Plockton is a settlement on the shores of Loch Carron. It faces east, away from the prevailing winds, which together with the North Atlantic Drift gives it a mild climate allowing the Cordyline australis palm to prosper.
Most of the houses date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is a planned fishing village on the northern edge of the Lochalsh built ‘when introducing sheep farming in 1814-20 and removing the population from their old hamlets in Glen Garron, founded the villages of Jeantown and Plockton on Loch Carronside’ (Geddes: 1945, pp38)
Some maritime charts including MacKenzie (1776) and Heather (1804) mark the peninsula where the village sits as ‘Plack’, however it generally considered that the village was built on the ‘Ploc’ of Lochalsh, with ‘Ploc’ being understood in Gaelic as pimple or bump (of Lochalsh) sharing this with other places such as the Plock of Kyle and Plocrapool on the Isle of Harris. Its name, in current form, is based upon the Gaelic name referring to the promontory, with the ‘+town’ added to designate it as such in the English language, following the construction of the planned village around 1800. Over-time the name of village changed to its current contracted form ‘Plockton’.
Situated on a sheltered inlet of Loch Carron, and due to the series of palm (New Zealand cabbage palm) trees which have dominated Harbour Street since the 1960s, Plockton has a distinctive ‘sub-tropical appearance’ (Nicholson: 1975).
The village is a tourist resort. The television series Hamish Macbeth, starring Robert Carlyle, was filmed there, substituting for the fictional Lochdubh. Plockton was also used for various scenes in the film The Wicker Man and the Inspector Alleyn Mysteries television series furthering its reputation.
The village has a small general store with a café; a takeaway; a restaurant; newsagent and craft shop; three hotels with pubs; numerous B&Bs; library with free internet access and a village hall, which holds community events and art exhibitions. It is served by Plockton railway station, on the Kyle of Lochalsh Line and the short Plockton Airfield for light aircraft and microlights.
Nearby is Duncraig Castle, a nineteenth-century stately home built by the Matheson family, who made their money in the opium trade. The castle was derelict for many years, having previously been used as a hospital, catering college, and a base for film crews. It was once owned by the extended Dobson family who were in the process of renovating it when it was shown in the BBC documentary titled The Dobsons of Duncraig. The castle was sold in 2009 to Suzanne Hazeldine.
Plockton is home to Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd - the National Centre For Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High School, which also serves the village and a wide surrounding area. The school also hosts the Am Bàta project teaching pupils in the art of boat building, from which a number of 'local' style boats have been produced. Some have been donated to the local sailing club - Plockton Small Boat Sailing Club - whilst others have been sold to the public.
Between the years of 1956 and 1972 Plockton was home to the renowned Gaelic scholar Sorley MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain) whilst headmaster at the high-school, who introduced the teaching of Gaelic and championed shinty.
Since 1991 Plockton Primary School has accommodated a Gaelic-medium education unit (GMU) where instruction is through the medium of Gaelic. 24.4% of the population in the catchment area of Plockton Primary School is able to speak Gaelic – the highest incidence of Gaelic-speaking on the mainland of Scotland.
Since 1954 the village has played host to Plockton Amateur Football Club, an organisation of varying success. Calling the Alasdair Ross Memorial Park their home, and playing in yellow and black strips, the club is affectionately known as the "Bumble Bees". The club currently participates in the Skye and Lochalsh Amateur Football Association Bagshaw League and have been described as 'sleeping giants', strictly adhering to a passing football philosophy, contrasting with the approach of other local football clubs such as Kyle, and Glenelg. Recent successes include winning the Clan Donald Cup, locally considered the "Champions League" of West Highland football. The footballing philosophy of the club has changed considerably over recent decades from the "Get it out of there" approach of I. MacQuarrie to the "Give the ball to Abdul" era of Martin Bliss. Well known Cockney Nick Flanagan has been the most recent manager, renowned for his affection of cones and general insanity.
Dancing on the street on the last day of the Regatta fortnight
The MetOffice operates a weather station at Plockton for which 30 year averages are available. As with the rest of the British Isles, Plockton experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The highest temperature was 27.7°C recorded on May 9th 2016 and the lowest was -9.8°C
|Climate data for Duirinish-Plockton, 18m asl, (average highs and lows 1971-2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.9
|Average high °C (°F)||7.2
|Average low °C (°F)||2.0
|Record low °C (°F)||−8.3
|Source #1: 1971-2000 averages|
|Source #2: Met Office and Voodoo Skies|
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-12-21. Retrieved 2004-12-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Geograph:: Thomas Telford's Parliamentary Kirks". www.geograph.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- "'Hamish Macbeth' beat's new base". 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- "Where was 'The Wicker Man' filmed?". British Film Locations. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- "Plockton Paintings". Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Sorley MacLean Official Website". www.sorleymaclean.org. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
- (PDF) http://www.linguae-celticae.org/dateien/Gaidhlig_Local_Studies_Vol_10_A_Chomraich_Loch_Aillse_Ed_II.pdf. Missing or empty
- "Station map". MetOffice.
- "Plockton 1971-2000 averages". YR.NO. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
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