List of islands of Scotland
This is a list of the 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 that it 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". [Various other definitions are used. For example the General Register Office for Scotland define an island as "a mass of land surrounded by water, separate from the Scottish mainland" but although they include islands linked by bridges etc. this is not clear from this definition. Haswell-Smith (2004) uses "an Island is a piece of land or group of pieces of land which is entirely surrounded by water at Lowest Astronomical Tide and to which there is no permanent means of dry access". This is widely agreed to be unhelpful as it consciously excludes bridged islands. However, the large numbers of small tidal islets essentially defy categorisation.]
Scotland has over 790 offshore islands, most of which are to be found in four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the
Hebrides, sub-divided into the Inner Hebridesand Outer Hebrides.cite book| author=Haswell-Smith, Hamish| date=2004| title=The Scottish Islands| location=Edinburgh| publisher=Canongate| isbn=1-84195-454-3] 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 freshwaterin Scotland including Loch Lomondand Loch Maree.
Many of these islands are swept by strong tides, and the Corryvreckan tide race between
Scarbaand Jura is one of the largest whirlpools in the world. Other strong tides are to be found in the Pentland Firthbetween mainland Scotland and Orkney, and the "Grey Dog" between Scarba and Lunga.The geology and geomorphology of the islands is varied. Some such as Skyeand Mull are mountainous whilst others like Tireeand Sanday are relatively low lying. Many have bedrock made from ancient ArchaenLewisian Gneisswhich was originally laid down 3 billion years ago, Shapinsayand other Orkney islands are formed from Old Red Sandstone, which is 400 million years old, and others such as Rùmfrom more recent Tertiary volcanoes[McKirdy, Alan Gordon, John & Crofts, Roger (2007) "Land of Mountain and Flood: The Geology and Landforms of Scotland". Edinburgh. Birlinn.]
The largest island is
Lewis and Harriswhich extends to 2,179 square kilometres, and there are a further 200 islands which are greater than 40 hectaresin area. Of the remainder, several such as Staffaand the Flannan Isleshave achieved considerable notability despite their small size.
Some 97 Scottish islands are populated, of which 92 are offshore islands. Many previously inhabited islands such as
Mingulay, Nossand the St Kilda archipelago have been abandoned during the course of the past century and today only 14 islands are populated by over 1,000 people and 45 by over 100. Between 1991 and 2001, the population of the islands fell by 3 per cent overall, although there were 35 islands whose population increased. The total population of all the islands in 2001 was 99,739.cite paper| url=http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/publications-and-data/occpapers/occasional-paper-10.html| title=Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands| author=General Register Office for Scotland| date=28 Nov 2003| accessdate=2007-07-25]
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
Hebrideshave Scots Gaelic derivations, whilst those of the Northern Islestend to be derived from the Vikingnames. A few have Brythonic, Scots and even perhaps pre-Celtic roots. A feature of modern island life is the low crime rate and they are considered to be amongst the safest places to live in the UK. [Ross, John ( 05 October 2007) "Isolated Communities Where Violent Crime Comes as a Shock". Edinburgh. "The Scotsman".] Rockall, is a small rocky islet in the North Atlantic which was declared part of Scotland by the Island of Rockall Act 1972. [cite web| url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/21/newsid_4582000/4582327.stm| title=On This Day: 21 September| publisher= BBC| accessdate=2007-08-01] [cite web| url=http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo970624/text/70624-02.htm| title=House of Lords Hansard| date=24 June, 1997| accessdate=2007-08-01] However, the legality of the claim is disputed by the Republic of Ireland, Denmarkand Icelandand it is probably unenforceable in international law. [cite journal| url=http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/D/0268/D.0268.197311010090.html| title=Oral Questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs| publisher=Dáil Éireann| date=1 November, 1973| accessdate=2007-01-17] [cite journal| author=MacDonald, Fraser| year=2006| title=The last outpost of Empire: Rockall and the Cold War| journal=Journal of Historical Geography| volume=32| pages=627–647| url=http://www.sages.unimelb.edu.au/staff/macdonald.html| accessdate=2007-08-01| doi=10.1016/j.jhg.2005.10.009]
This is a list of Scottish islands either with an area greater than 40 hectares (approximately 100 acres) and/or which are inhabited. The "Groups" which in many cases provide a more useful guide to location than local authority areas are after Haswell-Smith (2004). The main Groups are:
Firth of Clyde, Islay, Firth of Lorn, Mull, Small Isles, Skye, Lewis and Harris, Uists and Barra, St Kilda, Orkney, Shetlandand Firth of Forth. In a few cases where the island is either part of recognisable smaller group or 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.
There are various small archipelagos which may be better known than the larger islands they contain. These include:
Lewis and Harris are separated by a range of hills but form one island, and are sometimes referred to as "
Gluss Isle at the western entrance to
The name "Inch" ("Innis") can mean island (e.g.
"Eilean" is Gaelic for "island". However, Inistrynich, Eilean na Maodail, Eilean Dubh and Liever Island are all promontories on
"-holm" is also common as a suffix in various landlocked placenames, especially in the far south of mainland Scotland e.g.
Islands named after mainland areas
Likewise, occasionally an island may be named after a location on the nearby mainland, or a major neighbouring island - or vice versa. Examples of this include
References and footnotes
* Haswell-Smith, Hamish. (2004) "The Scottish Islands". Edinburgh. Canongate. ISBN 1-84195-454-3
* General Register Office for Scotland (28 Nov 2003) " [http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/publications-and-data/occpapers/occasional-paper-10.html Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands] ". Retrieved 9 July 2007.;Specific references and notes
* [http://www.scottishislands.org.uk/Population.html Scottish Island Network - Population Statistics]
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