Saturday, 6 February 2016

Happy to Move?

Yesterday's item drew attention to the 'happiness factor' evident in the Scottish islands. So if it motivates you to consider buying a property to become a resident, an hotelier or a renovator, then consider a house being presented at a reported £40k below market value in Lemreway, South Lochs, Lewis;

an hotel with six bedrooms for a figure in excess of £365k in Pierowall, Westray;

and the lowest figure found in searches today, the requested invitation for offers over £20k for North Banks, Papa Stour, with a closing date of 25 February.

Scottish Islands Explorer - covers the Western and Northern Isles
Digital Issue: read on islands worldwide, at the same low price of £9.99

Friday, 5 February 2016

The Search for Happiness

Those who search for happiness should consider the researches of a team working at the National Office for Statistics. Their findings for the UK put island groups in the top positions for this attribute among residents. See the Stornoway Gazette for details. Pictured here are two places to consider - just a few miles apart as the crow (or whatever flies).  Above is Garyvard ('the poet's garden') and Kershader in the South Lochs of Lewis. Scenery, neighbours, a good road, shop, cafe and 24-hour petrol at the Ravenspoint Centre. Below is Eishken, with a large house, massive estate, fishing  and ... no neighbours in any direction.


Scottish Islands Explorer - a passport to happiness
Digital Edition: available at under a tenner

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Tagon Goes Lower

Tagon Stores at Voe, Shetland, has a reputation for being innovative. Almost four years ago their former owners reduced petrol to a then unbelievably low price. Today the same stunt is being repeated and the price quoted above is being beaten, but it's just for today. Go to Shetland News for the story and consider how the volume of water at Lower Voe (below) dwarfs the capacity of the two Tagon tanks, each with their 4000 litre capacity. Hurry along!

Scottish Islands Explorer - yours for four litres
Digital Edition: fill up for the year for £9.99

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Nacreous Clouds

Nacreous or mother-of-pearl clouds are usually to be seen in the Arctic and Antarctic as well as above Iceland and Scandinavia. Yesterday they featured in different parts of Britain. Those above are over Whitley Bay, Northumberland, and appeared in the Daily Mail. Those in The Orcadian were photographed by Jenny McElroy from Stenness, Orkney. It so often pays to look up.

Scottish Islands Explorer - endeavours to be down to earth
Digital Edition:  up there in the clouds

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Site at Sleat

Sleat, Skye, looks empty from this image, but there are 180 residents and they look forward to the completion - by Easter 2017 - of their £1.9 million community hub. The first sod was cut on the site last month and was reported in the West Highland Free Press.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks forward to being sold there
Digital Edition:  costs a fraction of this and of its print subscription

Monday, 1 February 2016

One Thing After Another


Storm Gertrude leaves Shetland quietly and in comes ... snow. Reports (from Shetland News) come in about treacherous conditions despite these somewhat idyllic photographs. The one above above is not a current image, but from a Daily Mail feature during Easter; the one below of Lerwick, from Sea Road looking towards Hillhead/Scalloway Road, is from the gallery of Ben Mullay and was taken on 23 February 2010.

Scottish Islands Explorer - relates to the present and past
Digital Edition: Is there for you via the internet regardless of weather conditions

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Make Sunday Special

If you have ever heard hymns sung in Gaelic you may well want to purchase a CD for £10 (with £1.50 post and packing) through this Church of Scotland website. They have been produced by members of the Kilmuir and Stenscholl Parish in North Skye. Buy now and your future Sundays will have a different dimension.

Scottish Islands Explorer - believes in making changes
Digital Edition: the annual subscription fee is a penny less than the CD

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Hitting the Hundreds

Here's a satellite view of Storm Gertrude bringing fierce conditions to the North coast of mainland Scotland and the southern parts of Orkney. According to the information on various news channels, there were gusts of up to 110 mph in Shetland and 144 mph on the east Cairngorms. The highest ever recorded, but classified as 'unofficial', was of 177 mph in 1962 at RAF Saxa Vord, Unst. The photograph of a rugby match here at Saxa Vord, with the most northerly recreation ground in the UK, was taken in 1972 when the players obviously found it just a breeze.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would like to hit record circulation
Digital Edition: is there come wind or rain, without leaving home

Friday, 29 January 2016

Cold War to Storm Force

RAF Aird Uig, north-west Lewis, is to be transformed from a Cold War spy base to a listening station for whales. It's part of a development to attract visitors by the Gallan Head Community Trust. The details are on the STV website and the official handover of the former installation takes place today. There will probably be no need to listen out for the signs of weather as Storm Gertrude is forecast to impact imminently with this exposed headland. At least the gates will not be closed.

Scottish Island Explorer - listening out for more readers
Digital Edition:  always ready to be downloaded

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Outrun

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot is a compelling series of autobiographical insights concerning addiction and recovery. Much of the former took place in London; the latter in Orkney and on Papa Westray, in particular. Consider looking more into the book through Amazon.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has some addictive qualities
Digital Edition: offers much at a reasonable price