With exactly one month to go, the various events planned for the annual gathering of Clan Hay in Aberdeenshire are filling up fast.
Four days of events are planned, many of them offering unusual opportunities to enjoy access to historic properties that are not usually open to the public.
The weekend's events will begin on Thursday 30th July with an inter-clan croquet tournament on the beautiful lawns of Crathes Castle, near Banchory on Royal Deeside. Crathes is a wonderful example of an Aberdeenshire tower castle, historically the seat of the Burnetts of Leys, Chiefs of Clan Burnett, and situated in several acres of glorious garden grounds that are internationally renowned. The event will be hosted by James Burnett of Leys and will include, for now, Clans Burnett, Irvine and Hay.
On Friday 31st July will take place the centrepiece event of this annual gathering weekend. Part of the Clan Hay Society's programme of Tartan Ties events, generously supported by Visit Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, a formal dinner and 'murder mystery' event will take place at the historic Druminnor Castle, near Rhynie in Aberdeenshire,the 15th century home of Alex Forbes of Druminnor and the atmospheric house that was the original seat of the Chiefs of Clan Forbes.
On Saturday 1st August Clan Hay will gather at the Aboyne Highland Games, where the Clan Hay Society will dispense hospitality from its tent in the Clan Village alongside most of the other major Aberdeenshire clans. The Aboyne Games is one of the biggest and longest running of the Highland Games, offering a chance to enjoy piping, dancing, athletics as well as the 'heavy events' for which Highland Games events are best known. All Hays and those interested in Clan Hay, from wherever in the world you come, will be made welcome at the Clan Hay tent.
That evening, at the MacRobert Hall in the charming nearby village of Tarland on Donside, Clan Hay will hold a traditional ceilidh and supper event. Live traditional music will be provided by Andy Linklater and Rob McCombie where you can dance the night away to all the traditional Scottish ceilidh dances.
On Sunday 2nd August, Clan Hay will meet for lunch at the Clan Hay Centre, Delgatie Castle, near Turriff in Aberdeenshire. Delgatie has been owned by Hays and their connections for more than 600 years and can truly be described as the heart of the clan. Delgatie's chatelaine, Joan Johnson, can be relied upon to serve us an excellent lunch about 12.30, before and after which there will be an opportunity to explore the castle and its extensive grounds.
Finally, Clan Hay offers guided tours of the old and new Castles of Slains, situated on the spectacular Aberdeenshire coast and both now sadly in ruins, during Sunday afternoon.
For full details of these events, please click on the '2015 Programme' tab at the top of this page or contact Pam Rotheroe-Hay on pam.rotheroe-hay@Hotmail.co.uk