Isle of Skye Information
The Isle of Skye lies on Europe's Atlantic fringe, off the north-west
coast of Scotland.It is the largest of the islands that make up the Scottish
Hebrides, and arguably the most recognisable from its distinctive outline.
The communities of the Island of Skye have a long-established connection
with those on the adjacent mainland area of Lochalsh.
The entire area, for commercial and administrative purposes, has come
to be known as Skye and Lochalsh. Included in the Skye and Lochalsh area
are the inhabited islands of Raasay, Rona, Fladda, Scalpay, Pabay, and
Soay. The area lies at a latitude of 57 to 58 degrees North but is blessed
by warm ocean currents from the Atlantic which keep the weather temperate
even in winter time. The total land area of Skye and Lochalsh is around
Skye itself is about 50 miles (80km)long as the crow flies, but the distance
by road from end to end is closer to 70 miles (115km). This is due to
the indented nature of the coastline which means that nowhere on Skye
is more than 5 miles (8km) from the sea.
The people of Skye and Lochalsh have links to many cultures both ancient
and modern. The iron-age Picts, the early Christian Celts, the invading
Norse and Scots have all made their mark upon the indigenous population
which has in recent years been augmented by English, Europeans, and people
from farther afield.
After a century of steady decline the population of Skye and Lochalsh
began to grow in the early 1980s and now stands at around 12,000. This
is partly the result of more young people staying in the area after leaving
school or returning to the area after establishing themselves in their
career. There has also been an influx of people from elsewhere who are
looking for a better way of life than is now available in many of the
urban centres of the world.