Monday, 20 April 2015

Dun Looking and Finding

Dun, is a mile-long island in the St Kilda archipelago and was once joined to Hirta by a natural arch, destroyed probably in one of the frequent gales coming in from the south-west. It has plenty of vegetation by local standards, no sheep, and a large colony of fulmars. Its name derives from the Gaelic for 'fort' and its walls remain, somehow preserved against the elements and certainly recorded in Canmore by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The image below was taken by Mary Harman in 1977; the one above during a trip organised by Northern Light Charters.

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys going off the beaten track

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Heed Him; Trace Them

They (the Vikings) came, went and left their mark. Now the EU Creative Europe Culture sub-programme will come and leave their euros. In fact, 1.9 million of them ... to Shetland Amenity Trust as part of a four-year investment to boost awareness of the transnational Follow the Vikings project. Take your first steps on this venture by going to Shetland News for background information.

Scottish Islands Explorer - covers a fraction of the following

Saturday, 18 April 2015


A proposal is being made by Argyll and Bute Council to operate scheduled services from their airport at Oban (OBN) to Barra (BRR). A 45-minute flight would be somewhat shorter than the sea-crossing. At present Oban is used for flights to Colonsay and Islay, Coll and Tiree. However, if services were also introduced to Glasgow then it would become something of a hub. There are plans, detailed in the Stornoway Gazette, to create a business park adjacent to the airport which is at North Connell, six miles north-east of Oban.

Scottish Islands Explorer -  acts as a hub of information

Friday, 17 April 2015

Pictish Finds

This stone with Pictish engravings was found on the Dunnicaer Sea Stack,  to the south of Stonehaven, in the 19th Century. It was then embedded in a wall at Banchory House. Some exciting recent finds on the sea stack are now coming to light as shown in an item and video clip on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - few off-shore settlements on Scotland's east coast

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Endurance Displayed

Would-be Soay visitors have limited opportunities to cross from Hirta in the St Kilda group of islands. Some authorities claim that there's a safe passage on only three days a year. The indigenous sheep have been there since 5000BC and until the 1930s were confined exclusively to the island. The young men of Hirta were tested for their rock-climbing skills on Stac Biorach and Stac Soay (below). There was no recorded climb by an outsider until 1883. 50 years later there were no locals to display their prowess.

Scottish Islands Explorer - challenges such as quizzes and crosswords

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Centenary Craft

The Dutch sail training ship, Tecla, arrived at Kirkwall last Friday and should now be on her way to Ullapool and Oban, if good weather has set in. This vessel was built in 1915 for fishing, carried cargo and now gives people the opportunity to learn the ropes. For the past few years she has circumnavigated the globe and later this year will be back in these waters to visit St Kilda. Read more about this tall ship in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tall ships make good stories

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Ready for Dunvegan?

Here's the older jetty at Dunvegan, Skye, that has long been de-commissioned. However, to the north there is a good, sheltered anchorage and facilities for upgrading. Proposals have been made for this to become the terminal for the Lochmaddy service, leaving Uig to the north to connect with Tarbert. North Uist is only 18 miles away from Dunvegan which had regular sailings to Oban in the 1890s and a service to the Outer Hebrides until the 1950s. So see what has been suggested in this Stornoway Gazette item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always ready for a revival

Monday, 13 April 2015

Gen-up on Unst

Read about the potential production of hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen by Pure Energy on the island of Unst. If the community can produce sufficient quantities, it can only be shipped / piped / pumped one way and that's southwards. Shetland News has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - printed in Hastings and so mainly goes north

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Dualchas Designs

Dualchas Architects was started as Dualchas Building Design in 1996 by brothers Neil and Alasdair Stephen. Three years later they were joined by Mary Arnold-Foster. Their designs have been gaining attention and winning awards. The Kayak House is above and, apart from its colour, appears to have the structure and location of  

The Golden Cabin, which was recently featured in a Daily Telegraph article. Read more and be ready to dream or, while in the master bedroom, realise your wish to live or stay in a remote location.

Scottish Islands Explorer - its kind of residence

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Linga Lingering

Linga , an island near Walls, Shetland, is 64-acres in extent, has been uninhabited since Captain James Fraser died in 1931, came onto the market last year and remains on the books of Solicitor and Estate Agent, Neil Risk. For full details, and an interesting six-minute long video, go to his website; for plenty of background information and images take a look at the Daily Mail item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - for the full range of islands sold and unsold