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A' Ghàidhealtachd
Highland in Scotland.svg
Coat of arms of Highland A' Ghàidhealtachd Hieland
Coat of arms
Official logo of Highland A' Ghàidhealtachd Hieland
Coordinates: 57°30′N 5°00′W / 57.5, -5Coordinates: 57°30′N 5°00′W / 57.5, -5
Admin HQ Inverness
 • Body The Highland Council
(Comhairle na Gaidhealtachd
 • Control Independent/Scottish National Party])
 • MPs *Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross: John Thurso
  • Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey: Danny Alexander
  • Ross, Skye and Lochaber: Charles Kennedy
 • MSPs *Caithness, Sutherland and Ross: Rob Gibson
  • Inverness and Nairn: Fergus Ewing
  • Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch: Dave Thompson
  • Highlands and Islands: John Finnie, Rhoda Grant, Mike MacKenzie, Jamie McGrigor, Mary Scanlon, David Stewart and Jean Urquhart
 • Total 11,838 sq mi (30,659 km2)
Area rank Ranked 1st
Population (2010 est.)
 • Total 215,300
 • Rank Ranked 7th
 • Density 20/sq mi (8/km2)
ONS code 00QT
ISO 3166 code GB-HLD

Highland (Scottish Gaelic: A' Ghàidhealtachd; pronounced [kɛːəlˠ̪t̪əxk])[1] is a council area in the Scottish Highlands and is the largest local government area in the United Kingdom. It shares borders with the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Moray and Perth and Kinross. Their councils, and those of Angus and Stirling, also have areas of the Scottish Highlands within their administrative boundaries. The Highland area covers most of the mainland and inner-Hebridean parts of the former counties of Inverness-shire and Ross and Cromarty, all of Caithness, Nairnshire and Sutherland and small parts of Argyll and Moray.


Topographic map of Highland Council

The area was created as a two-tier region in 1975, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, with an elected council for the whole region and, in addition, elected councils for each of eight districts, Badenoch and Strathspey, Caithness, Inverness, Lochaber, Nairn, Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh and Sutherland. The act also abolished county and burgh councils. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the Highland Regional Council and the district councils were wound up and their functions were transferred to a new Highland Council. The Highland Council adopted the districts as management areas and created area committees to represent them. However, the boundaries of committee areas ceased to be aligned exactly with those of management areas as a result of changes to ward boundaries in 1999. Ward boundaries changed again in 2007, and the management areas and related committees have now been abolished in favour of three new corporate management areas, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey; and Ross, Skye and Lochaber. The names of these areas are also names of constituencies, but boundaries are different.

To many people within the area, using the name Highland as a noun sounds wrong. Dingwall in Highland, for example, sounds strange and is not idiomatic usage. To refer specifically to the area covered by the council, people tend to say the Highland Council area or the Highland area or the Highland region. Otherwise they tend to use the traditional county names, such as Ross-shire. Highlands sometimes refers to the Highland council area. More usually it refers to a somewhat larger or overlapping area.

The Highland Council headquarters is located in Inverness with most previous district council offices retained as outstations.

As pointed out by one Chief Constable of Northern Constabulary "The area of Highland (30,659 is larger than that of the state of Belgium (30,528"



The Highland Council represents 22 wards, of which each elects three or four councillors by the single transferable vote system of election, to produce a form of proportional representation in a council of 80 members.

Political representation[]

The most recent general election of the council was on 3 May 2012, and resulted in a coalition administration formed by all three political parties on the council, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party. The Coalition has 45 councillors and the other 35 councillors are Independents.

Template:Highland Council political representation

Members of the Scottish Parliament[]

For elections to the Scottish Parliament the Highland area is within the Highlands and Islands electoral area, which elects eight first past the post constituency Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and seven additional member MSPs. Three of the region's constituencies, each electing one MSP, are within the Highland area: Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, Inverness and Nairn and Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.

Members of Parliament[]

In the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom the Highland area is represented by Members of Parliament (MPs) elected from three constituencies: Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey; and Ross, Skye and Lochaber. Each constituency elects one MP by the first past the post system of election.

Towns and villages in the Highland Council Area[]

  • Alness (Anas), Altnaharra (Allt-na-h-Aire), Applecross (A' Chomraich), Ardersier (Àird nan Saor), Ardgour (Àirde Gobhar), Ardnamurchan (Àird nam murchan), Aviemore (An Aghaidh Mhòr), Avoch (Abhach)
  • Back of Keppoch (A'Cheapaich), Ballachulish (Baile a' Chaolais), Beauly (A' Mhanachainn), Bettyhill (Am Blàran Odhar), (the) Black Isle (An t-Eilean Dubh), Broadford (An t-Àth Leathann), Brora (Brùra)
  • Cromarty (Cromba), Culloden (Cul Lodan / Cùil-lodair)
  • Dalwhinnie (Dail Chuinnidh), Dingwall (Inbhir Pheofharain), Dornie (An Dòrnaidh), Dornoch (Dòrnach), Drumnadrochit (Druim na Droichaid), Durness (Diuranais), Duror (of Appin) (Aphainn Duror)
  • Fearn (Manachainn Rois), Fort Augustus (Cill Chuimein), Fortrose (A' Chananaich), Fort William (An Gearasdan)
  • Gairloch (Geàrrloch), Glencoe (Gleann Comhann), Glenfinnan (Gleann Fionnan), Golspie (Goillspidh)
  • Helmsdale (Bun Ilidh)
  • Invergarry (Inbhir Garadh), Invergordon (Inbhir Ghòrdain), Inverie (Inbhir Iodh), Invermoriston (Inbhir Mhoireastain), Inverness (Inbhir Nis)
  • John o' Groats (Taigh Iain Ghròt)
  • Kingussie (Ceann-à-Ghiùbhsaich), Kinlochbervie (Ceann Loch Biorbhaidh), Kinlochleven (Ceann Loch Lìobhann), Knoydart (Cnòideart)Kyle of Lochalsh (Caol Loch Aillse)
  • Lochinver (Loch an Inbhir)
  • Mallaig (Malaig), Muir of Ord (am Blàr dubh)
  • Nairn (Inbhir Narann), Newtonmore (Baile Ùr an t-Slèibh)
  • North Ballachulish (Baile a' Chaolais air Tuath)
  • Onich (Oùnich)
  • Plockton (Am Ploc), Portmahomack (Port Mo-Chalmaig), Portree (Port Rìgh)
  • Rosemarkie (Ros Maircnidh), Roy Bridge (an Drochaid Ruaraidh)
  • Spean Bridge (an Droichaid Spean), Strathpeffer (Srath Pheofhair), Strontian (Sròn an t-Sìthein)
  • Tain (Baile Dhubhthaich), Thurso (Inbhir Theòrsa), Tongue (Tunga), Torridon (Toirbheartan)
  • Ullapool (Ullapul)
  • Wick (Inbhir Ùige)

See also[]

  • Scottish Highlands
  • List of places in Highland
  • List of places in Argyll and Bute
  • List of places in Perth and Kinross
  • List of places in Moray
  • List of places in the Western Isles


  1. ^ Gàidhealtachd is used to translate Highland; in other contexts it is used to translate Scottish Highlands and Gaeldom

External links[]

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Template:Former local government regions of Scotland

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Highland (council area). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.