Raasay (/ˈrɑːs/; Scottish Gaelic: Ratharsair[6]) or the Isle of Raasay[7] is an island between the Isle of Skye and the mainland of Scotland. It is separated from Skye by the Sound of Raasay and from Applecross by the Inner Sound. It is famous for being the birthplace of Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean, an important figure in the Scottish Renaissance.[8]

Scottish Gaelic nameRatharsair
Pronunciation[ˈrˠa.arˠs̪əɾʲ] (listen)
Old Norse nameRaa-s-oy or Ross-oy, Rásey or Hrossey
Meaning of nameOld Norse for "roe deer island" or possibly "horse island"
Raasay is located in Isle of Skye
Raasay shown within the Skye area
OS grid referenceNG579395
Coordinates57°24′N 6°02′W
Physical geography
Island groupSkye
Area6,231 ha (24 sq mi)
Area rank19[1]
Highest elevationDùn Caan 444 m (1,457 ft)
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Council areaHighland
Population rank38[1]
Population density2.5/km2 (6.5/sq mi)[2][3]
Largest settlementInverarish

Traditionally the home of Clan MacSween, the island was ruled by the MacLeods from the 15th to the 19th century. Subsequently, a series of private landlords held title to the island, which is now largely in public ownership.[9] Raasay House, which was visited by James Boswell and Samuel Johnson in 1773, is now a hotel, restaurant, bar and outdoor activity centre.[10] Raasay means "Isle of the Roe Deer" and is home to an endemic subspecies of bank vole.[3] The current Chief of the Island is Roderick John Macleod of Raasay.

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