Raasay, Kyle, UK
Raasay (/ˈrɑːseɪ/; Scottish Gaelic: Ratharsair) or the Isle of Raasay is an island between the Isle of Skye and the mainland of Scotland. It is separated from Skye by the Sound of Raasay and 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, which is now largely in public ownership. Raasay House, which was visited by James Boswell and Samuel Johnson in 1773, is now a hotel, restaurant, bar and outdoor activity centre. Raasay means "Isle of the Roe Deer" and is home to an endemic subspecies of bank vole. The current Chief of the Island is Roderick John Macleod of Raasay.
Stromeferry, Strome Ferry, UK
Stromeferry (Scottish Gaelic: Port an t-Sròim) is a village, located on the south shore of the west coast sea loch, Loch Carron, in western Ross-shire, Scottish Highlands and is in the Scottish council area of Highland. Its name reflects its former role as the location of one of the many coastal ferry services which existed prior to the expansion of the road network in the 20th century.
It is served by Stromeferry railway station and is close to the A890 road. Stromeferry is on the southern bank of Loch Carron; Strome Castle is opposite on the northern bank.
The village is referred to in Iain Banks's novel Complicity, where the narrator describes the road sign marking the village, which states "Strome Ferry (No ferry)".
Some local shinty players once competed as "Stromeferry (No Ferry) United".
The village has been subject of various development proposals focussing on the derelict hotel. In November 2007, W.A. Fairhurst & Partners, on behalf of the Helmsley Group, secured an outline planning consent for reinstating the hotel and building a number of new homes.
formerly the community had two church congregations, the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland. Both have subsequently united with other congregations, and the buildings transferred to private usage. The Church of Scotland building was closed in 1989.
Bealach na Bà, Strathcarron, UK
Bealach na Bà
Bealach na Bà is a winding single track road through the mountains of the Applecross peninsula, in Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands. The Bealach na Bà is just one feature on this road, being its highest point and site of several corries. The historic mountain pass was built in 1822 and is engineered similarly to roads through the great mountain passes in the Alps, with very tight hairpin bends that switch back and forth up the hillside and gradients that approach 20%. It has the steepest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level at Applecross to 626 metres (2,054 ft), and is the third highest road in Scotland.
The name is Scottish Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle, as it was historically used as a drovers' road. Bealach na Ba is pronounced Bee-al-uch nu Ba(h).
The Bealach, as it is known for short, is considered unsuitable for learner drivers and very large vehicles. The route is often impassable in winter. According to Country Life (magazine), "the single-track, historic drovers’ lane travels up, down and around hairpins through the mountains of the remote Applecross peninsula as if they were the Alps and, at Bealach na Bà (‘pass of the cattle’), features the steepest ascent of any road in the UK".