating its 40th birthday this year, the Lochcarron organisers describe their event as The Friendly Games – so all visitors should be warmly welcomed. As well as a caber toss, hammer throw and hill race, they also hold a special "haggis hurl" (which is just as mad as it sounds).

9. Loch Lomond Highland Games, Saturday, July 14.

Moss O' Balloch Park, Balloch Road, Balloch, 9.30am-5pm, 01389 757616

Hosting one of the more serious Highland events, Loch Lomond is the home of the World Heavyweight Championship for the Scottish Highland Games Association. Expect to see burly competitors from across the globe fighting it out in hammer, ball and caber categories – making you realise how weak you are in comparison. On a gentler note, there are races for children and visitors, as well as a special pipe band parade through Balloch.

10. Braemar Junior Highland Games, Saturday, July 14.

The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Ground, Broombank Terrace, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, 11.30am-17.00pm, 01339 741 903

This event is perfect for younger fans of Highland Games: giving children between 5 and 18 the chance to try their hand at all the events usually reserved for adults. Under supervision from fully qualified instructors, they can try their hand at the caber toss, hammer throw, and tug o’ war, as well as highland dancing and piping. All new competitors are welcome.

11. Inveraray Highland Games, Tuesday, July 17

Winterton Park, Castle Grounds, Inveraray, Argyll and Bute

Starts at 10.45am, 01499302889

The Inveraray Games can boast a pretty famous founder – in the shape of Mary Queen of Scots. When she visited the area in 1563, the local young men entertained her with their athletic prowess, and the tradition has now developed into an annual festivity. Along with all the usual events, there is also children’s fair rides and stalls selling local food and drink.

12. Killin Highland Games, Wednesday, August 1

Breadalbane Park, Killin, Stirlingshire, Events start at 10.45am, parade at 1pm, 01567 829110

Killin is best known for the magnificent Falls of Dochart, so it is fitting that the opening ceremony of their games involves a parade from the falls to the field (led by the reigning games champion, bearing ceremonial shield and sword). You can also expect some high-quality bagpipe playing, as there is a piper prize pot sitting at over £1,000.

13. Peebles Highland Games, Saturday, September 1.

Hay Lodge Park, Peebles, Scottish Borders, 11am to 5.30pm, 01721 721738

Around since 1972, the Peebles Highland Games have a well-established programme of events: featuring all the usual heavyweight, piping and athletics favourites. However, they also put a lot of work into their offerings outwith the competitions: with gourmet food stalls, whisky and gin tasting, and a beer tent.

14. Thornton Highland Gathering, Saturday, July 7.

Memorial Park, Main Street, Thornton, Fife, 12pm-6pm, 0159 277 5069

The highlight of the Thornton Games is the "De’il Tak the Hindmost" cycle race. The name means those who lag behind will receive no aid, giving a good indication of how gruelling the path is for the brave people who take it on. There is also plenty of music on offer, with a pipe band march, solo piping contest and a drum majors competition.

15. Inverness Highland Games, Saturday, July 21

Bught Park, Bught Lane, Inverness, 11am-6pm, 01463 785006

The festivities are some of the most inclusive in the calendar: involving both male and female categories for the heavyweight events of the hammer and caber toss, and providing special senior events for track and field. Younger competitors are catered to as well, with a Mascot Madness Toddlers Race in among the more serious competition.