The first weekend in September is a date for your diary if you are in the Scottish Highlands. It’s the date of the annual Scottish open chainsaw carving competition. In this amazing event, the artists are competing to create the best piece of art using only an 8ft log, and a chain saw.
Starting at 10 am the competitors have a total of 4 hours to create their masterpieces. You can watch them at work, from a safe distance, of course. It is fascinating to watch the sculpture form from the wood as the day goes on.
There are a few winners on the day. Judges will score all the contestants, with prizes for the top few. As a visitor to the show, you also get a vote. The people’s choice winner also receives an award.
At the end of the day, all the sculptures are auctioned off. As well as the large sculptures, all the competitors also make a smaller item. These are sold to raise money for the village. If you plan on buying a carving, you should make sure to have cash on hand.
Between watching the carvers at work, you can explore the stalls that are set up. There are always stalls from right across the highlands. It’s a great chance to find a special keepsake from your visit.
There are, of course, many food and drink stalls where you can indulge as well. If you need a nice cup of tea, you can visit the tea tent, and if you require a more indulgent drink, there is the beer tent instead.
Getting to Carrbridge from Ravenscraig Guest House couldn’t be easier. You just head north out of Aviemore, and in a little over 10 minutes you’ll be in Carrbridge. There is free parking for the event, and the signs are clear and easy to follow. You park at one of the outer car parks and get bussed into the event on a vintage bus.
The event usually starts at around 10 am. Prices are the same throughout most of the day, so you’ll get the best value for your money if you turn up earlier. Check the website for prices, but under 5’s, go free every year.