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List of islands of Scotland

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Top 10 List of islands of Scotland related articles

Map of the Inner and Outer Hebrides

This is a list of islands of Scotland, the mainland of which is part of the island of Great Britain. Also included are various other related tables and lists. The definition of an offshore island used in this list is "land that is surrounded by seawater on a daily basis, but not necessarily at all stages of the tide, excluding human devices such as bridges and causeways".[Note 1]

Scotland has over 900 offshore islands,[1] most of which are to be found in four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Hebrides, sub-divided into the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides.[2] There are also clusters of islands in the Firth of Clyde, Firth of Forth, and Solway Firth, and numerous small islands within the many bodies of fresh water in Scotland including Loch Lomond and Loch Maree. The largest island is Lewis and Harris which extends to 2,179 square kilometres, and there are a further 200 islands which are greater than 40 hectares in area. Of the remainder, several such as Staffa and the Flannan Isles are well known despite their small size.[2] Some 94 Scottish islands are permanently inhabited, of which 89 are offshore islands. Between 2001 and 2011 Scottish island populations as a whole grew by 4% to 103,702.[3]

The geology and geomorphology of the islands is varied. Some, such as Skye and Mull are mountainous, while others like Tiree and Sanday are relatively low lying. Many have bedrock made from ancient Archaean Lewisian Gneiss which was formed 3 billion years ago; Shapinsay and other Orkney islands are formed from Old Red Sandstone, which is 400 million years old; and others such as Rùm from more recent Tertiary volcanoes.[4] Many of the islands are swept by strong tides, and the Corryvreckan tide race between Scarba and Jura is one of the largest whirlpools in the world.[5] Other strong tides are to be found in the Pentland Firth between mainland Scotland and Orkney, and another example is the "Grey Dog" between Scarba and Lunga.[2]

The culture of the islands has been affected by the successive influences of Celtic, Norse and English speaking peoples and this is reflected in names given to the islands. Most of the Hebrides have names with Scots Gaelic derivations, whilst those of the Northern Isles tend to be derived from the Viking names. A few have Brythonic, Scots and even perhaps pre-Celtic roots.[2] A feature of modern island life is the low crime rate and they are considered to be amongst the safest places to live in Britain.[6] Orkney was rated as the best place to live in Scotland in both 2013 and 2014 according to the Halifax Quality of Life survey.[7]

Rockall is a small rocky islet in the North Atlantic which was declared part of Scotland by the Island of Rockall Act 1972.[8][9] However, despite no possession by any other state and other precedents, the legality of the claim is disputed by the Republic of Ireland, Denmark and Iceland and some say, it may be unenforceable in international law.[10][11]

Eilean Donan castle

List of islands of Scotland Intro articles: 40

Demographics

Abandoned houses on Fuaigh Mòr, which had a population of 46 prior to being cleared[12]

The 2011 census records 94 Scottish islands as having a usually resident population of which 89 are offshore islands. There are however various complications with both the definitions of an "island" and occasional habitation and the National Records of Scotland also list a further 17 islands that were inhabited in 2001 but not 2011, or are "included in the NRS statistical geography for inhabited islands but had no usual residents at the time of either the 2001 or 2011 censuses".[13] There are a small number of other islands that are evidently inhabited but which are not recorded in this list.[Note 2]

The local government council areas with the most inhabited islands are Argyll and Bute with 23, Orkney with 20, Shetland with 16 and Highland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar with 14 each. There are also three in North Ayrshire and one each in Fife, Perth and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire. The last three named plus two islands in Argyll and Bute are freshwater rather than offshore.[13]

Portree on Skye, an island where the population has grown in recent decades[14]

In the past many smaller islands that are uninhabited today had permanent populations. Losses were severe in many areas during the 19th century when islands such as Pabbay and Fuaigh Mòr were subject to forcible evictions during the Highland Clearances.[15] Mass emigration from the Hebridean islands was at its height in the mid-19th century but it commenced as early as the 1770s in some areas.[16] The crofting counties held 20% of Scotland's population in 1755 but by 1961 this figure had declined to 5%.[17] Other examples include Mingulay, Noss and the St Kilda archipelago, which were abandoned during the course of the 20th century. Declines have been particularly significant in the more remote outlying islands, some of which remain vulnerable to ongoing losses.[18]

The following table shows population trends for the ten most populous islands as of the last census. The overall trends are typically growth in populations in the early part of the modern period, followed by declines from the mid 19th century onwards. In every case except Orkney the highest population was recorded prior to 1932 and the lowest post-industrial revolution figure after 1960. Subsequently, there has been modest growth overall, although some islands are continuing to show a decline. Between 1991 and 2001, the population of the islands as a whole fell by 3% to 99,739, although there were 35 islands whose population increased.[19] By contrast, between 2001 and 2011 Scottish island populations as a whole grew by 4% to 103,702.[3] The Scottish Community Alliance noted that "the largest rate of increase has been in the Western Isles (6%) where local people now own approximately 60% of the landmass. Where populations have fallen (Bute, Arran and Islay) community ownership is virtually non-existent."[20]

Largest Scottish islands by population

Rank Island Local authority Population
c. 1801 1841 1891 1931 1961 1981 2001[19] 2011[13]
1 Lewis and Harris[21] Na h-Eileanan Siar 12,164 20,046 30,726 28,042 24,107 22,476 19,918 21,031
2 Mainland, Shetland[22] Shetland 20,572 19,741 15,172 13,282 17,722 17,550 18,765
3 Mainland, Orkney[23] Orkney 16,022 16,498 13,352 13,495 14,000 15,315 17,162
4 Skye[24] Highland 14,470 (in 1794) 23,082 15,705 9,908 7,479 7,276 9,232 10,008
5 Bute[25] Argyll and Bute 4,759 (in 1792) 7,147 11,735 12,112 9,793 7,306 7,228 6,498
6 Arran[26] North Ayrshire 5,804 (in 1792) 6,241 4,730 4,506 3,700 3,845 5,045 4,629
7 Islay[27] Argyll and Bute 9,500 (in 1792) 15,772 7,375 4,970 3,860 3,792 3,457 3,228
8 Mull[28] Argyll and Bute 8,016 (in 1794) 8,316 4,691 2,903 2,154 2,197 2,667 2,800
9 South Uist[29] Na h-Eileanan Siar 5,093 3,708 2,810 2,376 2,231 1,818 1,754
10 Great Cumbrae[30] North Ayrshire 509 (in 1793) 1,413 1,784 2,144 1,638 1,300 1,434 1,376
Total 123,704 116,693 95,919 81,884 82,145 83,664 87,251
Change -5.7% -7.8% -14.6% +0.3% +1.8% +4.3%

The following table compares the populations of the main Scottish archipelagos with that of the Faroe Islands for a similar time frame to the above.[Note 3]

Archipelago 1801 1851 1901 1931 1971 2011[13]
Hebrides[31] 64,690 88,615 76,780 60,390 45,480 46,632
Change 37% (13%) (21%) (25%) 3%
Orkney[32] 24,445 31,318 27,763 21,933 17,007 21,349
Change 28% (11%) (21%) (22%) 26%
Shetland[33] 22,000 31,000 28,000 21,000 17,500 23,167
Change 41% (10%) (25%) (17%) 32%
Faroe Islands 5,265[34] 8,000[35] 15,230[34] 24,500 38,612[34] 48,515[36]
Change 52% 90% 61% 58% 26%

List of islands of Scotland Demographics articles: 32

Legislation

In July 2013, the Scottish Government made the Lerwick Declaration, indicating an intention to decentralise power to the three island council areas of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles and later that year made a commitment to do so.[37] In 2017 an Islands bill was introduced to make "island proofing" (including for uninhabited islands) a statutory requirement for public bodies. The Bill completed Stage 1 on 8 February 2018.[38]

List of islands of Scotland Legislation articles: 3

Larger islands

This is a list of Scottish islands that either have an area greater than 40 hectares (approximately 100 acres) and/or are inhabited. The main groups, from Haswell-Smith (2004), in many cases provide a more useful guide to location than local authority areas. These groups are: Firth of Clyde, Islay, Firth of Lorn, Mull, Small Isles, Skye, Lewis and Harris, Uists and Barra, St Kilda, Orkney, Shetland and Firth of Forth. In a few cases where the island is part of either a recognisable smaller group or an archipelago, or is located away from the main groups, an archipelago, local authority or other descriptive name is used instead. "F" designates a freshwater island.

Scotland's islands include thirteen Munros (mountains with a height over 3,000 feet or 914.4 metres), twelve of them found on Skye, and a total of 227 Marilyns (hills with a relative height of at least 150 metres, regardless of absolute height).[39]

Orkney aerial photomap
The Shetland archipelago
Bressay Lighthouse at Kirkabister Ness, Shetland
The Old Man of Hoy, Orkney, a 137-metre (450 ft) sea stack of red sandstone
The cliffs of Creag na Bruaich, Raasay
Dhu Heartach Lighthouse, During Construction by Sam Bough (1822-1878)
Ailsa Craig from the South Ayrshire coast
Two of the Paps of Jura. Photo by John Shaw.
The cliffs of Eshaness, North Mainland, Shetland
MV Isle of Lewis in The Minch
Sula Sgeir from the south west
Stornoway harbour, Lewis
Fair Isle cliffs
Callanish Standing Stones, Lewis
Machair at Balephuil Bay, Tiree
The east coast of Mousa towards the Peerie Bard
The rock pinnacles of the Quiraing, Skye
Island Group Area
(ha)
[40][Note 4]
Population
[13][Note 5]
Height
(m)[41]
Ailsa Craig (Creag Ealasaid) Firth of Clyde 99 0 338
Arran (Eilean Arainn) Firth of Clyde 43,201 4,629 874
Auskerry Orkney 85 4 18
Baleshare (Am Baile Sear) Uists and Barra 910 58 12
Balta Shetland 80 0 44
Barra (Barraigh) Uists and Barra 5,875 1,174 383
Barra Head (Beàrnaraigh) Uists and Barra 204 0 193
Benbecula (Beinn nam Fadhla) Uists and Barra 8,203 1,303 124
Berneray, North Uist (Beàrnaraigh) Uists and Barra 1,010 138 93
Bigga Shetland 78 0 34
Boreray (Boraraigh) St Kilda 86[42] 0 384
Boreray (Boighreigh) Uists and Barra 204 0 56
Bressay Shetland 2,805 368 226
Brother Isle Shetland 40 0 25
Bruray Out Skerries 55 24 53
Burray Orkney 903 409 80
Bute (Bòid) Firth of Clyde 12,217 6,498 278
Calf of Eday Orkney 243 0 54
Calbha Mor Edrachillis Bay 70[43] 0 67
Calve Island Mull 72 0 20
Canna (Canaigh) Small Isles 1,130 12 210
Cara Islay 66 0 56
Càrna Mull 213 0 169
Cava Orkney 107 0 38
Ceallasaigh Mòr Uists and Barra 55[43] 0 10
Ceallasaigh Beag Uists and Barra 46[43] 0 10
Ceann Ear Monach Islands 203 0 17
Ceann Iar Monach Islands 154 0 19
Coll (Cola) Mull 7,685 195 106
Colonsay (Colbhasa) Islay 4,074 124 143
Copinsay Orkney 73 0 64
Danna Islay 315 * 1 54
Davaar (Eilean Dà Bhàrr) Firth of Clyde 52 * 0 ° 115
Dunglass Island (F) River Conon 40 * 0 8
Easdale (Eilean Èisdeal) Slate Islands 20 <20 * 59 38
East Burra Shetland 515 76 81
Eday Orkney 2,745 160 101
Egilsay Orkney 650 26 35
Eigg (Eige) Small Isles 3,049 83 393
Eileach an Naoimh Garvellachs 56 0 80
Eilean Bàn Highland 10 <10 * 0 ° 5
Eilean Chaluim Chille Lewis and Harris 85 0 43
Eilean Chearstaidh Lewis and Harris 77 0 37
Eilean dà Mhèinn Islay 3 * 1 16
Eilean Donan Highland 1 <1 * 0 ° 3
Eilean Dubh Mòr Slate Islands 65 0 53
Eilean Fladday (Fladaigh) Inner Hebrides 120[43] 0 39
Eilean Liubhaird Lewis and Harris 125 0 76
Eilean Macaskin (Eilean MhicAsgain) Islay 50 0 65
Eilean Meadhonach Crowlin Islands 77 0 54
Eilean Mhealasta Lewis and Harris 124 0 77
Eilean Mhic Chrion Islay 54 * 0 63
Eilean Mòr Crowlin Islands 170 0 114
Eilean Mòr (F) Lewis 59 * 0 64
Eilean nan Ròn Highland 138 0 76
Eilean Righ Islay 86 0 55
Eilean Shona (Eilean Seòna Small Isles 525 2 265
Eilean Sùbhainn (F) Loch Maree 118 * 0 36
Eilean Tigh Skye 54[43] 0 111
Eilean Tioram Small Isles 2 * 6 10
Eilean Trodday (Tròndaigh) Skye 42 0 45
Eileanan Iasgaich Uists and Barra 50 0 23
Ensay (Easaigh) Uists and Barra 186 0 49
Eorsa Mull 122 0 98
Eriska (Aoraisge) Loch Linnhe 310 * -[Note 6] 47
Eriskay (Èirisgeigh) Uists and Barra 703 143 185
Erraid (Eilean Earraid) Mull 187 6 75
Eynhallow Orkney 75 0 30
Fair Isle Shetland 768 68 217
Fara Orkney 295 0 43
Faray Orkney 180 0 32
Fetlar Shetland 4,078 61 158
Fiaraidh Uists and Barra 41 0 30
Flodaigh Uists and Barra 145 * 7 20
Flodaigh Mòr Uists and Barra 58 0 28
Flodday, Sound of Barra Uists and Barra 40 0 41
Flotta Orkney 876 80 58
Foula Shetland 1,265 38 418
Fraoch-eilean Uists and Barra 55[43] -[Note 7] 11
Fuaigh Mòr Lewis and Harris 84 0 67
Fuday (Fùideigh) Uists and Barra 232 0 89
Fuiay (Fùidheigh) Uists and Barra 84 0 107
Gairsay Orkney 240 3 102
Garbh Eileach Garvellachs 142 0 110
Garbh Eilean Shiant Islands 143 0 160
Garbh Eilean, Loch Maree (F) Loch Maree 65 * 0 25
Gigha (Giogha) Islay 1,395 163 100
Gighay (Gioghaigh) Uists and Barra 96 0 95
Glimps Holm Orkney 55 0 32
Gometra (Gòmastra) Mull 425 2 155
Graemsay Orkney 409 28 62
Great Bernera (Beàrnaraigh Mòr) Lewis and Harris 2,122 252 87
Great Cumbrae (Cumaradh Mòr) Firth of Clyde 1,168 1,376 127
Grimsay (Griomasaigh) Uists and Barra 833 169 22
Grimsay (South) (Griomasaigh) Uists and Barra 117 * 20 20
Gruinard Island (Eilean Ghruinneard) Highland 196 0 106
Gunna (Gunnaigh) Mull 69 0 35
Handa (Eilean Shannda) Highland 309 0 123
Hascosay Shetland 275 0 30
Hellisay (Theiliseigh) Uists and Barra 142 0 79
Hermetray (Thearmatraigh) Uists and Barra 72 0 35
Hildasay Shetland 108 0 32
Hirta (Hiort) St Kilda 670 0 430
Holm of Grimbister Orkney 16[43] 3 8
Holy Island (Eilean MoLaise) Firth of Clyde 253 31 314
Horse Island Summer Isles 53 0 60
Housay Out Skerries 163 50 53
Hoy Orkney 13,458 419[45] 479
Hunda Orkney 100 0 41
Inchcailloch (Innis nan Cailleach) (F) Loch Lomond 50[43] 0 85
Inchcolm (Innis Choluim) Firth of Forth 9 * 0 ° 34
Inchfad (Innis Fhada) (F) Loch Lomond 40 c.40 * 1 24
Inch Kenneth (Innis Choinnich) Mull 55 0 49
Inchlonaig (F) Loch Lomond 80[43] 0 62
Inchmarnock (Innis Mheàrnaig) Firth of Clyde 266 0 60
Inchmurrin (Innis Mheadhrain) (F) Loch Lomond 120[43] 8 89
Inchtavannach (Innis Taigh a' Mhanaich) (F) Loch Lomond 70[43] 3 84
Inner Holm Orkney 2 * 1 7
Innis Chonain (F) Loch Awe 8 * 5 62
Iona (Ì Chaluim Chille) Mull 877 177 100
Isay (Ìosaigh) Skye 60 0 28
Islay (Ìle) Islay 61,956 3,228 491
Isle Martin (Eilean Mhàrtainn) Summer Isles 157 0 120
Isle of Ewe (Eilean Iùbh) Highland 309 7 72
Isle of May (Eilean Mhàigh) Firth of Forth 45 0 50
Isle Ristol (Eilean Ruisteil) Summer Isles 225 * 0 71
Jura (Diùra) Islay 36,692 196 785
Kerrera (Cearrara) Firth of Lorne 1,214 34 189
Killegray (Ceileagraigh) Lewis and Harris 176 0 45
Kirkibost (Eilean Chirceboist) Uists and Barra 205 0 7
Lamba Shetland 43 0 35
Lamb Holm Orkney 40 0 20
Lewis and Harris (Leòdhas agus na Hearadh) Lewis and Harris 217,898 21,031 799
Linga, Muckle Roe Shetland 70 0 69
Linga, Yell Shetland 45 0 26
Linga Holm Orkney 57 0 10
Lismore (Lios Mòr) Loch Linnhe 2,351 192 127
Little Bernera (Beàrnaraigh Beag) Lewis and Harris 138 0 41
Little Colonsay (Colbhasa Beag) Mull 88 0 61
Little Cumbrae (Cumaradh Beag) Firth of Clyde 313 0 123
Longa Island (Longa) Highland 126 0 70
Longay (Longaigh) Skye 50 0 67
Luing (Luinn) Slate Islands 1,430 195 94
Lunga Slate Islands 254 0 ° 98
Lunga Treshnish Isles 81 0 103
Mainland, Orkney Orkney 52,325 17,162 271
Mainland, Shetland Shetland 96,879 18,765 450
Mingulay (Miughalaigh) Uists and Barra 640 0 273
Moncrieffe Island (Eilean Mhon Craoibhe) (F) River Tay 46 * 3 5
Mousa Shetland 180 0 55
Muck (Eilean nam Muc) Small Isles 559 27 137
Muckle Roe Shetland 1,773 130 267
Muldoanich (Maol Dòmhnaich) Uists and Barra 78 0 153
Mull (Muile) Mull 87,535 2,800 966
North Rona (Rònaigh) Atlantic Outlier 109 0 108
North Ronaldsay Orkney 690 72 20
North Uist (Uibhist a Tuath) Uists and Barra 30,305 1,254 347
Isle of Noss Shetland 343 0 181
Oldany Island Highland 200 * 0 104
Oronsay (Orasa) Islay 543 8 93
Oronsay (Orasaigh) Uists and Barra 85 0 25
Oronsay (Orasaigh) Mull 230 * 0 58
Oxna Shetland 68 0 38
Pabay (Pabaigh) Skye 122 0 28
Pabay Mòr (Pabaigh Mòr) Lewis and Harris 101 0 68
Pabbay (Pabaigh) Uists and Barra 250 0 171
Pabbay (Pabaigh) Lewis and Harris 820 0 196
Papa Shetland 59 0 32
Papa Little Shetland 226 0 82
Papa Stour Shetland 828 15 87
Papa Stronsay Orkney 74 0 ° 13
Papa Westray Orkney 918 90 48
Priest Island (Eilean a' Chlèirich) Summer Isles 122 0 78
Raasay (Ratharsair) Skye 6,405 161 443
Ronay (Rònaigh) Uists and Barra 563 0 115
Rousay Orkney 4,860 216 250
Rùm Small Isles 10,463 22 812
Samphrey Shetland 66 0 29
Sanda Island (Àbhainn) Firth of Clyde 151 0 ° 123
Sanday (Sanndaigh) Orkney 5,043 494 65
Sanday (Sanndaigh) Small Isles 184 9 59
Sandray (Sanndraigh) Uists and Barra 385 0 207
Scalpay (Sgalpaigh) Skye 2,483 2 392
Scalpay (Sgalpaigh) Lewis and Harris 653 291 104
Scarba (Sgarba) Islay 1,474 0 449
Scarp (An Sgarp) Lewis and Harris 1,045 0 308
Seaforth Island (Eilean Shìphoirt) Lewis and Harris 273 0 217
Seil (Saoil) Slate Islands 1,329 551 146
Sgeotasaigh Lewis and Harris 49 0 57
Shapinsay Orkney 2,948 307 64
Shillay (Siolaigh) Lewis and Harris 47 0 79
Shuna (Siuna) Slate Islands 451 3 90
Shuna (Siuna) Loch Linnhe 155 0 71
Skye (An t-Eilean Sgitheanach) Skye 165,625 10,008 993
Soay (Sòdhaigh) Skye 1,036 1 141
Soay (Soaigh) St Kilda 99 0 378
Soay Mòr (Sòdhaigh Mòr) Lewis and Harris 45 0 37
South Havra Shetland 59 0 42
South Rona (Rònaigh) Skye 930 3 125
South Ronaldsay Orkney 4,980 909 118
South Uist (Uibhist a Deas) Uists and Barra 32,026 1,754 620
South Walls Orkney 1,100[43] - [45] 57
Stockinish Island (Eilean Stocainis) Lewis and Harris 49 0 44
Stroma (Sròmaigh) Highland 375 0 53
Stromay (Sròmaigh) Uists and Barra 66 0 16
Stronsay Orkney 3,275 349 44
Stuley (Stadhlaigh) Uists and Barra 45 0 40
Switha Orkney 41 0 29
Swona Orkney 92 0 41
Tahay (Tathaigh) Uists and Barra 53 0 65
Tanera Beag (Tannara Beag) Summer Isles 66 0 83
Tanera Mòr (Tannara Mòr) Summer Isles 310 4 124
Taransay (Tarasaigh) Lewis and Harris 1,475 0 267
Texa Islay 48 0 48
Tiree (Tiriodh) Mull 7,834 653 141
Torsa Slate Islands 113 0 62
Trondra Shetland 275 135 60
Ulva (Ulbha) Mull 1,990 11 313
Unst Shetland 12,068 632 284
Uyea, Unst Shetland 205 0 50
Vaila Shetland 327 2 95
Vacsay (Bhacasaigh) Lewis and Harris 41 0 34
Vallay (Bhàlaigh) Uists and Barra 260 0 38
Vatersay (Bhatarsaigh) Uists and Barra 960 90 185
Vementry Shetland 370 0 90
West Burra Shetland 743 776 217
West Linga Shetland 125 0 52
Westray Orkney 4,713 588 169
Whalsay Shetland 1,970 1,061 119
Wiay (Fùidheigh) Skye 148 0 60
Wiay (Fùidheigh) Uists and Barra 375 0 102
Wyre Orkney 311 29 32
Yell Shetland 21,211 966 205

Four islands were recorded as inhabited in 2011 that were not mentioned in the 2001 census: Eilean dà Mhèinn, Eilean Tioram, Holm of Grimbister and Inner Holm.[13]

These following are listed by the National Records of Scotland as "included in the NRS statistical geography for inhabited islands but had no usual residents at the time of either the 2001 or 2011 censuses."[13] None except Lamb Holm are greater than 40 ha in area.

Island Location
Castle Stalker (Eilean an Stalcaire) Firth of Lorn
Eilean Horrisdale (Eilean Thòrathasdail) Gair Loch
Eilean Loain Loch Sween
Eilean na Cille Uists and Barra
Ensay Lewis and Harris
Inch Kenneth (Innis Choinnich) Mull
Inchlonaig (Innis Lònaig) (F) Loch Lomond
Inchcruin (Innis Cruinn) (F)[Note 8] Loch Lomond
Kisimul Castle (Caisteal Chiosmuil) Uists and Barra
Lamb Holm Orkney

List of islands of Scotland Larger islands articles: 269