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The Northern Isles
Northern Isles
(Scots: Northern Isles; Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan a Tuath; Old Norse: Norðreyjar) are a pair of archipelagos off the north coast of mainland Scotland, comprising Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland. The climate is cool and temperate and much influenced by the surrounding seas. There are a total of 26 inhabited islands with landscapes of the fertile agricultural islands of Orkney
Orkney
contrasting with the more rugged Shetland
Shetland
islands to the north, where the economy is more dependent on fishing and the oil wealth of the surrounding seas. Both have a developing renewable energy industry. They also share a common Pictish and Norse history. Both island groups were absorbed into the Kingdom of Scotland
Scotland
in the 15th century and remained part of the country following the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, and later the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
after 1801. The islands played a significant naval role during the world wars of the 20th century. Tourism is important to both archipelagos, with their distinctive prehistoric ruins playing a key part in their attraction, and there are regular ferry and air connections with mainland Scotland. The Scandinavian influence remains strong, especially in relation to local folklore, and both island chains have strong, although distinct, local cultures. The place names of the islands are dominated by their Norse heritage, although some may retain pre-Celtic elements.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Geology 3 Climate 4 Prehistory 5 History, culture and politics

5.1 Pictish times 5.2 Norse era 5.3 Annexation by Scotland 5.4 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries 5.5 World Wars

6 Modern times

6.1 Politics 6.2 Transport 6.3 Economics 6.4 Culture 6.5 Language

7 Island names

7.1 Shetland 7.2 Orkney 7.3 Uninhabited islands

8 See also 9 References

Geography[edit] Main articles: List of Orkney
Orkney
islands and List of Shetland
Shetland
islands

Shetland

The phrase "Northern Isles" generally refers to the main islands of the Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
archipelagos. Stroma, which lies between mainland Scotland
Scotland
and Orkney, is part of Caithness, and so falls under Highland council area for local government purposes, not Orkney. It is, however, clearly one of the "northern isles" of Scotland.[3] Fair Isle and Foula
Foula
are outliers of Shetland, but would normally be considered as part of Shetland
Shetland
and thus the Northern Isles. Similarly, Sule Skerry
Sule Skerry
and Sule Stack, although distant from the main group, are part of Orkney
Orkney
and technically amongst the Northern Isles. However, the other small islands that lie off the north coast of Scotland
Scotland
are in Highland and thus not usually considered to be part of the Northern Isles.[4] Orkney
Orkney
is situated 16 kilometres (10 mi) north of the coast of mainland Scotland, from which it is separated by the waters of the Pentland Firth. The largest island, known as the "Mainland" has an area of 523.25 square kilometres (202.03 sq mi), making it the sixth largest Scottish island.[5] The total population in 2001 was 19,245 and the largest town is Kirkwall.[6] Shetland
Shetland
is around 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of mainland Scotland, covers an area of 1,468 square kilometres (567 sq mi) and has a coastline 2,702 kilometres (1,679 mi) long.[7] Lerwick, the capital and largest settlement, has a population of around 7,500 and about half of the archipelago's total population of 22,000 people live within 16 kilometres (10 mi) of the town.[8] Orkney
Orkney
has 20 inhabited islands and Shetland
Shetland
a total of 16.[9][10] Geology[edit] Main article: Geology of Orkney

Geology of Orkney

The superficial rock of Orkney
Orkney
is almost entirely Old Red Sandstone, mostly of Middle Devonian
Devonian
age.[11] As in the neighbouring mainland county of Caithness, this sandstone rests upon the metamorphic rocks of the Moine series, as may be seen on the Orkney
Orkney
Mainland, where a narrow strip of the older rock is exposed between Stromness
Stromness
and Inganess, and again on the small island of Graemsay.[12] Middle Devonian
Devonian
basaltic volcanic rocks are found on western Hoy, on Deerness in eastern Mainland and on Shapinsay. Correlation between the Hoy
Hoy
volcanics and the other two exposures has been proposed, but differences in chemistry means this remains uncertain.[13] Lamprophyre dykes of Late Permian
Permian
age are found throughout Orkney.[14] Glacial striation and the presence of chalk and flint erratics that originated from the bed of the North Sea demonstrate the influence of ice action on the geomorphology of the islands. Boulder clay is also abundant and moraines cover substantial areas.[15] The geology of Shetland
Shetland
is quite different. It is extremely complex, with numerous faults and fold axes. These islands are the northern outpost of the Caledonian orogeny
Caledonian orogeny
and there are outcrops of Lewisian, Dalriadan and Moine metamorphic rocks with similar histories to their equivalents on the Scottish mainland. There are also small Old Red Sandstone deposits and granite intrusions. The most distinctive feature is the ultrabasic ophiolite, peridotite and gabbro on Unst
Unst
and Fetlar, which are remnants of the Iapetus Ocean
Iapetus Ocean
floor.[16] Much of Shetland's economy depends on the oil-bearing sediments in the surrounding seas.[17] Geological evidence shows that at around 6100 BC a tsunami caused by the Storegga Slides hit the Northern Isles, (as well as much of the east coast of Scotland), and may have created a wave of up to 25 metres (82 ft) high in the voes of Shetland
Shetland
where modern populations are highest.[18] Climate[edit] Main articles: Orkney
Orkney
§ Climate, and Shetland
Shetland
§ Climate The Northern Isles
Northern Isles
have a cool, temperate climate that is remarkably mild and steady for such a northerly latitude, due to the influence of the surrounding seas and the Gulf Stream.[19] In Shetland
Shetland
average peak temperatures are 5 °C (41 °F) in February and 15 °C (59 °F) in August and temperatures over 21 °C (70 °F) are rare.[20][21] The frost-free period may be as little as 3 months.[22] The average annual rainfall is 982 millimetres (38.7 in) in Orkney[19] and 1,168 millimetres (46.0 in) in Shetland.[21] Winds are a key feature of the climate and even in summer there are almost constant breezes. In winter, there are frequent strong winds, with an average of 52 hours of gales being recorded annually in Orkney.[23] Burradale wind farm on Shetland, which operates with five Vestas
Vestas
V47 660 kW turbines, achieved a world record of 57.9% capacity over the course of 2005 due to the persistent strong winds.[24] Snowfall is usually confined to the period November to February and seldom lies on the ground for more than a day. Less rain falls from April to August although no month receives less than an average of 50 mm (2.0 in).[19][20][21] Annual bright sunshine averages 1082 hours in Shetland
Shetland
and overcast days are common.[20] To tourists, one of the fascinations of the islands is their "nightless" summers. On the longest day in Shetland
Shetland
there are over 19 hours of daylight and complete darkness is unknown. This long twilight is known in the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
as the "simmer dim". Winter nights are correspondingly long with less than six hours of daylight at midwinter.[25][26] At this time of year the aurora borealis can occasionally be seen on the northern horizon during moderate auroral activity.[27] Prehistory[edit] Main articles: Prehistoric Orkney
Orkney
and Prehistoric Shetland

The Iron Age
Iron Age
Broch
Broch
of Mousa

There are numerous important prehistoric remains in Orkney, especially from the Neolithic
Neolithic
period, four of which form the Heart of Neolithic Orkney
Orkney
UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
that was inscribed in 1999: Skara Brae; Maes Howe; the Stones of Stenness; and Ring of Brodgar.[28] The Knap of Howar
Knap of Howar
Neolithic
Neolithic
farmstead situated on the island of Papa Westray
Westray
is probably the oldest preserved house in northern Europe. This structure was inhabited for 900 years from 3700 BC but was evidently built on the site of an even older settlement.[29][30][31] Shetland
Shetland
is also extremely rich in physical remains of the prehistoric eras and there are over 5,000 archaeological sites all told.[32] Funzie Girt
Funzie Girt
is a remarkable Neolithic
Neolithic
dividing wall that ran for 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) across the island of Fetlar,[33][34] although the Iron Age
Iron Age
has provided the most outstanding archaeology on Shetland. Numerous brochs were erected at that time of which the Broch of Mousa is the finest preserved example of these round towers.[35] In 2011 the collective site, "The Crucible of Iron Age
Iron Age
Shetland" including Broch
Broch
of Mousa, Old Scatness
Old Scatness
and Jarlshof
Jarlshof
joined the UK's "Tentative List" of World Heritage Sites.[36][37] History, culture and politics[edit] Main articles: Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland Pictish times[edit] The culture that built the brochs is unknown, but by the late Iron Age the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
were part of the Pictish kingdom.[38] The main archaeological relics from these times are symbol stones. One of the best examples is located on the Brough of Birsay; it shows three warriors with spears and sword scabbards combined with traditional Pictish symbols.[39][40] The St Ninian's Isle
St Ninian's Isle
Treasure was discovered in 1958. The silver bowls, jewellery and other pieces are believed to date from approximately 800 AD. O'Dell (1959) stated that "the treasure is the best survival of Scottish silver metalwork from the period" and that "the brooches show a variety of typical Pictish forms, with both animal-head and lobed geometrical forms of terminal".[41][42] Christianity
Christianity
probably arrived in Orkney
Orkney
in the 6th century and organised church authority emerged in the 8th century. The Buckquoy spindle-whorl found at a Pictish site on Birsay
Birsay
is an Ogham–inscribed artefact whose interpretation has caused controversy although it is now generally considered to be of Irish Christian origin.[43][44] Norse era[edit]

King Olav Tryggvason of Norway, who forcibly Christianised Orkney.[45] Painting by Peter Nicolai Arbo.

The 8th century was also the time the Viking
Viking
invasions of the Scottish seaboard commenced and with them came the arrival of a new culture and language for the Northern Isles,[46] the fate of the existing indigenous population being uncertain. According to the Orkneyinga Saga, Vikings then made the islands the headquarters of pirate expeditions carried out against Norway
Norway
and the coasts of mainland Scotland. In response, Norwegian king Harald Hårfagre ("Harald Fair Hair") annexed the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
in 875 and Rognvald Eysteinsson received Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
from Harald as an earldom as reparation for the death of his son in battle in Scotland. (Some scholars believe that this story is apocryphal and based on the later voyages of Magnus Barelegs.)[47] The islands were fully Christianised by Olav Tryggvasson in 995 when he stopped at South Walls
South Walls
on his way from Ireland
Ireland
to Norway. The King summoned the jarl Sigurd the Stout
Sigurd the Stout
and said, "I order you and all your subjects to be baptised. If you refuse, I'll have you killed on the spot and I swear I will ravage every island with fire and steel." Unsurprisingly, Sigurd agreed and the islands became Christian at a stroke,[45] receiving their own bishop in the early 11th century.[48] Annexation by Scotland[edit]

James III and Margaret, whose betrothal led to Shetland
Shetland
passing from Norway
Norway
to Scotland

In the 14th century Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
remained a Norwegian province, but Scottish influence was growing. Jon Haraldsson, who was murdered in Thurso
Thurso
in 1231, was the last of an unbroken line of Norse jarls,[49] and thereafter the earls were Scots noblemen of the houses of Angus and St. Clair.[50] In 1468 Shetland
Shetland
was pledged by Christian I, in his capacity as King of Norway, as security against the payment of the dowry of his daughter Margaret, betrothed to James III of Scotland. As the money was never paid, the connection with the crown of Scotland
Scotland
became permanent. In 1470 William Sinclair, 1st Earl
Earl
of Caithness
Caithness
ceded his title to James III and the following year the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
were directly annexed to Scotland.[51] 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries[edit] From the early 15th century on the Shetlanders had sold their goods through the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
of German merchantmen.[52][53] This trade with the North German towns lasted until the 1707 Act of Union when high salt duties prohibited the German merchants from trading with Shetland. Shetland
Shetland
then went into an economic depression as the Scottish and local traders were not as skilled in trading with salted fish. However, some local merchant-lairds took up where the German merchants had left off, and fitted out their own ships to export fish from Shetland
Shetland
to the Continent. For the independent farmer/fishermen of Shetland
Shetland
this had negative consequences, as they now had to fish for these merchant-lairds.[54]

Full-rigged ship Maella, of Oslo, in Bressay
Bressay
Sound circa 1922

British rule came at a price for many ordinary people as well as traders. The Shetlanders' nautical skills were sought by the Royal Navy: some 3,000 served during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
from 1800 to 1815 and press gangs were rife. During this period 120 men were taken from Fetlar
Fetlar
alone and only 20 of them returned home. By the late 19th century 90% of all Shetland
Shetland
was owned by just 32 people, and between 1861 and 1881 more than 8,000 Shetlanders emigrated.[55][56] With the passing of the Crofters' Act in 1886 the Liberal prime minister William Gladstone emancipated crofters from the rule of the landlords. The Act enabled those who had effectively been landowners' serfs to become owner-occupiers of their own small farms.[57] The Orcadian experience was somewhat different. An influx of Scottish entrepreneurs helped to create a diverse and independent community that included farmers, fishermen and merchants that called themselves comunitatis Orcadie and who proved themselves increasing able to defend their rights against their feudal overlords.[58][59] In the 17th century, Orcadians formed the overwhelming majority of employees of the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
in Canada. The harsh climate of Orkney
Orkney
and the Orcadian reputation for sobriety and their boat-handling skills made them ideal candidates for the rigours of the Canadian north.[60] During this period, burning kelp briefly became a mainstay of the islands' economy. For example, on Shapinsay
Shapinsay
over 3,048 tonnes (3,000 long tons) of burned seaweed were produced per annum to make soda ash, bringing in £20,000 to the local economy.[61] Agricultural improvements beginning in the 17th century coincided with the enclosure of the commons and in the Victoria era the emergence of large and well-managed farms using a five-shift rotation system and producing high quality beef cattle.[62] There is little evidence of an Orcadian fishing fleet until the 19th century but it grew rapidly and 700 boats were involved by the 1840s with Stronsay
Stronsay
and then later Stromness
Stromness
becoming leading centres of development.[63][Note 1] Many Orcadian seamen became involved in whaling in Arctic
Arctic
waters during the 19th century, although the boats were generally based elsewhere in Britain.[64] World Wars[edit]

The Italian Chapel
Italian Chapel
on Lamb Holm, built by POWs

Orkney
Orkney
was the site of a navy base at Scapa Flow, which played a major role in World War I. After the Armistice
Armistice
in 1918, the German High Seas Fleet was transferred in its entirety to Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
while a decision was to be made on its future; however, the German sailors opened their sea-cocks and scuttled all the ships. During World War I
World War I
the 10th Cruiser Squadron was stationed at Swarbacks Minn in Shetland
Shetland
and during a single year from March 1917 more than 4,500 ships sailed from Lerwick
Lerwick
as part of an escorted convoy system. In total, Shetland
Shetland
lost more than 500 men, a higher proportion than any other part of Britain, and there were waves of emigration in the 1920s and 1930s.[56][65] One month into World War II, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
battleship HMS Royal Oak was sunk by a German U-boat
U-boat
in Scapa Flow. As a result barriers were built to close most of the access channels; these had the additional advantage of creating causeways enabling travellers to go from island to island by road instead of being obliged to rely on ferries. The causeways were constructed by Italian prisoners of war, who also constructed the ornate Italian Chapel.[66] The Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
base was run down after the war, eventually closing in 1957.[67] During World War II
World War II
a Norwegian naval unit nicknamed the "Shetland Bus" was established by the Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
in the autumn of 1940 with a base first at Lunna and later in Scalloway
Scalloway
to conduct operations around the coast of Norway. About 30 fishing vessels used by Norwegian refugees were gathered and the Shetland
Shetland
Bus conducted covert operations, carrying intelligence agents, refugees, instructors for the resistance, and military supplies. It made over 200 trips across the sea with Leif Larsen, the most highly decorated allied naval officer of the war, making 52 of them.[68][69] The problem of a declining population was significant in the post-war years, although in the last decades of the 20th century there was a recovery and life in the islands focused on growing prosperity and the emergence of a relatively classless society.[67] Modern times[edit] Main articles: Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland Politics[edit] Due to their history, the islands have a Norse, rather than a Gaelic flavour, and have historic links with the Faroes, Iceland, and Norway. The similarities of both geography and history are matched by some elements of the current political process. Both Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland are represented in the House of Commons as constituting the Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
constituency, which elects one Member of Parliament (MP), the current incumbent being Alistair Carmichael.[70][71][72] Both are also within the Highlands and Islands electoral region for the Scottish Parliament. However there are also two separate constituencies that elect one Member of the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
each for Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
by the first past the post system.[73][74] Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
also have separate local Councils which are dominated by independents, that is they are not members of a political party.[75][76][77] The Orkney
Orkney
Movement, a political party that supported devolution for Orkney
Orkney
from the rest of Scotland, contested the 1987 general election as the Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
Movement (a coalition of the Orkney movement and its equivalent for Shetland). Their candidate, John Goodlad, came 4th with 3,095 votes, 14.5% of those cast, but the experiment has not been repeated.[78] Transport[edit]

NorthLink Ferries
NorthLink Ferries
MV Hamnavoe
MV Hamnavoe
at Scrabster
Scrabster
harbour

Ferry services link Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
to the rest of Scotland, the main routes being Scrabster
Scrabster
harbour, Thurso
Thurso
to Stromness
Stromness
and Aberdeen to Lerwick, both operated by NorthLink Ferries.[79][80] Inter-island ferry services are operated by Orkney
Orkney
Ferries and SIC Ferries, which are operated by the respective local authorities and Northlink also run a Lerwick
Lerwick
to Kirkwall
Kirkwall
service.[80][81] The archipelago is exposed to wind and tide, and there are numerous sites of wrecked ships. Lighthouses are sited as an aid to navigation at various locations.[82]

BN2 Islander being loaded with luggage at Papa Westray
Papa Westray
Airport

The main airport in Orkney
Orkney
is at Kirkwall, operated by Highland and Islands Airports. Loganair, a franchise of Flybe, provides services to the Scottish mainland (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness), as well as to Sumburgh Airport
Sumburgh Airport
in Shetland. Similar services fly from Sumburgh to the Scottish mainland.[80][83] Inter-Island flights are available from Kirkwall
Kirkwall
to several Orkney islands and from the Shetland
Shetland
Mainland to most of the inhabited islands including those from Tingwall Airport. There are frequent charter flights from Aberdeen
Aberdeen
to Scatsta
Scatsta
near Sullom Voe, which are used to transport oilfield workers and this small terminal has the fifth largest number of international passengers in Scotland.[84] The scheduled air service between Westray
Westray
and Papa Westray
Papa Westray
is reputedly the shortest in the world at two minutes' duration.[85] Economics[edit] The very different geologies of the two archipelagos have resulted in dissimilar local economies. In Shetland, the main revenue producers in Shetland
Shetland
are agriculture, aquaculture, fishing, renewable energy, the petroleum industry (offshore crude oil and natural gas production), the creative industries and tourism.[86] Oil and gas was first landed at Sullom Voe
Sullom Voe
in 1978, and it has subsequently become one of the largest oil terminals in Europe.[87] Taxes from the oil have increased public sector spending in Shetland
Shetland
on social welfare, art, sport, environmental measures and financial development. Three quarters of the islands' work force is employed in the service sector[88][89] and Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council alone accounted for 27.9% of output in 2003.[90][91] Fishing
Fishing
remains central to the islands' economy today, with the total catch being 75,767 tonnes (74,570 long tons; 83,519 short tons) in 2009, valued at over £73.2 million.[92]

ExxonMobil's Beryl alpha oil platform in the East Shetland
Shetland
Basin

By contrast, fishing has declined in Orkney
Orkney
since the 19th century and the impact of the oil industry has been much less significant. However, the soil of Orkney
Orkney
is generally very fertile and most of the land is taken up by farms, agriculture being by far the most important sector of the economy and providing employment for a quarter of the workforce.[93] More than 90% of agricultural land is used for grazing for sheep and cattle, with cereal production utilising about 4% (4,200 hectares (10,000 acres)), although woodland occupies only 134 hectares (330 acres).[94] Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
have significant wind and marine energy resources, and renewable energy has recently come into prominence. The European Marine Energy Centre is a Scottish Government-backed research facility that has installed a wave testing system at Billia Croo on the Orkney Mainland and a tidal power testing station on the island of Eday.[95] This has been described as "the first of its kind in the world set up to provide developers of wave and tidal energy devices with a purpose-built performance testing facility."[96] Culture[edit] The Northern Isles
Northern Isles
have a rich folklore. For example, there are many Orcadian tales concerning trows, a form of troll that draws on the islands' Scandinavian connections.[97] Local customs in the past included marriage ceremonies at the Odin Stone that forms part of the Stones of Stenness.[98] The best known literary figures from modern Orkney
Orkney
are the poet Edwin Muir, the poet and novelist George Mackay Brown and the novelist Eric Linklater.[99] Shetland
Shetland
has a strong tradition of local music. The Forty Fiddlers was formed in the 1950s to promote the traditional fiddle style, which is a vibrant part of local culture today.[100] Notable exponents of Shetland
Shetland
folk music include Aly Bain
Aly Bain
and the late Tom Anderson and Peerie Willie Johnson. Thomas Fraser was a country musician who never released a commercial recording during his life, but whose work has become popular more than 20 years after his untimely death in 1978.[101] Language[edit] The Norn language
Norn language
formerly spoken in the islands, a descendant of the Old Norse
Old Norse
of the Vikings, became extinct in the 18th or 19th century.[102][103] The local dialects of the Scots language, collectively known as Insular Scots, are highly distinctive and retain strong Norn influences.[104] Island names[edit] The etymology of the island names is dominated by Norse influence. There follows a listing of the derivation of all the inhabited islands in the Northern Isles. Shetland[edit] The oldest version of the modern name Shetland
Shetland
is Hetlandensis recorded in 1190 becoming Hetland in 1431 after various intermediate transformations.[105][106] This then became Hjaltland in the 16th century.[107] As Shetlandic Norn was gradually replaced by Scots Hjaltland became Ȝetland. When use of the letter yogh was discontinued, it was often replaced by the similar-looking letter z, hence Zetland, the mispronounced form used to describe the pre-1975 county council. However the earlier name is Innse Chat – the island of the cats (or the cat tribe) as referred to in early Irish literature and it is just possible that this forms part of the Norse name.[105][106] The Cat tribe also occupied parts of the northern Scottish mainland – hence the name of Caithness
Caithness
via the Norse Katanes ("headland of the cat"), and the Gaelic name for Sutherland, Cataibh, meaning "among the Cats".[108][109] The location of "Thule", first mentioned by Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massilia
Massilia
when he visited Britain sometime between 322 and 285 BC[110] is not known for certain. When Tacitus
Tacitus
mentioned it in AD 98 it is clear he was referring to Shetland.[111]

Island Derivation Language Meaning Alternatives

Bressay Breiðøy Norse broad island[112]

Bruray

Norse east isle[113] Norse: bruarøy – bridge island"[113]

East Burra

Scots/Norse east broch island[114]

Fair Isle Frioarøy Norse fair island[115] Norse: feoerøy – "far-off isle".[115]

Fetlar Unknown Pre-Celtic? Unknown Norse: fetill – "shoulder-straps"[116] or "fat land".[117] See also Funzie Girt.

Foula Fugløy Norse bird island[118]

Housay Húsøy Norse house isle[113]

Shetland
Shetland
Mainland Hetlandensis Norse/ Gaelic island of the cat people?[108] Perhaps originally from Gaelic: Innse Chat – see above[108]

Muckle Roe Rauðey Milkla Scots/Norse big red island[114]

Papa Stour Papøy Stóra Celtic/Norse big island of the priests[119]

Trondra

Norse boar island[120] Norse: "Þrondr's isle" or "Þraendir's isle". The first is a personal name, the second a tribal name from the Trondheim
Trondheim
area.[120]

Unst Unknown Pre-Celtic? Unknown Norse: omstr – "corn-stack"[116] or ørn-vist – "home of the eagle"[121]

Vaila Valøy Norse falcon island[122] Norse: "horse island", "battlefield island" or "round island"[122]

West Burra

Scots/Norse west broch island[114]

Whalsay Hvalsey Norse whale island[123]

Yell Unknown Pre-Celtic? Unknown Norse: í Ála – "deep furrow"[116] or Jala – "white island"[124]

Orkney[edit] Pytheas
Pytheas
described Great Britain
Great Britain
as being triangular in shape, with a northern tip called Orcas.[110] This may have referred to Dunnet Head, from which Orkney
Orkney
is visible.[125] Writing in the 1st century AD, the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela
Pomponius Mela
called the Orkney
Orkney
islands Orcades, as did Tacitus
Tacitus
in AD 98[125][126] "Orc" is usually interpreted as a Pictish tribal name meaning "young pig" or "young boar".[127] The old Irish Gaelic name for the islands was Insi Orc ("island of the pigs").[128][129][Note 2] The ogham script on the Buckquoy spindle-whorl is also cited as evidence for the pre-Norse existence of Old Irish in Orkney.[131] The Pictish association with Orkney
Orkney
is leant weight by the Norse name for the Pentland Firth
Pentland Firth
– Pettaland-fjörðr i.e "Pictland Firth.[109] The Norse retained the earlier root but changed the meaning, providing the only definite example of an adaption of a pre-Norse place name in the Northern Isles. The islands became Orkneyar meaning "seal islands".[132] An alternative name for Orkney
Orkney
is recorded in 1300—Hrossey, meaning "horse isle" and this may also contain a Pictish element of ros meaning "moor" or "plain".[105] Unlike most of the larger Orkney
Orkney
islands, the derivation of the name "Shapinsay" is not obvious. The final 'ay' is from the Old Norse
Old Norse
for island, but the first two syllables are more difficult to interpret. Haswell-Smith (2004) suggests the root may be hjalpandis-øy (helpful island) due to the presence of a good harbour, although anchorages are plentiful in the archipelago.[133] The first written record dates from 1375 in a reference to Scalpandisay, which may suggest a derivation from "judge's island". Another suggestion is "Hyalpandi's island", although no one of that name is known to have been associated with Shapinsay.[134]

Island Derivation Language Meaning Alternatives

Auskerry Østr sker Norse east skerry[135]

Burray Borgrøy Norse broch island[136]

Eday Eidøy Norse isthmus island[137]

Egilsay Égillsey Norse or Gaelic Egil's island[138] Possibly from Gaelic eaglais" – church island[139]

Flotta Flottøy Norse flat, grassy isle[140]

Gairsay Gáreksøy Norse Gárekr's isle[141]

Graemsay Grims-øy Norse Grim's island[142]

Holm of Grimbister

Norse Small and rounded islet of Grim's farm

Hoy Háøy Norse high island[143]

Inner Holm

English/Norse inner rounded islet

North Ronaldsay Rinansøy Norse Uncertain – possibly "Ringa's isle"[144]

Orkney
Orkney
Mainland Orcades Various isle(s) of the young pig[127] See above

Papa Stronsay Papey Minni Norse priest isle of Stronsay[145] The Norse name is literally "little priest isle"[145]

Papa Westray Papey Meiri Norse priest isle of Westray[146] The Norse name is literally "big priest isle"[146]

Rousay Hrólfsøy Norse Hrólfs island[147]

Sanday Sandøy Norse sand island[148]

Shapinsay

Unknown Possibly "helpful island"[133] See above

South Ronaldsay Rognvaldsey Norse Rognvald's island[136]

South Walls Sooth Was Scots/Norse "southern voes" "Voe" means fjord. Possibly "south bays".

Stronsay Possibly Strjónsøy Norse good fishing and farming island[149]

Westray Vestrøy Norse western island[150]

Wyre Vigr Norse spear-like island[151]

Uninhabited islands[edit] Stroma, from the Norse Straumøy[152] means "current island"[153] or "island in the tidal stream",[152] a reference to the strong currents in the Pentland Firth. The Norse often gave animal names to islands and these have been transferred into English in for example, the Calf of Flotta
Flotta
and Horse of Copinsay. Brother Isle
Brother Isle
is an anglicisation of the Norse breiðareøy meaning "broad beach island".[154] The Norse holmr, meaning "a small islet" has become "Holm" in English and there are numerous examples of this use including Corn Holm, Thieves Holm and Little Holm. "Muckle" meaning large or big is one of few Scots words in the island names of the Nordreyar and appears in Muckle Roe and Muckle Flugga
Muckle Flugga
in Shetland
Shetland
and Muckle Green Holm
Muckle Green Holm
and Muckle Skerry in Orkney. Many small islets and skerries have Scots or Insular Scots names such as Da Skerries o da Rokness and Da Buddle Stane in Shetland, and Kirk Rocks in Orkney. See also[edit]

Kingdom of the Isles

References[edit]

Notes

^ Coull (2003) quotes the old saying that an Orcadian is a farmer with a boat, in contrast to a Shetlander, who is a fisherman with a croft.[63] ^ The proto-Celtic root *φorko-, can mean either pig or salmon, thus giving an alternative of "island(s) of (the) salmon".[130]

Footnotes

^ General Register Office for Scotland
Scotland
(28 November 2003) Scotland's Census 2001 – Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands. Retrieved 26 February 2012. ^ National Records of Scotland
Scotland
(15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland
Scotland
- Release 1C (Part Two). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland’s inhabited islands". Retrieved 17 August 2013. ^ "Clarence G Sinclair: Mell Head, Stroma, Pentland Firth" Archived 6 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Scotland's Places. Retrieved 27 May 2011. ^ "Northern Isles" Archived 11 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. MSN Encarta. Retrieved 31 May 2011. ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) pp. 334, 502 ^ " Orkney
Orkney
Islands" Vision of Britain. Retrieved 21 September 2009. ^ Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council (2010) p. 4 ^ "Visit Shetland". Visit.Shetland.org Retrieved 25 December 2010. ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) pp. 336–403 ^ General Register Office for Scotland
Scotland
(2003) ^ Marshall, J.E.A., & Hewett, A.J. "Devonian" in Evans, D., Graham C., Armour, A., & Bathurst, P. (eds) (2003) The Millennium Atlas: petroleum geology of the central and northern North Sea. ^ Hall, Adrian and Brown, John (September 2005) "Basement Geology". Retrieved 10 November 2008. ^ Odling, N.W.A. (2000) "Point of Ayre". (pdf) "Caledonian Igneous Rocks of Great Britain: Late Silurian and Devonian
Devonian
volcanic rocks of Scotland". Geological Conservation Review 17 : Chapter 9, p. 2731. JNCC. Retrieved 4 October 2009. ^ Hall, Adrian and Brown, John (September 2005) " Orkney
Orkney
Landscapes: Permian
Permian
dykes" Archived 21 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 4 October 2009. ^ Brown, John Flett "Geology and Landscape" in Omand (2003) p. 10. ^ Gillen (2003) pp. 90–91 ^ Keay & Keay (1994) p. 867 ^ Smith, David " Tsunami
Tsunami
hazards". Fettes.com. Retrieved 7 March 2011. ^ a b c Chalmers, Jim "Agriculture in Orkney
Orkney
Today" in Omand (2003) p. 129. ^ a b c "Shetland, Scotland
Scotland
Climate" climatetemp.info Retrieved 26 November 2010. Archived 15 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b c Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council (2005) pp. 5–9 ^ "Northern Scotland: climate" Archived 13 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Met office. Retrieved 18 June 2011. ^ "The Climate of Orkney" Orkneyjar. Retrieved 18 June 2011. ^ "Burradale Wind Farm Shetland
Shetland
Islands". REUK.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2011. ^ "About the Orkney
Orkney
Islands". Orkneyjar. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ "The Weather!". shetlandtourism.com. Retrieved 14 March 2011. Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ John Vetterlein (21 December 2006). "Sky Notes: Aurora Borealis Gallery". Retrieved 9 September 2009.  ^ "Heart of Neolithic
Neolithic
Orkney" UNESCO. Retrieved 29 August 2008. ^ Wickham-Jones (2007) p. 40 ^ Armit (2006) pp. 31–33 ^ "The Knap of Howar" Archived 8 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Orkney
Orkney
Archaeological Trust. Retrieved 27 August 2008. ^ Turner (1998) p. 18 ^ Turner (1998) p. 26 ^ "Feltlar, Funziegirt" Archived 6 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ScotlandsPlaces. Retrieved 1 May 2011. ^ Fojut, Noel (1981) "Is Mousa a broch?" Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 111 pp. 220–228 ^ "From Chatham to Chester and Lincoln to the Lake District – 38 UK places put themselves forward for World Heritage status" (7 July 2010) Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Retrieved 7 March 2011. ^ "Sites make Unesco world heritage status bid shortlist" (22 March 2011) BBC Scotland. Retrieved 22 March 2011. ^ Hunter (2000) pp. 44, 49 ^ Wickham-Jones (2007) pp. 106–07 ^ Ritchie, Anna "The Picts" in Omand (2003) p. 39 ^ O'Dell, A. et al (December 1959) "The St Ninian's Isle
St Ninian's Isle
Silver Hoard". Antiquity 33 No 132. ^ O'Dell, A. St. Ninian's Isle Treasure. A Silver Hoard Discovered on St. Ninian's Isle, Zetland on 4th July, 1958. Aberdeen
Aberdeen
University Studies. No. 141. ^ Wickham-Jones (2007) p. 108 ^ Ritchie, Anna "The Picts" in Omand (2003) p. 42 ^ a b Thomson (2008) p. 69. quoting the Orkneyinga Saga
Orkneyinga Saga
chapter 12. ^ Schei (2006) pp. 11–12 ^ Thomson (2008) p. 24-27 ^ Watt, D.E.R., (ed.) (1969) Fasti Ecclesia Scoticanae Medii Aevii ad annum 1638. Scottish Records Society. p. 247 ^ Crawford, Barbara E. " Orkney
Orkney
in the Middle Ages" in Omand (2003) pp. 72–73 ^ Nicolson (1972) p. 44 ^ Nicolson (1972) p. 45 ^ Schei (2006) pp. 14–16 ^ Nicolson (1972) pp. 56–57 ^ "History". visit.shetland.org. Retrieved 20 March 2011. ^ Ursula Smith" Shetlopedia. Retrieved 12 October 2008. ^ a b Schei (2006) pp. 16–17, 57 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Sch16" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). ^ "A History of Shetland" Visit.Shetland.org ^ Thompson (2008) p. 183 ^ Crawford, Barbara E. " Orkney
Orkney
in the Middle Ages" in Omand (2003) pp. 78–79 ^ Thompson (2008) pp. 371–72 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) pp. 364–65 ^ Thomson, William P. L. "Agricultural Improvement" in Omand (2003) pp. 93, 99 ^ a b Coull, James "Fishing" in Omand (2003) pp. 144–55 ^ Troup, James A. "Stromness" in Omand (2003) p. 238 ^ Nicolson (1972) pp. 91, 94–95 ^ Thomson (2008) pp. 434–36. ^ a b Thomson (2008) pp. 439–43. ^ "Shetlands-Larsen – Statue/monument" Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Kulturnett Hordaland. (Norwegian.) Retrieved 26 March 2011. ^ "The Shetland
Shetland
Bus" Archived 23 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. scotsatwar.org.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2011. ^ "Alistair Carmichael: MP for Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland" alistaircarmichael.org.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2009. ^ "Candidates and Constituency Assessments". alba.org.uk – "The almanac of Scottish elections and politics". Retrieved 9 February 2010. Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "The Untouchable Orkney
Orkney
& Shetland
Shetland
Isles " (1 October 2009) www.snptacticalvoting.com Retrieved 9 February 2010. Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Highlands and Islands-Constituencies and members: Orkney
Orkney
Islands". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 15 September 2014.  ^ "Highlands and Islands-Constituencies and members: Shetland Islands". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 15 September 2014.  ^ "Social Work Inspection Agency: Performance Inspection Orkney Islands Council 2006. Chapter 2: Context." The Scottish Government. Retrieved 8 September 2009. ^ MacMahon, Peter and Walker, Helen (18 May 2007) "Winds of change sweep Scots town halls". Edinburgh. The Scotsman. ^ "Political Groups" Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council. Retrieved 23 April 2010. ^ "Candidates and Constituency Assessments: Orkney
Orkney
(Highland Region)" alba.org.uk. Retrieved 11 January 2008. Archived 15 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Corporate information: About us". Serco NorthLink Ferries. Retrieved 15 September 2014.  ^ a b c "Travel: To Scotland: Orkney: Getting Here". Visit Scotland. Retrieved 15 September 2014.  ^ "Ferries". Shetland.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 May 2011. ^ " Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Library" Northern Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Board. Retrieved 8 July 2010. ^ "Sumburgh Airport" Highlands and Islands Airports. Retrieved 16 March 2011. ^ "UK Airport Statistics: 2005 – Annual" Archived 11 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Table 10: EU and Other International Terminal Passenger Comparison with Previous Year. (pdf) CAA. Retrieved 16 March 2011. ^ "Getting Here" Westray
Westray
and Papa Westray
Papa Westray
Craft and Tourist Associations. Retrieved 18 June 2011. ^ "Economy". move.shetland.org Retrieved 19 March 2011. ^ "Asset Portfolio: Sullom Voe
Sullom Voe
Termonal" (pdf) BP. Retrieved 19 March 2011. Archived 8 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council (2010) p. 13 ^ "Shetland's Economy". Visit.Shetland.org. Retrieved 19 March 2011. ^ Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council (2005) p. 13 ^ "Public Sector". move.shetland.org. Retrieved 19 March 2011. ^ Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council (2010) pp. 16–17 ^ Chalmers, Jim "Agriculture in Orkney
Orkney
Today" in Omand (2003) p. 127, 133 quoting the Scottish Executive Agricultural Census of 2001 and stating that 80% of the land area is farmed if rough grazing is included. ^ " Orkney
Orkney
Economic Review No. 23." (2008) Kirkwall. Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council. ^ "European Marine Energy Centre". Retrieved 3 February 2007.  ^ "Pelamis wave energy project Information sheet" Archived 15 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. (pdf) E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Ltd. Retrieved 18 June 2011. ^ "The Trows". Orkneyjar. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ Muir, Tom "Customs and Traditions" in Omand (2003) p. 270 ^ Drever, David " Orkney
Orkney
Literature" in Omand (2003) p. 257 ^ "The Forty Fiddlers" Shetlopedia. Retrieved 8 March 2011. ^ Culshaw, Peter (18 June 2006) " The Tale of Thomas Fraser" guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2011. ^ "Insular Scots". Scots Language Centre. Retrieved January 11, 2015.  ^ Glanville Price, The Languages of Britain (London: Edward Arnold 1984, ISBN 978-0-7131-6452-7), p. 203 ^ McColl Millar. 2007. Northern and Insular Scots. Edinburgh: University Press Ltd. p.5 ^ a b c Gammeltoft (2010) p. 21 ^ a b Sandnes (2010) p. 9 ^ Gammeltoft (2010) p. 22 ^ a b c Gammeltoft (2010) p. 9 ^ a b Watson (1994) p. 30 ^ a b Breeze, David J. "The ancient geography of Scotland" in Smith and Banks (2002) pp. 11–13 ^ Watson (1994) p. 7 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 425 ^ a b c Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 459 ^ a b c Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 433 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 408 ^ a b c Gammeltoft (2010) pp. 19–20 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 471 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 419 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 449 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 434 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 481 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 430 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 452 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 467 ^ a b "Early Historical References to Orkney" Orkneyjar.com. Retrieved 27 June 2009. ^ Tacitus
Tacitus
(c. 98) Agricola. Chapter 10. "ac simul incognitas ad id tempus insulas, quas Orcadas vocant, invenit domuitque". ^ a b Waugh, Doreen J. " Orkney
Orkney
Place-names" in Omand (2003) p. 116 ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959) Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 3 July 2009. ^ "The Origin of Orkney" Orkneyjar.com. Retrieved 27 June 2009. ^ "Proto-Celtic – English Word List" (pdf) (12 June 2002) University of Wales. p. 101 ^ Forsyth, Katherine (1995). "The ogham-inscribed spindle-whorl from Buckquoy: evidence for the Irish language
Irish language
in pre- Viking
Viking
Orkney?" (PDF). Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. ARCHway. 125: 677–96. Retrieved 27 July 2007.  ^ Gammeltoft (2010) pp. 8–9 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 364 ^ " Orkney
Orkney
Placenames" Orkneyjar. Retrieved 10 October 2007. ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 363 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 354 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 386 ^ Gammeltoft (2010) p. 16 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 379 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 341 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 367 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 352 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 343 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 400 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 376 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 397 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 383 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 392 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 370 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 394 ^ Gammeltoft (2010) p. 18 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 336 ^ Mac an Tàilleir (2003) p. 109 ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 465

General references

Armit, Ian (2006) Scotland's Hidden History. Stroud. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3764-X Ballin Smith, B. and Banks, I. (eds) (2002) In the Shadow of the Brochs, the Iron Age
Iron Age
in Scotland. Stroud. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2517-X Clarkson, Tim (2008) The Picts: A History. Stroud. The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-4392-8 Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.  Gammeltoft, Peder (2010) " Shetland
Shetland
and Orkney
Orkney
Island-Names – A Dynamic Group". Northern Lights, Northern Words. Selected Papers from the FRLSU Conference, Kirkwall
Kirkwall
2009, edited by Robert McColl Millar. General Register Office for Scotland
Scotland
(28 November 2003) Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands. Retrieved 22 January 2011. Gillen, Con (2003) Geology and landscapes of Scotland. Harpenden. Terra Publishing. ISBN 1-903544-09-2 Keay, J. & Keay, J. (1994) Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland. London. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255082-2 Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003) Ainmean-àite/Placenames. (pdf) Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 26 August 2012.

Omand, Donald (ed.) (2003) The Orkney
Orkney
Book. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-254-9 Nicolson, James R. (1972) Shetland. Newton Abbott. David & Charles. Sandnes, Berit (2003) From Starafjall to Starling Hill: An investigation of the formation and development of Old Norse place-names in Orkney. (pdf) Doctoral Dissertation, NTU Trondheim. Sandnes, Berit (2010) "Linguistic patterns in the place-names of Norway
Norway
and the Northern Isles" Northern Lights, Northern Words. Selected Papers from the FRLSU Conference, Kirkwall
Kirkwall
2009, edited by Robert McColl Millar. Schei, Liv Kjørsvik (2006) The Shetland
Shetland
Isles. Grantown-on-Spey. Colin Baxter Photography. ISBN 978-1-84107-330-9 Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council (2010) " Shetland
Shetland
in Statistics 2010" (pdf) Economic Development Unit. Lerwick. Retrieved 6 March 2011 Thomson, William P. L. (2008) The New History of Orkney
Orkney
Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 978-1-84158-696-0 Turner, Val (1998) Ancient Shetland. London. B. T. Batsford/Historic Scotland. ISBN 0-7134-8000-9 Wickham-Jones, Caroline (2007) Orkney: A Historical Guide. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-596-3 Watson, W. J. (1994) The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-323-5. First published 1926.

v t e

Islands of Scotland

Geography

Northern Isles

Shetland

list

Orkney

list

Hebrides

Outer Hebrides

list

Inner Hebrides

list

St Kilda

Other

Islands of the Clyde Islands of the Forth Freshwater Islands Outlying Islands

Prehistory

Prehistoric Orkney

Heart of Neolithic
Neolithic
Orkney
Orkney
World Heritage Site: Maeshowe Ness of Brodgar Ring of Brodgar Skara Brae Standing Stones of Stenness

Prehistoric Shetland

Crucible of Iron Age
Iron Age
Shetland: Broch
Broch
of Mousa Jarlshof Old Scatness

Prehistoric Western Isles

Callanish Stones Dun Carloway Rubha an Dùnain Dun Nosebridge

History

Dál Riata

Columba

Kingdom of the Isles

Scandinavian Scotland Rulers of the Kingdom of the Isles Bishop of the Isles

Lordship of the Isles

Treaty of Perth Treaty of Ardtornish-Westminster Finlaggan

Earldom of Orkney

Buckquoy spindle-whorl Udal law

18th and 19th Century

Clearances Jacobite risings Flora MacDonald

Literature

Orkneyinga Saga Description of the Western Isles of Scotland
Scotland
(Monro) A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland
Scotland
(Martin) A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland
Scotland
(Johnson) The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
Hebrides
(Boswell)

Etymology

General

Scottish island names Northern Isles Hebrides Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba

Specific

Arran Gigha Skye St Kilda

Economy

Towns

Kirkwall Lerwick Rothesay Stornoway Stromness

Agencies

Community Energy Scotland Crofters Commission DTA Scotland Highlands and Islands Enterprise Scottish Islands Federation

Oil industry

Flotta Sullom Voe

Culture

Shetland

Aly Bain Thomas Fraser Peerie Willie Johnson Shetland
Shetland
Amenity Trust Up Helly Aa Vagaland

Orkney

George Mackay Brown Peter Maxwell Davies F. Marian McNeill Kirkwall
Kirkwall
Ba game Orkney
Orkney
Heritage Society St Magnus Festival

Outer Hebrides

Compton Mackenzie Fèis Bharraigh Free Church of Scotland Iain Crichton Smith

Inner Hebrides

Islay whisky Runrig Sorley MacLean West Highland Free Press

Politics

Local authorities

Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Highland Council Argyll and Bute North Ayrshire

Wildlife

Fauna

Fair Isle
Fair Isle
wren Orkney
Orkney
vole Shetland
Shetland
wren St Kilda field mouse St Kilda wren

Flora

Arran whitebeams Scottish Primrose Shetland
Shetland
Mouse-ear

Domesticated animals

Cairn Terrier Eriskay Pony Hebridean Blackface Luing cattle North Ronaldsay
North Ronaldsay
sheep Scottie Sheltie Shetland
Shetland
cattle Shetland
Shetland
Goose Shetland
Shetland
pony Shetland
Shetland
sheep Soay sheep Westie

Geology

Shetland

Geopark Shetland

Geology of Orkney

Eday
Eday
Group Orcadian Basin Yesnaby Sandstone Group

Hebrides

Colonsay Group Great Estuarine Group Hebridean Terrane Lewisian complex Lorne plateau lavas Moine Supergroup Moine Thrust Belt Rhinns complex Skye Staffa Torridonian

Islands of the Clyde

Highland Boundary Fault

v t e

British Isles

Terminology

Alba Albion Prydain Britain Éire Hibernia

Naming dispute

Politics

Sovereign states

Ireland United Kingdom
United Kingdom
(England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales)

Crown dependencies

Guernsey Jersey Isle of Man Sark

Political cooperation

Ireland– United Kingdom
United Kingdom
relations British–Irish Council British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly Common Travel Area

Geography

Island groups

Channel Islands Islands of the Clyde Great Britain Hebrides

Inner Outer

Ireland Isle of Man Northern Isles

Orkney Shetland

Isles of Scilly

Lists of islands of

Bailiwick of Guernsey Ireland Bailiwick of Jersey Isle of Man United Kingdom

England Scotland Wales

History

Island groups

Ireland

Current states

Ireland United Kingdom

England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

Guernsey Jersey Isle of Man

Former states

Irish Free State Kingdom of England

Principality of Wales

Kingdom of Great Britain Kingdom of Ireland Kingdom of Scotland United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland

Society

Modern languages

Germanic

English Scots

Celtic

Cornish Scottish Gaelic Irish Manx Welsh

Romance

Auregnais French Guernésiais Jèrriais Sercquiais

Other

British Sign Language Irish Sign Language Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Sign Language Shelta

People

British Cornish English English Gypsies Irish Irish Travellers Kale Manx Northern Irish Scottish

.