|Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Eilg|
Glenelg shown within the Ross and Cromarty area
|OS grid reference|
|Lieutenancy area||Ross and Cromarty|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Ross, Skye and Lochaber|
|Scottish Parliament||Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch|
Glenelg (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Eilg) is a village and civil parish in the Lochalsh area of Highland in western Scotland. The parish covers a large area including Knoydart, North Morar and the ferry port of Mallaig. At the 2001 census it had a population of 1,507. The smaller "settlement zone" around the village had a population of 283. In 2011 Highland Council estimated that the community of Glenelg and Arnisdale had a population of 291.
Glenelg is located by the Kyle Rhea narrows, where the Isle of Skye is closest to the mainland. Road access is by the 339 metres (1,112 ft) Bealach (pass) Ratagain from Shiel Bridge on the main road from Inverness to Skye.
Its proximity to Skye meant that Glenelg was formerly of more strategic importance. Cattle reared on Skye were routinely made to swim the 534 metres to the mainland before being herded to market along the drovers' road to Kinlochhourn and on to the Scottish Lowlands.
Following the initial Jacobite risings, Glenelg was chosen as one of four sites in the Highlands for a military barracks. These were completed in 1725 and a military road soon linked Glenelg to the rest of General George Wade's road network. Ultimately unsuccessful in preventing the 1745 uprising and not needed after the Highland Clearances, the Bernera Barracks are now ruined.
A person from Glenelg is known in Gaelic as an Eilgeach.
Between March and October, a small vehicle ferry connects to Kylerhea on Skye across the powerful currents of the narrows. The ferry used on the crossing since 1982 is the MV Glenachulish, the last turntable ferry in operation. Built in 1969 for the Ballachulish crossing by the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company in Troon, it is now operated by a local Community Interest Company. The ferry can transport six cars plus foot passengers on the open deck. Cars are turned on its hand-turned turntable. When the Ballachulish Bridge opened in 1975, it became the relief vessel for Corran, Kylesku and Kessock near Inverness.
The ferry is a tourist attraction in itself. The former structure of the Sandaig lighthouse has now been erected on the slipway to serve as a souvenir shop.
Glenelg attracts tourists to the remains of two of the best-preserved brochs (Dun Telve and Dun Troddan) on mainland Scotland.
Glenelg Amateur Football Club
Glenelg Amateur Football Club is known to locals by their nickname of "The Duffers", were re-formed in 2011 by Grant MacLeod.
Although the name nowadays refers to the whole district, it is likely that it originally referred only to the glen containing the brochs. The specific element of the name (Eilg) is found elsewhere, such as in Elgin (Gaelic Eilginn) and is generally accepted as being a kenning for Ireland. Other such names include Banavie, Banff, Atholl, Lochearn, Auldearn, and show Gaelic settlers using the same migrant naming practice as gives us placenames such as New Caledonia and New York.
Twinning with Mars
The retreat of the author Gavin Maxwell (known as Camusfeàrna in his books) is about 6 miles (9.7 km) south west of Glenelg. The Sandaig Islands are a small group of islets just off the point in the Sound of Sleat.
- "Map of Parishes in the County of Inverness". Scotlands Family.
- "Usual Resident Population: Glenelg". Scotland's Census Results Online. General Register Office for Scotland. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "2001 Census Profile for Glenelg". Highland Council. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Community Councils: Total Population". Highland Council. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- Width of Kyle Rhea narrows Wikimapia. Retrieved: 2012-10-27.
- "Glenelg Ferry". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
- "Glenelg celebrates twinning with Mars". The Scotsman. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "Glenelg Intrigue". NASA. Retrieved 21 October 2012.