Benbecula (/bɛnˈbɛkjʊlə/ (listen); Scottish Gaelic: Beinn nam Fadhla or Beinn na Faoghla) is an island of the Outer Hebrides in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Scotland. In the 2011 census, it had a resident population of 1,283 with a sizable percentage of Roman Catholics. It is in a zone administered by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar or the Western Isles Council. The island is about 12 kilometres (7 miles) from west to east and a similar distance from north to south. It lies between the islands of North Uist and South Uist and is connected to both by road causeways. Benbecula's main settlement and administrative centre is Balivanich (Scottish Gaelic: Baile a' Mhanaich, meaning "Town of the Monk").
|Scottish Gaelic name||Beinn nam Fadhla|
|Meaning of name||hill of the fords|
|OS grid reference||NF807525|
|Island group||Uist and Barra|
|Area||8,203 ha (31+5⁄8 sq mi)|
|Area rank||16 |
|Highest elevation||Ruabhal, 124 m (407 ft)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Council area||Na h-Eileanan Siar|
|Population rank||11 |
|Population density||15.9/km2 (41/sq mi)|
In 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie was caught in a storm and forced to land on Benbecula. The population of Benbecula were sympathetic to the Jacobite cause, and smuggled him off the island to safety, as the song has it: "over the sea to Skye".
In 2006, local residents took control of parts of the island in a community buy-out. The previous landowners, a sporting syndicate, sold their 372-square-kilometre (92,000-acre) estate, which included Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay for £4.5 million to a community-owned organisation known as Stòras Uibhist, which now manages the land in perpetuity.