Observations of relative sea-level change and local deglaciation in western Scotland provide critical constraints for modelling glacio-isostatic rebound in northern Britain over the last 18 000 years. The longest records come from Skye, Arisaig and Knapdale with a shorter, Holocene, record from Kintail. Biostratigraphic (diatom, pollen, dinoflagellate, foraminifera and thecamoebian), lithological and radiocarbon analyses provide age and elevation parameters for each sea-level index point. All four sites reveal relative sea-level change that is highly non-monotonic in time as the local vertical component of glacio-isostatic rebound and eustasy (or global meltwater influx) dominate at different periods. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.