Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Pentland Road

The BBC's Your Pictures of Scotland was light on island images last week, but Morris MacLeod's photograph of sheep on the Pentland Road, Lewis, more than made up for the shortfall. Below is a reminder of how that long and high road beyond Stornoway looks later in the year.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tends to favour summery shots
Digital Edition: gets through regardless of obstacles

Monday, 22 January 2018

Roots, Shoots & Fruits

2018 should be another formative year in the development of the Raasay Walled Garden with its promise of roots, shoots and fruits. Go to The Skye Times for details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - needs to be opened, not restricted
Digital Edition: a slick click and its fixed

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Far and Near

There is a balance between living in a rural location and being inaccessible. Almora Cottage, built in 1969, has been a family-home and, subsequently, a holiday let. It's at Clachan Sands, North Uist, some five miles from Lochmaddy and on the road to Berneray. So it has a degree of isolation and open views, but close to two hubs, the important ferries - Lochmaddy for the relatively-sheltered crossing to Uig on Skye; the Sound of Harris link for Leverburgh and points north. The current price is £112k and the details are with the Skye Property Centre.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often dwells on dwellings
Digital Edition: the all-important internet connection matters

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Ten Ness Men

Sulasgeir is a most remote island in the UK where survival - not habitation - is possible for a limited time. An exclusive group of ten men from the Lewis township of Ness is permitted by law to harvest here the guga or young gannet. The recent television  programme on them is featured on BBC Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - copies have to be hunted for on occasions
Digital Edition: yet they are easily available here

Friday, 19 January 2018

Drastic Plastic

This image of a Scapa Flow beach is deceptive for recent research has shown that the levels of microplastic pollution here in Orkney are on the same scale as that on the shores of industrial areas along the Clyde and Forth. Read on the BBC website about the studies made by a team from Heriot-Watt University.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a paper-product that's mailed in plastic
Digital Edition: apparently transmitted without material content

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Life & Death on Barra

The magazine, Hidden Europe, considers places throughout the continent. One of its editors, Nicky Gardner has spent some weeks on Barra and here is her second letter from a currently weather-beaten island near the foot of the Outer Hebrides. The first featured Birds on Atlantic Shores.

Scottish Islands Explorer - very much alive and kicking
Digital Edition: supplies not weather-affected

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Winter in the Hebrides

Here's the West Beach of Berneray with the Hills of Harris beyond. It appears in a fine compilation of photographs presented by Julian Paren as an invitation to Winter in the Hebrides using the Gatliff Hostels. They never close; you have little to lose!

Scottish Islands Explorer - recommends plenty to enjoy out-of-season
Digital Edition: also open day and night

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Six Generations On

Back in 1837 - that's 180 years and some six generations ago - the population of Ulva, off Mull, was 600. It was at the height of a kelp boom. Then things declined and much has gone down ever since, with just six residents there today. It's been in the news with the proposed buyout - see Ulva Issues - but some people will just continue to make the occasional visit, enjoy the views of the islands to the south from the now derelict village of Ormaig and be reminded of its connections with the development of Australia.

Scottish Islands Explorer - exists in the present; dwells on the past ...
Digital Edition: ... looks to the future

Monday, 15 January 2018

A Top Whisky

Muckle Flugga Whisky is a single malt distilled in Speyside and taken close to the islet after which it is named. It remains there - perhaps in this shed that's part of the old shore station of the lighthouse on Unst, Shetland and 'winters over'

during a 12-month stay before being returned to its mainland distillery for bottling. The islet that supports the Muckle Flugga lighthouse is within yards of the most northerly outcrop of the British Isles, Out Stack. Acquire a bottle through the Master of Malt website without having to travel to the end of the country.

Scottish Islands Explorer - goes to the ultimate for interests and imbibing
Digital Edition: just goes to the ends of the Earth

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Creating Links

Eilean Dhomhnaill in Loch Olabhat, North  Uist, was linked by a manmade causeway, to create a crannog. These existed from the Iron Age to extend and protect settlements. Now the island of North Uist could become a hub as a spaceport  for launching satellites and spacecraft. Read about the early proposals on the BBC website. Here are different ways of extending influence.

Scottish Islands Explorer - creates links wherever possible
Digital Edition: a revolutionary method