We like to let our hair down in the Highlands: farmers congregate at agricultural shows and sheep dog competitions; youngsters go in for rock and pop festivals, but there is also something for traditionalists: Burns Nights, panto, the Mod (Gaelic cultural event), (bag) piping competitions and impromptu Ceilidhs. Last not least we can enjoy jazz concerts, classical music or ballet / contemporary dance at various venues.
Black Isle Show. Usually in early August. The Black Isle Show is the largest agricultural show in the north, and it gives you a chance to meet farmers and other members of the agricultural industry and admire their prizewinning livestock and produce. Entertaining sideshows. NB overlaps with Tartan Heart Festival (see below). More info
BLAS Festival, based at the AROS Centre, Portree, Skye. Spread over nine special days in September, this festival celebrates the music, songs, language and culture of the Highlands. More info
Highland Archaeology Festival, a wide-ranging array of walks and talks in/about archaeological sites all over the Highlands and Islands (end-September to mid-October). Culminates in a seminar weekend in Inverness with slide talks and poster exhibits. More info
Highland Military Tattoo at Fort George: not envisaged for the time being; but you could visit the Edinburgh Festival Tattoo, if you happen to arrive in/depart from the Scottish capital in first to third week of August.
Sutherland (Agricultural) Show, Dornoch, usually mid-July: talk to stock and arable farmers and admire their prize-winning stock and much more; watch competitions in various fields and sample delicious Highland produce. More info
Tartan Heart Festival, Belladrum, Belladrum, not far from Beauly which is not far from Muir of Ord (overlaps with Black Isle Show, see above). Usually beginning of August. This is an extremely popular Rock and Pop Festival, mostly sold out long in advance. More info