Pipe Bands

Competing in the Cowal Pipe Band Championship is the highlight of the piping season for many pipers and drummers, and this historic event, first held in 1906, attracts bands from all over the world.

The ultimate prize is the Argyll Shield, donated to Cowal in 1906 by HRH the Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, which is awarded to winners of the Grade 1 competition.

As a competitor in the Cowal Pipeband Championship, you’ll have the privilege of taking part in the salute to the Chieftain. All the bands get together to play ‘Highland Laddie’ in unison. It’s an unforgettable experience for any drummer or piper. The bands then march through town, displaying their trophies to the cheering crowds.

Recent years have seen many changes being made to the layout of the Cowal Pipe Band Championship, with special viewing areas being set up around the Grade 1 and 2 arenas.

The RSPBA will perform the draw for the Cowal Pipe Band Championships.

You can view the draw by clicking on the link below.

Passes for the various bus parks are allocated by the RSPBA and requests for passes should be directed to them.

Directions and a map to the various bus parks are issued by the RSPBA in August when they send out the band packs for Cowal.


Due to the lack of available turning points on the A770 Cloch Road near to Western Ferries we have been asked by Strathclyde Police and Western Ferries to instruct all coach drivers using Western Ferries to come to the gathering to use the following route.

When coming into Greenock on the A8 proceed until the Bullring roundabout. Do not carry straight on through Greenock and Gourock. Instead turn left at the bullring roundabout onto the A78 Inverkip Road. Follow the A78 until the Bankfoot roundabout and turn right onto the A770 Cloch Road. Follow this road until you reach the Western Ferries terminal on the left.

Following this new route is vital as there will be no right turn into Western Ferries from the Cloch Road. There are also no suitable turning points on the Cloch Road for buses that follow the traditional route. Any buses that do approach Western Ferries from Gourock will have to continue along the Cloch Road in order to turn at the Bankfoot Roundabout and approach the terminal from the correct direction. Thank you for your co-operation. Strathclyde Police, Western Ferries and Cowal Highland Gathering.

Would you like to sponsor this event?

We would be delighted to speak to supportive businesses and organisations about event sponsorship. In addition to this space, your sponsorship of the Cowal Gathering  can be tailored to reflect your business corporate social responsibility goals, advertising strategy and community engagement activities. Your support will help the Gathering enhance our visitor experience, community work and competitor engagement.

Contact us