Theme Week Outer Hebrides – Benbecula

Friday, 25 August 2023 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Benbecula Beach © geograph.org.uk - Richard Webb/cc-by-sa-2.0

Benbecula Beach © geograph.org.uk – Richard Webb/cc-by-sa-2.0

Benbecula (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn nam Fadhla or Beinn na Faoghla) is an island of the Outer Hebrides in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Scotland. In the 2011 census, it had a resident population of 1,283 with a sizable percentage of Roman Catholics. It is in a zone administered by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar or the Western Isles Council. The island is about 12 kilometres (7 miles) from west to east and a similar distance from north to south. It lies between the islands of North Uist and South Uist and is connected to both by road causeways. Benbecula’s main settlement and administrative centre is Balivanich (Scottish Gaelic: Baile a’ Mhanaich, meaning “Town of the Monk”).

In 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie was caught in a storm and forced to land on Benbecula. The population of Benbecula were sympathetic to the Jacobite cause, and smuggled him off the island to safety, as the song has it: “over the sea to Skye”.

Benbecula’s main settlement is Balivanich (Scottish Gaelic: Baile a’ Mhanaich, meaning “Town of the Monk”) in the northwest. It is the main administrative centre for Benbecula, North Uist, South Uist and nearby islands, and has the council offices and the administrative centre for the artillery Deep Sea Range on South Uist, which is managed by QinetiQ. The village is also home to the airport and the island’s bank. Other settlements include Craigstrome, a tiny hamlet in the south-east of Benbecula. In contrast to the cultivated west coast of the island, the eastern half is a mixture of freshwater lochs, moorland, bog and deeply indenting sea lochs. Craigstrome is near Ruabhal, Benbecula’s highest hill at 124 metres (407 ft). The township of Lionacleit houses the island’s main secondary school, which also doubles as a community centre, with a swimming pool, cafeteria, sports facilities, a small museum and a library. Next door to this is the Lionacleit campus of Lews Castle College. Lionacleit lies on the west coast road, about 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) from its junction with the north–south spinal road near Creagorry. Creagorry is in the south of the island, near the causeway to South Uist. The Co-op here is the main supermarket for the south of the island and for the north of South Uist. Borve Castle is near Lionacleit. The RAF radar station RRH Benbecula monitors the northern Atlantic, but is located on the west coast of North Uist.

© Lesbardd/cc-by-sa-4.0 Balivanich and Benbecula airport © geograph.org.uk - Neil King/cc-by-sa-2.0 Loch Ba Una © geograph.org.uk - Rupert Fleetingl/cc-by-sa-2.0 Fish cages © geograph.org.uk - Dave Fergusson/cc-by-sa-2.0 Loch Langabhat © geograph.org.uk - Stuart Wilding/cc-by-sa-2.0 Benbecula Beach © geograph.org.uk - Richard Webb/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Balivanich and Benbecula airport © geograph.org.uk - Neil King/cc-by-sa-2.0
In addition to South and North Uist, there are numerous islands off the north, east and south coasts. To the north of Balivanich is Baleshare, and further east is Flodaigh, which is connected to Benbecula by another causeway. Beyond Flodaigh are Grimsay and Ronay. Off the east coast there are numerous small islands in Loch Uisgebhagh and beyond, including Bearran and Orasaigh Uisgeabhagh. Eileanan Chearabhaigh in the south east have a total area of 100 hectares (250 acres) spread over several islands, the largest of which is about 31 hectares (77 acres) in extent. Further south is the larger Wiay and west from there a profusion of skerries and small islands lie to the north of Bagh nam Faoileann. These include Fraoch-eilean, a second Grimsay, Fodragaigh, Eilean na Cille and Triallabreac.

In 2001 the census recorded a population of 1,219 the 2011 total of 1,303 being an increase of 7% against an average of 3% for all Scottish islands. A contributor to the economy is the air defence station. The site near Balvanich also includes Benbecula Airport, with regular flights to Glasgow, Inverness, and Stornoway. After a protracted campaign, local residents took control of parts of the island on 30 November 2006 in a community buy-out. The previous landowners, a sporting syndicate, sold the assets of the 372-square-kilometre (92,000-acre) estate including Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay for £4.5 million to a community-owned organisation known as Stòras Uibhist which was set up to purchase the land and to manage it in perpetuity.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on VisitOuterHebrides.co.uk – Benbecula, Wikipedia Benbecula and Wikipedia Benbecula. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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