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Portree (/pɔːrˈtr/; Scottish Gaelic: Port Rìgh, pronounced [pʰɔrˠʃt̪ˈɾiː]) is the largest town on, and capital[2] of, the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.[3] It is the location for the only secondary school on the island, Portree High School. Public transport services are limited to buses.

Portree
Portree harbour front 2016.jpg
Portree Harbour
Portree is located in Isle of Skye
Portree
Portree
Location within the Isle of Skye
Population4,571 (2001)[1]
OS grid referenceNG483454
• Edinburgh152 mi (245 km)
• London475 mi (764 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
CountryScotland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townPORTREE
Postcode districtIV51
Dialling code01478
PoliceScotland
FireScottish
AmbulanceScottish
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
Websitewww.IsleofSkye.com
List of places
UK
Scotland
57°24′43″N 6°11′31″W / 57.412°N 6.192°W / 57.412; -6.192Coordinates: 57°24′43″N 6°11′31″W / 57.412°N 6.192°W / 57.412; -6.192

Portree has a harbour, fringed by cliffs, with a pier designed by Thomas Telford.[4]

Attractions in the town include the Aros centre which celebrates the island's Gaelic heritage. Further arts provision is made through arts organisation ATLAS Arts, a Creative Scotland regularly-funded organisation.[5] The town also serves as a centre for tourists exploring the island.[6]

The Royal Hotel is the site of MacNab's Inn, the last meeting place of Flora MacDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746.[3][7]

The town plays host to the Isle of Skye's shinty club, Skye Camanachd.[8] They play at Pairc nan Laoch above the town on the road to Struan.

Around 939 people (37.72% of the population) can speak Scottish Gaelic.

The A855 road leads north out of the town, passing through villages such as Achachork, Staffin and passes the rocky landscape of the Storr before reaching the landslip of the Quiraing.

Map of Skye showing Portree


EtymologyEdit

The current name, Port Rìgh translates as 'king's port', possibly from a visit by King James V of Scotland in 1540. However this etymology has been contested, since James did not arrive in peaceful times. The older name appears to have been Port Ruighe(adh), meaning "slope harbour".[9]

Prior to the 16th century the settlement's name was Kiltaraglen ('the church of St. Talarican') from Gaelic Cill Targhlain.

HistoryEdit

In the 1700s, the town was a popular point of departure for Scots sailing to America to escape poverty. This form of use repeated during the potato famine in the 1840s. Both times, the town was saved by an influx of boats, often going between mainland Scotland and the Outer Hebrides, who used Portree's pier as a rest point. The town also began exporting fish at this time, which contributed greatly to the local economy.

The town had the last manual telephone exchange in the UK, which closed in 1976.[10]

Football clubsEdit

Portree is home to two football club that play in the Skye and Lochalsh amateur football league called Portree and Portree Juniors.

ClimateEdit

Like most of the British Isles, Portree has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb). The nearest weather station to Portree is located at Prabost, approximately 5 12 miles (9 km) north-west of Portree.

Climate data for Prabost (67 m asl, averages 1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.4
(43.5)
6.8
(44.2)
8.2
(46.8)
10.8
(51.4)
13.9
(57.0)
15.5
(59.9)
16.8
(62.2)
16.8
(62.2)
14.7
(58.5)
11.7
(53.1)
8.7
(47.7)
6.7
(44.1)
11.4
(52.6)
Average low °C (°F) 1.6
(34.9)
1.5
(34.7)
2.3
(36.1)
3.9
(39.0)
6.1
(43.0)
8.5
(47.3)
10.5
(50.9)
10.4
(50.7)
8.5
(47.3)
6.2
(43.2)
3.8
(38.8)
1.7
(35.1)
5.4
(41.8)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 211.2
(8.31)
158.2
(6.23)
160.4
(6.31)
93.9
(3.70)
79.2
(3.12)
81.4
(3.20)
106.7
(4.20)
129.3
(5.09)
169.6
(6.68)
209.2
(8.24)
209.3
(8.24)
197.8
(7.79)
1,806.2
(71.11)
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 21.8 18.5 21.1 14.7 13.8 14.4 16.5 17.6 19.0 23.3 21.9 20.7 223.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 34.2 61.1 93.0 138.6 195.9 155.9 128.6 115.2 97.5 68.7 37.7 34.0 1,160.4
Source: Met Office[11]

Portree shaleEdit

Portree shale is a geologic association in the vicinity of Portree, the existence of which is linked with potential petroleum occurrences of commercial importance.[12]

In fictionEdit

  • 'The Portree Kid' was an amusing ballad sung by the Corries.
  • Portree is the home of a fictional professional Quidditch team in the Harry Potter universe called the 'Pride of Portree'.[13]
  • The film Made of Honor partially takes place in Portree. A sweeping shot of the town's main street is shown.

ReferencesEdit

 
Boats in the harbour at Portree, Isle of Skye
  1. ^ "Census 2001". Population figures Portree. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Portree, Raasay & Central Skye". A Guide. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b Murray, W.H. (1966) The Hebrides. London. Heinemann. Pages 154-155.
  4. ^ Portree Regeneration (15 September 2007). "Portree". Archived from the original on 17 November 2007.
  5. ^ "ATLAS Arts - bringing art and audiences together in Skye and Lochalsh". Creative Scotland. Creative Scotland. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Portree" Undiscovered Scotland. Retrieved on 15 September 2007.
  7. ^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish. (2004) The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh. Canongate. Pages 173-4
  8. ^ "Skye Camanachd" skyecamanachd.com. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
  9. ^ Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003) Ainmean-àite/Placenames. (pdf) Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  10. ^ BT History 1976
  11. ^ "Skye: Prabost climate information". Met Office. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  12. ^ C.Michael Hogan, (2011) Sea of the Hebrides. Eds. P. Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC.
  13. ^ Whisp, Kennilworthy (2001). Quidditch Through the Ages. WhizzHard Books. pp. 31–46. ISBN 1-55192-454-4.