Scottish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to as Gaelic, is a Celtic language native to the Gaels of Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic-speaking, as evidenced by Gaelic-language placenames. In the 2011 census of Scotland, 57,375 people reported as able to speak Gaelic, 1,275 fewer than in 2001; the highest percentages of Gaelic speakers were in the Outer Hebrides. There are revival efforts, the number of speakers of the language under age 20 did not decrease between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Outside Scotland, Canadian Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Scottish Gaelic is not an official language of either the United Kingdom. However, it is classed as an indigenous language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the British government has ratified, the Gaelic Language Act 2005 established a language development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Aside from "Scottish Gaelic", the language may be referred to as "Gaelic", pronounced or in English. "Gaelic" may refer to the Irish language. Scottish Gaelic is distinct from Scots, the Middle English-derived language varieties which had come to be spoken in most of the Lowlands of Scotland by the early modern era. Prior to the 15th century, these dialects were known as Inglis by its own speakers, with Gaelic being called Scottis. From the late 15th century, however, it became common for such speakers to refer to Scottish Gaelic as Erse and the Lowland vernacular as Scottis. Today, Scottish Gaelic is recognised as a separate language from Irish, so the word Erse in reference to Scottish Gaelic is no longer used. Gaelic was believed to have been brought to Scotland, in the 4th–5th centuries CE, by settlers from Ireland who founded the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata on Scotland's west coast in present-day Argyll.:551:66 However, archaeologist Dr Ewan Campbell has argued that there is no archaeological or placename evidence of a migration or takeover.
This view of the medieval accounts is shared by other historians. Regardless of how it came to be spoken in the region, Gaelic in Scotland was confined to Dál Riata until the eighth century, when it began expanding into Pictish areas north of the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. By 900, Pictish appears to have become extinct replaced by Gaelic.:238–244 An exception might be made for the Northern Isles, where Pictish was more supplanted by Norse rather than by Gaelic. During the reign of Caustantín mac Áeda, outsiders began to refer to the region as the kingdom of Alba rather than as the kingdom of the Picts. However, though the Pictish language did not disappear a process of Gaelicisation was under way during the reigns of Caustantín and his successors. By a certain point during the 11th century, all the inhabitants of Alba had become Gaelicised Scots, Pictish identity was forgotten. In 1018, after the conquest of the Lothians by the Kingdom of Scotland, Gaelic reached its social, cultural and geographic zenith.:16–18 Colloquial speech in Scotland had been developing independently of that in Ireland since the eighth century.
For the first time, the entire region of modern-day Scotland was called Scotia in Latin, Gaelic was the lingua Scotica.:276:554 In southern Scotland, Gaelic was strong in Galloway, adjoining areas to the north and west, West Lothian, parts of western Midlothian. It was spoken to a lesser degree in north Ayrshire, the Clyde Valley and eastern Dumfriesshire. In south-eastern Scotland, there is no evidence that Gaelic was widely spoken. Many historians mark the reign of King Malcom Canmore as the beginning of Gaelic's eclipse in Scotland, his wife Margaret of Wessex spoke no Gaelic, gave her children Anglo-Saxon rather than Gaelic names, brought many English bishops and monastics to Scotland.:19 When Malcolm and Margaret died in 1093, the Gaelic aristocracy rejected their anglicised sons and instead backed Malcolm's brother Donald Bàn. Donald had spent 17 years in Gaelic Ireland and his power base was in the Gaelic west of Scotland, he was the last Scottish monarch to be buried on Iona, the traditional burial place of the Gaelic Kings of Dàl Riada and the Kingdom of Alba.
However, during the reigns of Malcolm Canmore's sons, Alexander I and David I, Anglo-Norman names and practices spread throughout Scotland south of the Forth–Clyde line and along the northeastern coastal plain as far north as Moray. Norman French displaced Gaelic at court; the establishment of royal burghs throughout the same area under David I, attracted large numbers of foreigners speaking Old English. This was the beginning of Gaelic's status as a predominantly rural language in Scotland.:19-23 Clan chiefs in the northern and western parts of Scotland continued to support Gaelic bards who remained a central feature of court life there. The semi-independent Lordship of the Isles in the Hebrides and western coastal mainland remained Gaelic since the language's recovery there in the 12th century, providing a political foundation for cultural prestige down to the end of the 15th century.:553-6By the mid-14th century what came to be called Scots emerged as the official language of government and law.:139 Scotland's emergent nat
The Minch called North Minch, is a strait in north-west Scotland, separating the north-west Highlands and the northern Inner Hebrides from Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. It was known as Skotlandsfjörð in Old Norse; the Lower Minch known as the Little Minch, is the Minch's southern extension, separating Skye from the lower Outer Hebrides: North Uist, South Uist, Barra etc. It opens into the Sea of the Hebrides; the Little Minch is the northern limit of the Sea of the Hebrides. The Minch and Lower Minch form part of the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland, as defined by the International Hydrographic Organization; the Minch ranges from 14 to 45 miles wide and is 70 miles long. It is believed to be the site of the biggest meteorite to hit the British Isles; the Lower Minch is about 15 miles wide. In June 2010 Eilidh Macdonald became the first person to swim across it from Waternish Point on Skye to Rodel on Harris, in a time of 9.5 hours. A Traffic Separation Scheme operates in the Little Minch, with northbound traffic proceeding close to Skye, southbound close to Harris.
Commercial ferry services across the Minch are operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. In the south, its entrance is marked by lighthouses at Barra Head and Hyskeir. On Skye, there are lights at Vaternish and An t-Iasgair; the Outer Hebrides are marked by Eilean Glas, Tiumpan Head and Butt of Lewis. To the east are Rubh Re, Stoer Head and Cape Wrath lighthouses. A buoy marks the nearby Sgeir Graidach; these hazards were marked by a red-painted beacon on Sgeir Graidach, the foundations of which can still be seen at low tide. The mythological Blue men of the Minch live in the area; the Minch Project is a collaboration of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage that aims to reduce pollution, minimise erosion, minimise litter and promote tourism in the Minch wildlife tourism such as dolphin watching. Pollution is a particular concern. Mid-Minch Gaelic Western Isles local government Minch project Gazetteer for Scotland
A strait is a formed, narrow navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses; some straits are not navigable, for example because they are too shallow, or because of an unnavigable reef or archipelago. The terms channel, pass or passage, can be synonymous and used interchangeably with strait, although each is sometimes differentiated with varying senses. In Scotland firth or kyle are sometimes used as synonyms for strait. Many straits are economically important. Straits can be important shipping wars have been fought for control of them. Numerous artificial channels, called canals, have been constructed to connect two bodies of water over land, such as the Suez Canal. Although rivers and canals provide passage between two large lakes or a lake and a sea, these seem to suit the formal definition of strait, they are not referred to as such; the term strait is reserved for much larger, wider features of the marine environment.
There are exceptions, with straits being called Pearse Canal, for example. Straits are the converse of isthmuses; that is, while a strait lies between two land masses and connects two larger bodies of water, an isthmus lies between two bodies of water and connects two larger land masses. Some straits have the potential to generate significant tidal power using tidal stream turbines. Tides are more predictable than wind power; the Pentland Firth may be capable of generating 10 GW. Cook Strait in New Zealand may be capable of generating 5.6 GW though the total energy available in the flow is 15 GW. Straits used for international navigation through the territorial sea between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone are subject to the legal regime of transit passage; the regime of innocent passage applies in straits used for international navigation that connect a part of high seas or an exclusive economic zone with the territorial sea of coastal nation and in straits formed by an island of a state bordering the strait and its mainland if there exists seaward of the island a route through the high seas or through an exclusive economic zone of similar convenience with respect to navigational and hydrographical characteristics.
There may be no suspension of innocent passage through such straits. List of straits Strait passage Media related to Straits at Wikimedia Commons
Skye, or the Isle of Skye, is the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island's peninsulas radiate from a mountainous centre dominated by the Cuillin, the rocky slopes of which provide some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the country. Although it has been suggested that the Gaelic Sgitheanach describes a winged shape there is no definitive agreement as to the name's origins; the island has been occupied since the Mesolithic period, its history includes a time of Norse rule and a long period of domination by Clan MacLeod and Clan Donald. The 18th century Jacobite risings led to the breaking up of the clan system and subsequent Clearances that replaced entire communities with sheep farms, some of which involved forced emigrations to distant lands. Resident numbers declined from over 20,000 in the early 19th century to just under 9,000 by the closing decade of the 20th century. Skye's population increased by 4 per cent between 1991 and 2001.
About a third of the residents were Gaelic speakers in 2001, although their numbers are in decline, this aspect of island culture remains important. The main industries are tourism, agriculture and forestry. Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area; the island's largest settlement is Portree, its capital, known for its picturesque harbour. There are links to various nearby islands by ferry and, since 1995, to the mainland by a road bridge; the climate is mild and windy. The abundant wildlife includes red deer and Atlantic salmon; the local flora are dominated by heather moor, there are nationally important invertebrate populations on the surrounding sea bed. Skye has provided the locations for various novels and feature films and is celebrated in poetry and song; the first written references to the island are Roman sources such as the Ravenna Cosmography, which refers to Scitis and Scetis, which can be found on a map by Ptolemy. One possible derivation comes from skitis, an early Celtic word for winged, which may describe how the island's peninsulas radiate out from a mountainous centre.
Subsequent Gaelic-, Norse- and English-speaking peoples have influenced the history of Skye. Various etymologies have been proposed, such as the "winged isle" or "the notched isle" but no definitive solution has been found to date. In the Norse sagas Skye is called Skíð, for example in the Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar and a skaldic poem in the Heimskringla from c. 1230 contains a line that translates as "the hunger battle-birds were filled in Skye with blood of foemen killed". The island was referred to by the Norse as Skuy, Skýey or Skuyö; the traditional Gaelic name is An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, An t-Eilean Sgiathanach being a more recent and less common spelling. In 1549 Donald Munro, High Dean of the Isles, wrote of "Sky": "This Ile is callit Ellan Skiannach in Irish, to say in Inglish the wyngit Ile, be reason it has mony wyngis and pointis lyand furth fra it, throw the dividing of thir foirsaid Lochis." But the meaning of this Gaelic name is unclear. Eilean a' Cheò, which means island of the mist, is a poetic Gaelic name for the island.
At 1,656 square kilometres, Skye is the second-largest island in Scotland after Harris. The coastline of Skye is a series of peninsulas and bays radiating out from a centre dominated by the Cuillin hills. Malcolm Slesser suggested that its shape "sticks out of the west coast of northern Scotland like a lobster's claw ready to snap at the fish bone of Harris and Lewis" and W. H. Murray, commenting on its irregular coastline, stated that "Skye is sixty miles long, but what might be its breadth is beyond the ingenuity of man to state". Martin Martin, a native of the island, reported on it at length in a 1703 publication, his geological observations included a note that: There are marcasites black and white, resembling silver ore, near the village Sartle: there are in the same place several stones, which in bigness, shape, &c. resemble nutmegs, many rivulets here afford variegated stones of all colours. The Applesglen near Loch-Fallart has agate growing in it of different colours. Stones of a purple colour flow down the rivulets here after great rains.
The Black Cuillin, which are composed of basalt and gabbro, include twelve Munros and provide some of the most dramatic and challenging mountain terrain in Scotland. The ascent of Sgùrr a' Ghreadaidh is one of the longest rock climbs in Britain and the Inaccessible Pinnacle is the only peak in Scotland that requires technical climbing skills to reach the summit; these hills make demands of the hill walker that exceed any others found in Scotland and a full traverse of the Cuillin ridge may take 15–20 hours. The Red Hills to the south are known as the Red Cuillin, they are composed of granite that has weathered into more rounded hills with many long scree slopes on their flanks. The highest point of these hills is one of only two Corbetts on Skye; the northern peninsula of Trotternish is underlain by basalt, which provides rich soils and a variety of unusual rock features. The Kilt Rock is named after the tartan-like patterns in the 105 metres cliffs; the Quiraing is a spectacular series of rock pinnacles on the eastern side of th
Raasay or the Isle of Raasay is an island between the Isle of Skye and the mainland of Scotland. It is separated from Skye from Applecross by the Inner Sound, it is most famous for being the birthplace of Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean, an important figure in the Scottish Renaissance. Traditionally the home of Clan MacSween, the island was ruled by the MacLeods from the 15th to the 19th century. Subsequently, a series of private landlords held title to the island, now in public ownership. Raasay House, visited by James Boswell and Samuel Johnson in 1773, is now a hotel, restaurant and outdoor activity centre. Raasay is home to an endemic subspecies of bank vole; the current Chief of the Island is Roderick John Macleod of Raasay. About 14 miles north to south and 3 miles east to west, Raasay's terrain is varied; the highest point at 443 metres is an unusual, flat-topped peak. The island of Rona lies just off the north coast and the tidal islets of Eilean Fladday and Eilean Tigh are to the northwest. Other smaller surrounding islands are Eilean Aird nan Gobhar, Eilean an Inbhire, Holoman Island, Manish Island, Fraoch Eilean, Glas Eilean, Griana-sgeir and Eilean an Fhraoich.
The main village of Inverarish is near the southwest coast. Geologically interesting, the island is visited by many students engaged in mapping projects; the south is Torridonian sandstone and shale. There are smaller outcrops of Jurassic shales and sandstones interspersed with limestone; the related ironstone beds contain low grade oolitic siderite and chamosite ores which were worked commercially in the early 20th century. Remaining reserves are estimated at 10 million tonnes; the seas to the east and west are deep, large troughs having been created by the Skye icecap in the Pleistocene. The primary employment is in tourism, working for the ferry company and fishing, or commuting to work on Skye. A twenty-five-minute ride by the car and passenger ferry connects the island with Sconser on Skye. There is a primary school. Sites of interest include the remains of a broch, the ruins of Brochel Castle, inscribed stones, abandoned crofting communities, many walking paths. There is a shop/post office located in Inverarish.
Accommodation is available in the old manor of Raasay House, at various B&Bs. There are significant numbers of incomers and holiday homes in the south of the island; this has helped to arrest the population decline from over 900 in 1803 to 194 in 2001. Some inhabitants belong to the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which observes the Sabbath. On Sundays there are no public services, the playground is closed and, until 2004, the ferry did not run. In early 2007 the Raasay Community Association signed a contract with a number of building contractors to construct a community centre, which hosted its first céilidh on 29 May 2010. In 2008 construction began on a new £12 million ferry terminal at Churchton Bay, opened on 17 August 2010. Following the community buyout of Raasay House a £3.5 million refurbishment was undertaken, leading to the temporary closure of the outdoor centre. However, in the early hours of 18 January 2009 the building was damaged by fire. Restoration work commenced in August 2010 but was suspended in November when the main contractor, ROK, went into administration.
Work restarted with a new contractor, Mansell, in late 2011. Raasay House was handed over to the community in March 2013 and in addition to the 4 star accommodation it provides it is now an outdoor activity centre with a restaurant and cafe. In September 2017 the Isle of Raasay distillery opened after the conversion of Borodale House. Raasay is home to the Raasay vole, a subspecies of bank vole, darker and heavier than the mainland variety and found nowhere else in the world, it is a survivor of a Scandinavian race. Murray states that a single specimen of a pine marten, otherwise missing from the Hebrides, was found on the island in 1971. No other records for this species exist. Raasay is one of only four of the Inner Hebrides. Raasay is visited by white-tailed sea eagles and golden eagles and there are populations of otter, red deer and European rabbit. Stoat and weasel are found in small numbers, it supports a rich variety of plants, including red broomrape, dark red helleborine, mountain avens and numerous other saxifrages, orchids and ferns.
The carline thistle was extant in the 1970s, but a recent survey found no evidence of its continued existence. There are several stands of mixed woodland; the spread of Scots culture from Dalriada north of Ardnamurchan is poorly understood and little is recorded of Raasay's early Christian period. The placename Kilmaluag suggests the presence of St Moluag in the late sixth century. Following Viking expeditions to the islands they called the Suðreyjar in the eighth century, Raasay became part of the Norse Kingdom of the Isles and for much of the period religious observance came under the jurisdiction of the Bishopric of the Isles; the Hebrides were yielded to the Kingdom of Scotland as a result of the 1266 Treaty of Perth, after which time control of the islands north of Ardnamurchan was in the hands of the Earls of Ross. In addition to the name "Raasay" itself, placenames such as Arnish, Suidhisnis a
Applecross is a village in the council area of Highland, Scotland. The name Applecross is at least 1300 years old and is not used locally to refer to the 19th century village with the Applecross Inn, lying on the small Applecross Bay, facing the Inner Sound, on the opposite side of which lies the Inner Hebridean island of Raasay; the village of Applecross was established in the 7th century. A sculptured stone is the only relic of St. Maelrubha remaining; the Applecross peninsula is a peninsula in Wester Ross, Highland, on the north west coast of Scotland. This row of houses, referred to as'Applecross', is marked as Applecross on some maps, is called'Shore Street' and is referred to locally just as'The Street'; the name Applecross applies to all the settlements around the peninsula, including Toscaig, Camusterrach and many others. Applecross is the name of the local estate and the civil parish, which includes Shieldaig and Torridon, has a population of 544; the small River Applecross flows into the bay at Applecross.
Isolated, Applecross was only accessible by boat until the early 20th century, for many years after that the only road access was over one of Scotland's most notoriously treacherous roads, the Bealach na Ba, which crosses the peninsula and reaches a maximum height of 626 m, below the 774 m high Sgùrr a' Chaorachain. The settlement is now connected via a winding coastal road which travels around the edge of the peninsula to Shieldaig and Torridon; the road skirts the shore of the Inner Loch Torridon. Applecross's name is an anglicisation of the Pictish name Aporcrosan,'confluence of the Crossan'; the settlement is linked with St Máelrubai or Maelrubha, who came to Scotland in 671 from the major Irish monastery of Bangor, County Down. He founded Aporcrosan in 672 in what was Pictish territory, was the monastery's first abbot, dying on 21 April 722 in his eightieth year; the deaths of several of his successors as abbot are recorded in the Irish Annals into the early ninth century. The early monastery was located around the site of the parish church.
A large, unfinished cross-slab standing in the churchyard and three finely carved fragments of another preserved within the church are evidence of the early monastery. The surrounding district is known as a' Chomraich'the sanctuary' in Gaelic, its boundaries were once marked by crosses. The stub of one, destroyed in 1870, survives among farm buildings at Camusterrach. There are many churches dedicated to Maelrubha on Skye and throughout northern Scotland, the saint's name sometimes taking distorted forms. Loch Maree and its holy island of Eilean Ma-Ruibhe are both named after the saint; the area around Applecross is believed to be one of the earliest settled parts of Scotland. The coastal settlement of Sand, just to the north of Applecross, is the location of a major archaeological site; the Applecross estate extends to 70,000 acres and covers most of the peninsula. In the second half of the 16th century, the lands of Applecross came into the possession of Alexander Mackenzie, an illegitimate son of Colin Cam Mackenzie of Kintail.
With a brief interruption between 1715 and 1724, the estate remained in the ownership of Mackenzie's heirs until the mid-19th century, when it was sold to the Duke of Leeds. In the early 1860s, the estate was sold to Lord Middleton. Following the death of the 10th Baron Middleton in 1924, the estate was sold to the Wills family; the Estate is now owned by the Applecross Trust, a registered Scottish charity with the declared aim of preserving "the special character of the Applecross peninsula in a responsible and progressive manner whilst acknowledging its wilderness heritage and its importance as an area of outstanding natural beauty". The Applecross Trust is controlled by seven people and chaired by Richard Wills, of Andover, Hampshire. None of the members live in Applecross. In July 2010, at a cost of £40,000, the UK's first unmanned petrol station was opened, it uses a credit card reader to enable customers to serve themselves. The business was taken over by Applecross Community Company in 2008 in response to its possible closure.
The only alternative involves a 36-mile round trip to Lochcarron. Applecross appeared as Laxdale in the 1953 film Laxdale Hall, in which the villagers protest against the poor condition of the access road by withholding their Road Tax. In 2009 Applecross was featured in the television programme Monty Halls' Great Escape, it is referred to in the writings of Margaret Leigh. Applecross appeared in Channel 4's Time Team series 13 episode 12 when a broch was excavated, it is the setting for Graeme Macrae Burnet's 2015 novel His Bloody Project, nominated for The Man Booker Prize in 2016. It appeared in the 4 books of Enchanted Emporium by, Pierdomenico Baccalario, as the place where the story takes place. Aber and Inver as place-name elements Applecross Landscape Partnership Applecross Historical Society Applecross Walks The Applecross Trust
The Inner Hebrides is an archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland, to the south east of the Outer Hebrides. Together these two island chains form the Hebrides; the Inner Hebrides comprise 35 inhabited islands as well as 44 uninhabited islands with an area greater than 30 hectares. The main commercial activities are tourism, crofting and whisky distilling. In modern times the Inner Hebrides have formed part of two separate local government jurisdictions, one to the north and the other to the south. Together, the islands have an area of about 4,130 km2, had a population of 18,948 in 2011; the population density is therefore about 4.6 per km2. There are various important prehistoric structures, many of which pre-date the first written references to the islands by Roman and Greek authors. In the historic period the earliest known settlers were Picts to the north and Gaels in the southern kingdom of Dál Riada prior to the islands becoming part of the Suðreyjar kingdom of the Norse, who ruled for over 400 years until sovereignty was transferred to Scotland by the Treaty of Perth in 1266.
Control of the islands was held by various clan chiefs, principally the MacLeans, MacLeods and MacDonalds. The Highland Clearances of the 19th century had a devastating effect on many communities and it is only in recent years that population levels have ceased to decline. Sea transport is crucial and a variety of ferry services operate to mainland Scotland and between the islands; the Gaelic language remains strong in some areas. The islands form a disparate archipelago; the largest islands are, from south to north, Jura, Mull, Rùm and Skye. Skye is the largest and most populous of all with an area of 1,656 km2 and a population of just over 10,000; the southern group are in Argyll, an area corresponding with the heartlands of the ancient kingdom of Dál Riata and incorporated into the modern unitary council area of Argyll and Bute. The northern islands were part of the county of Inverness-shire and are now in the Highland Council area; the ten largest islands are as follows. The geology and geomorphology of the islands is varied.
Some, such as Skye and Mull, are mountainous, whilst others like Tiree are low-lying. The highest mountains are the Cuillins of Skye. Much of the coastline is a fertile low-lying dune pastureland. Many of the islands are swept by strong tides, the Corryvreckan tide race between Scarba and Jura is one of the largest whirlpools in the world. There are various smaller archipelagoes including the Ascrib Islands, Crowlin Islands, Slate Islands, Small Isles, Summer Isles and Treshnish Islands; the inhabited islands of the Inner Hebrides had a population of 18,257 at the 2001 census, this had grown to 18,948 in 2011. During the same period Scottish island populations as a whole grew by 4% to 103,702. There are a further 44 uninhabited Inner Hebrides with an area greater than 74 acres. Records for the last date of settlement for the smaller islands are incomplete, but most of them were inhabited at some point during the Neolithic, Iron Age, Early Historic or Norse periods. In common with the other main island chains of Scotland, many of the smaller and more remote islands were abandoned during the 19th and 20th centuries, in some cases after continuous habitation since prehistoric times.
These islands had been perceived as self-sufficient agricultural economies, but a view developed among both islanders and outsiders that the more remote islands lacked the essential services of a modern industrial economy. However, the populations of the larger islands grew overall by more than 12% from 1981 to 2001; the main commercial activities are tourism, crofting and whisky distilling. Overall, the area is reliant on primary industries and the public sector. However, the islands are well placed to exploit renewable energy onshore and offshore wind; some of the islands have development trusts. The influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Atlantic Current creates a mild oceanic climate. Temperatures are cool, averaging 6.5 °C in January and 15.4 °C in July at Duntulm on the Trotternish peninsula of Skye. Snow lies at sea level and frosts are fewer than on the mainland. Winds are a limiting factor for vegetation: a speed of 128 km/h has been recorded. Rainfall is high at between 1300 and 2000 mm per annum, the mountains and hills are wetter still.
Tiree is one of the sunniest places in the country and had 300 days of sunshine in 1975. Trotternish has 200 hours of bright sunshine in May, the sunniest month; the Hebrides were settled in the Mesolithic era and have a diversity of prehistoric sites. A flint arrowhead found in a field near Bridgend, Islay has been dated to 10,800 BC; this find. Burnt hazelnut shells and microscopic charcoal found at Farm Fields, Kinloch on Rùm indicate a settlement of some kind and this is amongst the oldest evidence of occupation in Scotland. Evidence of large-s