Saturday, 19 August 2017

A Whisky Galore Bottle

Take a look at the bay on the Isle of Eriskay where the SS Politician came to grief and where a legend began. It continues today with the Stornoway Gazette covering the story of an original bottle coming up for sale in ... Cheshire. Some bottles do get around.

Scottish Islands Explorer - archive copies sometimes appear
Digital Edition: its range of availability is long; life tends to be short

Friday, 18 August 2017

Regeneration of Ruins

The perspective of looking down on North Ronaldsay is attractive; the prospect of renovating this ruined mill-house on the island is not so appealing. Look at the slideshow of images on Zoopla. Shelter Scotland has identified a significant number of such buildings on Orkney and the North Ronaldsay Trust has named 30 houses in need of complete rebuilding. Plans have been put forward and are detailed on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - uses the modern facilities of Buxton Press
Digital Edition: state-of-the-art transmission

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Speed of Stitch

The World's fastest knitter will be appearing at the International Festival in Inverness in mid-October. Between 2004 and 2008 Helen Tindall, who was born in Shetland and specialises in Fair Isle knitwear, increased her competitive speed from 255 stitches in three minutes to 262. Read more at the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - comes together quickly
Digital Edition: comes close to the equivalent of this woollen speed!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

New Edition in the Offing

Here's the photograph - of Mid Thundergay Old Cottage and Kilbrannan Sound, Arran - that is featured on the front cover of the new issue of Scottish Islands Explorer. The digital edition is ready to be downloaded; subscribers' copies should be delivered today; retail outlets should have them on the shelves by Friday. Do remember that the word 'offing' refers to the stretch of water between the land and the horizon. Enjoy the view!

Scottish Islands Explorer - the next issue will mark 15 years in full colour
Digital Edition: accept this invitation to look 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Three of a (Not So) Kind

You are looking into the depths in the Western Isles where Derek Mackenzie, Solicitor and Estate Agent has a wide range of properties for sale. Three of them are certainly different. There is a place to work - Harris Outdoor Adventure, at Leverburgh; a place that needs work - the five-bedroom Former Doctors' House at Gravir, Lewis; and a place that has worked - the Former Pumping Station overlooking Loch Gil Speireig Mhor (pictured above) at Achmore, Lewis. The asking prices spiral down from £139K, to £95k and on to £5k.

Scottish Islands Explorer - available at under £4
Digital Edition: yours for under a tenner a year

Monday, 14 August 2017


For an empty stretch of island coastline, consider the middle, eastern section of South Uist. The commanding point is the lighthouse

once serviced from the storehouse in the bay, photographed here by Marc Calhoun, who went on to make an intended brief visit to the Mountain Bothies Association outpost nearby outpost below,

but where he encountered a most unusual person, an unsociable and uncommunicative resident visitor. Marc made his excuses and left!

Scottish Islands Explorer - you need to have the explorer gene to visit Uisinish
Digital Edition: likely to be uncommunicative here as well

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Yell for Beer?

Running a small island business is not easy, especially when the owners live a ferry journey away and lifestyle trends change. Read the Shetland News article about the Hilltop Bar in Mid Yell and you realise the complexities of the retail trade and of finding new owners who want to continue doing business in the same way.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a high-interest, niche-market publication
Digital Edition: serves customers quickly

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Some of Scotland's Surface

It's time to take a look at more of Scotland through the BBC series Your Pictures. They feature images here from the first full week of August and are led by a compelling look at the beach at Balevullin, Tiree, captured here by Peter Dawson.

Scottish Islands Explorer - attracts comparable photographs
Digital Edition: soon to be updated

Friday, 11 August 2017

From Depth to Surface

From the depths of Scapa Flow to, at least, the surface of your screen, comes a picture of the German battleship. the Markgraf, scuttled by its own crew after the end of the First World War. Its the first 'echosound' image of its type and the details are to be found on the BBC website.

Scottish IslandsExplorer - surfaces every other month
Digital Edition: the same type of technology at work

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Trust in the Kirk

There are a wealth of features in this Orkney kirk which will soon be preserved and promoted as a visitor attraction in Burwick, South Ronaldsay. Read about the St Mary's Preservation Trust on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - promotion, not preservation, always needed
Digital Edition: soon will be piping the next issue worlwide