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A place for all things wool

Woollen crafts in Scotland are alive and thriving, hence the birth of a new wool festival this year: The Inverness Loch Ness Knitting Festival. The festival will be an annual international celebration of fibres, dyes, yarns, crafts and craft supplies set in the Highlands. The festival hosts some of the world’s most celebrated knitters building on Highland textile history and heritage. 

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Spinning wheel courtesy of Three Bags Wool

With workshops, displays, and presentations over the course of the four day event, novice and seasoned textile artists alike can enjoy the spectacular workmanship of textile artists and learn from the best all over the globe.

Aside from immersing yourself in its craftsmanship, the Loch Ness Knitting Festival boasts stunning venues including Eden Court, Loch Ness by Jacobite, Kingsmill Hotel, Inverness Botanic Garden and the Culloden Battlefield and Visitors Centre.

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Inside Three Bags Wool, Aberlour Scotland. Speyside Valley workshops (30 minute drive from Boat of Garten).

Loch Ness festival goers are given an exclusive tour by water, while Eden Court – the festival’s headquarters for exhibitors – is steps outside of Inverness Old Town and city centre.

Trying your hand at crafts of the Highlands

At Scot Mountain Holidays we have a passion for Highland craftsmanship which is why we are offering an accommodation and transport package to guests who don’t want to miss this spectacular event! Please enquire for details.

Crafting in Scotland

Scottish scene captured in a needle felted image

Knitting, quilting, sewing in Scotland

Crafting supplies at Three Bags Wool

 

The festival can be added to your personalized Scotland textiles tour, where we can also guide you to woollen mills and extended craftsmanship courses. If you would like details of the self-guided crafting possibilities in our area please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

“Making” or crafting tour

We can offer:

We can put together a package for you which would include what our son calls “making” opportunities if you wish or just browsing if you prefer also featuring hand-picked chances to sample the finest Scottish produce and comfortable accommodation for your stay with like-minded hosts.

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‘Thrugs’ – rugs made from thrums, Three Bags Wool

Examples of the possibilities for your crafting holiday

No Scotland holiday would be complete without a feel for the Highland textile tradition kept alive in the Cairngorms’ very own Victorian-era Knockando Woolmill Trust. You can go inside the mill to see the Victorian machinery in action, then treat yourself to an international festival of art. You can even pursue your passion in local multi-day courses.

Courses are also available for peg loom weaving, needle felting and sewing at Three Bags Wool in Aberlour. Aberlour is only about 30 minutes drive from Boat of Garten. We are very happy to offer dinner, bed and breakfast for you if you are attending a workshop at Three Bags Wool. Please email for details. Three Bags Wool will also be exhibiting at the Loch Ness Wool Festival.

Crafts in Scotland

Thrum knitting to make a rug

Weaving

Peg loom rug making with thrums

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Rebecca’s woven rug just off peg loom (first attempt at a woven rug)

We look forward to showing you!

How to get to Loch Ness Knitting Festival and Market Place

Rebecca is a keen crafter (with very little time to spare to make the projects in her head) and therefore she is keen to encourage anyone who is interested to attend this first event in Inverness. On Saturday, both Andy and Rebecca are going to the Highland Concert with Bruce Macgregor (of Blazing Fiddles fame). Transport will be available from Fraoch Lodge that evening if you are also interested in attending. We will also run a shuttle up to Eden Court (Inverness) during the day on Saturday if you’d like to take a look at the marketplace and workshops going on.

Please phone 01479 831 331 or email us (using the contact form) if you are looking for a last minute weekend away and fancy a bit of Highland culture.

Worldclass artistry

Scotland famous for textiles – Scotland’s textiles are famous all over the world, not least of all for the kilt (a Highland tradition dating back to the 16th century!) and contemporaries who continue to produce some of the world’s finest fabrics.

Here textiles are as varied as they are practical. In the Cairngorms we certainly find wildlife stalkers are prone to camouflaging tweed, while walkers often go for the synthetics. Pro tip: don’t miss out on the versatility of wool; it keeps you warm when wet, wicks away sweat and can take weeks before needing a wash.

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Carding wool at Knockando, great activity for kids!

The must sees of the textile industry include the Scottish Borders, Harris Tweed on the Isle of Harris, Fair Isle knitting between the Shetlands and Orkneys and Johnstons of Elgin based in London who have a free tour of their wool mill every business hour, on the hour.

Scotland textile artists have been making quite a splash in the fashion industry, too. Notables include Angharad McLarenLochaven of Scotland in Ayrshire village (known for creating the outfits for Harry Potter’s wizarding school!), Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Graeme Armour, and more. Another great article on Scotland’s influence in the fashion world is 10 Scottish manufacturers for fashion designers.

In addition, check out a few of our favourite textile and yarn manufactuers in Scotland, namely Keela and Bonar Yarns.

On our doorstep – Scotland famous for textiles

In the Cairngorms we have our very own Knockando Woolmill Trust. This charitable organization has a fully functioning water wheel where you can witness its fascinating process in action, set against a lovely Highland backdrop. You can also browse their garments in shop—check out more of our experience with Knockando and the Scottish Kitlmaker’s Exhibition.

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Knockando’s heritage water wheel

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Looms

The British Wool Fest in Cumbria and the Inverness Loch Ness Knitting Festival in June and September, respectively, are both wonderfully immersive introductions to textiles, and Rebecca has taken a 3 day weaving course she would highly recommend for beginners and novices.

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3 day weaving course

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Preparing the shuttle to pass through the shed

To learn more about these experiences ask us about our self guided tours, because any quintessential Scottish holiday can’t miss out on its Tartan and Tweed!

Check out more of our adventures at Knockando:

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Victorian machinery at work, spinning yarn

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Spinning the yarn onto cones

Scotland famous for textiles

Carding fleece

Scotland famous for textiles

Spinning machinery

Aviemore events: August highlight

Harley Davidson rally in Aviemore

This summer 2016 from August 26-29th thunder returns to the glens of the Cairngorms and Aviemore with its annual Harley-Davidson rally. Thousands of bikers assemble from all over the world with nearly 3,000 more in attendance. This is a must see for motorcycling enthusiasts. Better yet, the event features activities and demonstrations fit for the whole family:

Thunder in the Glens has become one of the major events in the UK for Harley-Davidson fans. People travel from all over the world to enjoy the 2-day event. It is now officially the largest Harley Davidson rally in the UK with an ever growing number of loyal fans.

Enjoy over 60 trade stands supporting local charities and group.

There are:

  • H-D demo bike rides
  • Jeep demo drives
  • Custom bike show
  • Outside entertainment
  • Scottish Knights battle scenes
  • Off road motorbike riding.

Sunday 2.00pm to 4.00pm – charity rides on the back of a Harley-Davidson in Rally Village.

Price details

Entry to evening entertainment on rally site by registration only.

£40 per person for the weekend pre-registered or £45 on the day.

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Matching bikes

Festival goers are always enthralled by their days spent at the fest, regardless of whether they own their own bikes. Get caught up in the whirl and excitement and catch the exhibits.

Highlights for our family include:

the ride-out from Aviemore and socializing with our guests part of the fest. (If Gregor is really lucky, some even let him have a seat on their cherished Harleys.)

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Ride-out showpiece from Aviemore

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Feel the roar!

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Hitching a ride

Here at Fraoch Lodge we are a fifteen minute drive from Grantown on Spey, making us an ideal nearby accommodation which can provide full catering and a shuttle service to the event – that is, if you’re not already motorcycling yourself there!

This year we’ve timed our Highland Extravaganza hiking tour to include the Abernethy Highland Games – after all what would a visit to the Highlands be, without a chance to get to a Games.

At Scot Mountain Holidays we always look forward to the Highland Games, and here are our main reasons why!

1. It’s family friendly

Stalls of Hook-a-duck, children’s races, Fair Ground rides, souvenirs, trampolines and more provide entertainment for the whole family. Arrive by Steam Train from Boat of Garten in the Cairngorms and really thrill the kids!

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Hook-a-duck and win a prize

2. Highland Dancing

See local girls compete in Highland dancing in their full traditional garb.

3. Tug-O-War

These athletes tour around with the Highland Games, making the rivalry real. See the challenge live and cheer on your favourite side.

4. Caber Toss

One of the most exciting and famous parts of the Games, you won’t want to miss this main event.

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The caber toss, parade

5. Food & drink

Venison vans, burger trucks, fish and chips, pulled pork, beer tents and coffee all to treat your tastebuds while taking in the Games.

6. Ceilidhs

Why not join a fun-loving ceilidh at the end of the night? Enjoy some drinks, have a dance, and chat with locals about the day’s events.

7. Chieftain’s Parade

Led by pipe bands, this is sure to thrill. See the men in their kilts and ladies in traditional dress, accompanied by bagpipes.

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Chieftan’s Parade

And an honorary mention goes to…

8. The Abernethy RSPB 10-mile Road Race

Every second Saturday of August the Highland Games come to Abernethy, where you can see the Abernethy Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB10 mile road race. Ideally located if you are based at Fraoch Lodge in Boat of Garten. Come see runners in action for a good cause!

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