Talk:Highland (Scotland)

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Merge and redirect[edit]

  • Looks like a reasonable suggestion. I have not heard of the Highlands referred to in the singular. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 04:48, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Should it be renamed "Northern Highlands"? Or should we split up Scottish Highlands in some other way? By county? Currently it has "Highland" and Argyll and Bute as the only regions. How do Scots divide the area? Pashley (talk) 14:17, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
We have maps in both this article & Scottish Highlands and WP has another [1], which I would say is clearer. I'm not sure any two of the three agree.
WP also has a separate article on Highlands and Islands. Do we need one of those? Or a "Lowlands" region? Pashley (talk) 18:56, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I am going to try to answer "how do Scots divide the area", but it is complicated. Generally there are four ways of dividing Scotland into regions:
1) Using the Counties. Local Government pre-1975 was organised in County Councils and Town Councils. These areas had been around for ~100 years and stuck after local government re-orgnaisation - postal addresses often still include counties.
2) Using Regions and Districts - the format for local government from 1975 - 1996. This included Highland Region.
3) Using the current council areas - the areas of the current single tier local government which unfortunately did not get a good name. So there is now Highland Council Area.
4) Using informal areas. These cut across formal boundaries, and the exact borders are not defined. This gives the Highlands. A wide definition of this uses the geolocial Highland Fault Line as the boundary and would include Highland and Argyll & Bute Council Areas. But this is too wide an area for some tastes - eg Helensburgh (a Glasgow commuter town) is in the highlands by this definition.
I think that the informal areas should be the main regions used, and if people have the time, then the Council Areas should also get articles. So this atricle could be moved to Highland Council Area, and some of the content put on Scottish Highlands. This would then be consistent with Argyll and Bute. The disambiguation page at Highland may also need to be updated. For more on this see [2] AlasdairW (talk) 23:44, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
To add to the above another alternative (or a variant of 4) above) is the 15 regions used by the national tourist agency, Visit Scotland [3]. This includes "The Highlands". The benefit is that some visitors will be familiar with theses areas from the brochures handed out at tourist information offices, and the boundaries have been set so there won't be long discussions of where a town belongs. On the other hand some areas are odd like "Loch Lomond, The Trossachs & The Forth Valley". AlasdairW (talk) 18:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
I think that there should be separate articles for the geographical "Highlands", and the Highlands and Islands political region. Scotland is often referred to as being split between the "Highlands" and the "Lowlands", which, whilst there are no political boundaries separating the two, it could arguably be determined by the Highland Boundary Fault, as stated in (4). This would of course require a corresponding Lowlands page. Given the cultural differences between the Highlands and the Lowlands, I think these pages would help illustrate the wider cultural diversity in Scotland, as cultural information would probably be better to be added to these informal area pages rather than more modern electoral regions, many of which have only existed for a few decades. El Foes (talk) 22:12, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Continuing discussion[edit]

This was redirected by a long-term editor, then that was reversed by a Scot who has been fairly active here and seems to know what he is about. I can see why both actions were taken, but now I'm confused. What should be done next?

We need a reasonable division of Scotland for WV purposes. I'm inclined to think that should include "Scottish Highlands" since that's a term I know. (If it matters, I'm a Canadian with a Scots name & distant relatives there, but the closest I've been to Scotland was Lancaster.) I'm not sure what else it might include.

Regions that don't fit into whatever scheme we settle on can be added either as redirects or with the Wikivoyage:Extraregion tag, which gives a bit of flexibility we may need. Pashley (talk) 23:34, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

User:AlasdairW's edit comment was that he was reverting because many IsPartOf breadcrumb trails will need to be changed (I should have noticed that before redirecting it anyway). Is that the only problem? Can I go ahead and redirect it if I fix the breadcrumbs? Texugo (talk) 01:53, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Or conversely, can we remove the merge tag until a new region breakdown has been agreed upon? Actually now that I look closer, this seems like the better option, since Argyll and Bute is not tagged for merging too. Texugo (talk) 02:10, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for reverting with out leaving a full explanation. I saw a few problems: several villages were no longer listed in any region, as most of the content had not been merged; there was a circular reference as Scottish Highlands has a region Highland (Scotland). I see the problem with having two regions with almost the same name - I wonder if the answer is to rename this region. I had thought of North Highlands, but that is a town in California; North West Highlands is fairly accurate, but a bit of a mouthful and might not appeal to those on the East Coast. An alternative might be to split the region into three smaller areas, with names based on former counties: Caithness and Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty and Lochaber and Badenoch - exact names to be refined. I am happy for the merge tag to be removed at the moment. AlasdairW (talk) 21:20, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, I removed the merge tag here, put a {{regions discussion}} tag at Scottish Highlands and started a discussion at the talk page there. Texugo (talk) 21:58, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

I think the splitting of this region need to be reviewed again. I see two possibilities, but please suggest alternatives if you see one. These would be sub-regions of Scottish Highlands along with Argyll and Bute. --Traveler100 (talk) 14:08, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

  1. Three regions based on former counties (as discussed above) Caithness and Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty and Lochaber and Badenoch
  2. Two regions Upper Scottish Highlands and Lower Scottish Highlands the border being just north of the Great Glen Way
I agree the region should be split. I like the three regions in principle, but looking at what I could find of the former counties on WP [4] (and here's a map [5]), I'm not sure where Inverness, Nairn and Skye and Lochalsh fit in with this breakdown. It looks like we cover Skye as part of the Hebrides (off topic, but is that the best place to stick it given it's road connections to the rest of the Highlands?) and Lochalsh seems to have been historically part of Ross-shire, so I guess it could be covered in Ross and Cromarty. I'm not sure about Inverness and Loch Ness. Lochaber seems to have enough content to be a region on its own. Maybe combine Inverness, Loch Ness and Badenoch and Strathspey into a fourth region? I don't know what to call it though. Just some thoughts, anyway. I also found a Scottish Highlands tourism website that broke our Highlands region into seven or so subregions. That's looks like too many for our purposes, but it provides another way to look at it. -Shaundd (talk) 07:43, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
Regions based on corporate management areas
Update: the more I read and maps I looked at, the more showed Lochalsh as part of Inverness-shire, so I've crossed out what I said above re Lochalsh and Ross-shire. Another possibility for splitting the region is to follow the corporate management areas of the Highland Council, which splits the region into: (1) Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, (2) (Wester) Ross, Skye and Lochaber, and (3) Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey. Thoughts? -Shaundd (talk) 03:36, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
An interesting proposal that could work. Is this map showing the proposal correctly? Maybe a good idea at this point to list which article would go in which sub-region. Also what should they be called? --Traveler100 (talk) 17:53, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the map, it looks pretty accurate. To be honest, I hadn't matched the wards to a map so I was surprised to see the second region (Ross, Skye & Lochaber) touch both coasts. The breakdown is a bit uneven:
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross - 8 linked destinations + 3 unlinked + 2 towns not listed (Invergordon and Alness)
Ross, Skye and Lochaber - 16 linked destinations + 2 unlinked + 1 town not listed (Fortrose)
Inverness et al - 8 linked destinations + 2 towns not listed (Nairn and Newtonmore)
To even it out, I'd be tempted to move Dingwall, Cromarty and Strathpeffer (i.e., the eastern part of the purple region) to the same region as Inverness (since they're closer to Inverness than Wester Ross & Lochalsh), but I don't know if there are historical or cultural reasons that would tie them to the west coast. Looking at AlasdairW's suggested regions, they all have 7-10 cities, but there are also seven cities in Inverness and Lochalsh that I don't know where they go.
BTW - were you meaning to include Skye in the Highlands region or was it just part of the map? -Shaundd (talk) 06:45, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Skye was on the map I used, I think that is a separate region, as it currently is. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:26, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes I think Tain and Dingwall in same region as Inverness, geographical/landscape has some logic. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:59, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Alternative region proposal loosely based on historical regions
I've tried to map out the regions proposed by AlasdairW for comparison, adding Inverness and area to Lochaber and Strathspey, and Lochalsh to Ross and Cromarty. This one is more balanced (for what that's worth) and it includes all of the Great Glen in one travel region. -Shaundd (talk) 08:15, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Agree this does have the advantages of having the Great Glen in one region. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:33, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Just to weigh in on the Skye issue. If Skye gets moved from Inner Hebrides to here, then we probably have to think of restructuring Inner Hebrides and include the Northern islands and see what to do with the Southern islands. Drat70 (talk) 09:08, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
I was not thinking of moving Skye, it was just on the map I used to see how the region split could look like. --Traveler100 (talk) 12:41, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

The "corporate management areas" are arbitrary political boundaries. They don't match any sort of traditional or geographical boundaries, and are not used by anyone actually living here. Something like the other suggestion would be better. Though Lochaber, Inverness & Nairn, and Badenoch & Strathspey are distinct places, so should be a separate areas.--Fuaran buidhe (talk) 12:58, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Possible Scottish Highlands sub-regions - article list[edit]

Highland region proposal 02

Taking a stab at what goes where. Please correct, expand and refine. --Traveler100 (talk) 13:13, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Caithness and Sutherland[edit]

Ross and Cromarty[edit]

The Great Glen and Strathspey (Lochaber and Badenoch)[edit]

Argyll and Bute[edit]

No change

That looks about right. Was wondering if "The Great Glen and Strathspey" would be a better name for what we're calling Lochaber and Badenoch (Lochaber and Badenoch are more the southern part of the region from what I understand, and don't usually include Inverness, Loch Ness or Nairn). -Shaundd (talk) 18:09, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Suggest we request one of the map artist to edit the map at Scottish Highlands to include the 3 region split of Highland (Scotland), which would make for a better organisation of sub-regions and get rid of a little naming confusions. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:31, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
I've been working on edits to the Scottish Highlands map in the background while this discussion has been going on. I can probably get a first cut up this weekend. I'm planning on bringing it more in-line with WV style maps (i.e., show roads, RR, other regions) -- assuming this is OK even though it means it won't match the style of the other Scotland region maps.
Any comments on my question about whether Lochaber and Badenoch should be The Great Glen and Strathspey? I guess it could be Badenoch instead of Strathspey, but my impression from reading about Scotland is the Great Glen better describes the area the region covers than Lochaber. -Shaundd (talk) 03:11, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
That is great about the map, looking forward to seeing the results. I also think the suggestion of The Great Glen and Strathspey is better, they are names I think will be more familiar/know to people. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:40, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
What are people's thoughts about maps for the new subregions -- static or dynamic (or both)? It shouldn't be too much extra effort to create maps for the new subregions at the same time I do the region map. But if people have a preference for a dynamic map at the bottom level region, I'll just do the region map. -Shaundd (talk) 15:53, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Further discussion[edit]

The Great Glen only covers a small part of the area. If you wanted an accurate name, it would have to be something like "Inverness, Nairn, Lochaber, Badenoch and Strathspey". Or a much better idea would be to split this into several smaller areas. Its not very helpful to have Ardnamurchan and Nairn in the same region, they are completely different places. --Fuaran buidhe (talk) 17:24, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

I think that is a reasonable point - maybe split the region into Lochaber and Strathspey and Ness. Lochaber is well known on the ground, but it is harder to come up with a name for the eastern side that is not a mouthful (the "Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey corporate management area" of Highland Council - see w:Highland Council wards created in 2007!). AlasdairW (talk) 23:44, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm fine with one or two regions, I'll defer to the people who know the area best. I'd be concerned if it was split into three though, given the current small number of destinations in Inverness/Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey, and the difficulties we have creating useful region articles. -Shaundd (talk) 06:14, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I've been poking around at some other travel guides and travel blogs, which, combined with the comments from Fuaran buidhe and AlasdairW, has me thinking maybe we need to think about the regions a bit more. A few thoughts:
  • Ross and Cromarty, while a historical region, doesn't show up much in travel literature. It's more often broken into its parts -- Wester Ross, Loch Alsh, Easter Ross and the Black Isle -- with the west differentiated from the east.
  • If you look at Inverness as the starting point, travel literature seems to point to next destinations as the Cairngorms, Lochaber, Wester Ross/Loch Alsh/Skye, or north towards Orkney (the rail lines and primary road routes mostly seem to follow this pattern, too).
  • I'm struggling to figure out how to deal with Cairngorms National Park. There's the park article, the various city articles for the towns and villages inside the park and then, potentially, the parent article of the towns and villages, be it Badenoch and Strathspey, Ness and Strathspey or something else. That's three levels of articles that info could overlap and I wonder if there's a way to tighten that up.
Where I'm going with all of this is, would the following breakdown make more sense from a traveller's perspective and address the concerns raised above:
  1. Inverness and area - Inverness, Nairn, Loch Ness and the Black Isle, including Dingwall and Strathpeffer (i.e., all the places close to Inverness that could easily be covered in a day trip)
  2. Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross - the Caithness and Sutherland article plus Easter Ross (i.e., the drive to Orkney plus the western part of Sutherland)
  3. Wester Ross and Loch Alsh - the western highlands
  4. Lochaber - Fort William, Glencoe, Mallaig, Knoydart, etc.
  5. Cairngorms National Park - treat the park article as both a region and a park, with Aviemore, Kingussie and the other villages that are within the park as destinations within the "region". This would be very unorthodox, but I think it might be less confusing to readers of the site. If we did this, I'm not sure if it would be best to include it in the Scottish Highlands or North East Scotland. I'm leaning to North East Scotland, but don't have a strong opinion.
  6. Argyll and Bute - no changes
Anyway, I just wanted to throw this out there. The regions would be pretty balanced, with Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross a bit larger and the Cairngorms a bit smaller. Thoughts? -Shaundd (talk) 06:36, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
So do we move forward with the original regions proposal or look at the new one and wait for creation of new map? Just do not want this to stall. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:03, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't want this to stall either. I'm fairly indifferent between the original three region proposal (excluding Argyll and Bute), the four regions proposed by AlasdairW and the five regions I mentioned -- I think they all could work. I'm not in favour of having a separate Badenoch and Strathspey region when we also have a Cairgorms guide, it seems redundant. Do you have any preferences Traveler100? -Shaundd (talk) 05:14, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
And if we don't hear anything further in the next few days, I think we should move forward with the existing proposal (three new subregions + Argyll and Bute) and address the concerns raised above within the Understand section of the region guide. -Shaundd (talk) 17:56, 29 January 2017 (UTC)


Highland (Scotland) regions - Color-coded map
  Caithness and Sutherland
  Ross and Cromarty
  The Great Glen and Strathspey
  Argyll and Bute

New region map is up. I still want to clean it up a bit and add the railroads, but let me know if I've missed anything. -Shaundd (talk) 17:16, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Looks really good. Only thing that I can think of is maybe labelling Wick. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:03, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Although it looks good in the image I think the colour for The Great Glen and Strathspey region is too light on the page. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:27, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
I updated the map to include railroads, ferries, Wick, Kyle of Lochalsh and a bit darker Great Glen and Strathspey region. I don't want to make it too much darker as the colour palette is intended to be readable for colour-blind people. I could go with two greens and two pinks, but I think that will look worse than the current colour scheme. -Shaundd (talk) 17:19, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
The map generally looks good, but some small points: It would be better if the national parks were not shown so prominently - I think that a casual reader may not realise where the region boundaries are underneath the park - maybe either just show the park with a bold outline and no fill, or use a hatch pattern. It might also be useful to mark some towns which are near the region boundaries - say Tain or Helmsdale. AlasdairW (talk) 23:32, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
OK, I'll work on that. Any other towns/villages that should be added? -Shaundd (talk) 06:08, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I have just noticed that Rannoch Moor has been missed. We have a park article about it, so it maybe could be displayed similar to the two NPs, but slightly different, as it is not a NP. It is at near the southeastern corner of Great Glen and Strathspey, but stretches over the border to near the "N" of North East Scotland. AlasdairW (talk) 21:21, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I finally updated the map. Sorry for taking so long on that. Rannoch Moor and Tain were added and I changed the shading for the national parks (plus greyed out the portions that are not in the Highlands region). Rannoch Moor is treated the same as the North West Highlands Geopark (i.e., there's just a blue dot instead of a park boundary) because I couldn't find an open source boundary definition. Let me know if there are any other changes I should make. -Shaundd (talk) 02:53, 20 April 2017 (UTC)