Tuesday, 25 July 2017

View Down from a Drone


Time to relax, even if on the edge of your computer seat, and take in the images from a drone cruising down the Hebrides from North Uist to Vatersay. Just go to YouTube.


Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoy taking in an issue or two
Digital Edition: all part of the same technology

Monday, 24 July 2017

Across Out Skerries



The MV Filla, on its regular service to the Out Skerries jetty on Bruray, will not pass Bound Skerry, the most easterly point of Britain, but it will afford a good view of Easter Skerries (below) and, perhaps, a glimpse of Mio Ness, the 'narrow headland' (bottom) at the south-west end of Housay as well as of Filla, after which the ship is named.


An interesting image and item about North Benelip is to be found on the blog of Andy Strangeway who, as ever, ventured beyond the usual parameters. The names of North and South Benelip sound more like London Underground stations than islets at the east end of the Out Skerries, Shetland.


Scottish Islands Explorer - promotes the remote
Digital Edition: part of the internet mainstream

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ulva Buyout?


The island of Ulva is well within the boundaries of Mull, but public access is currently by the passenger ferry above. It is not a large craft for the 4,600 acres that have been owned by the Howard family for over a century. Their £4.25 million sale of the island, recently announced, has been halted now that a community buyout has been proposed. The number of permanent residents is not high and so it will be a test-case to see whether monies can be raised to fund the purchase. Read all about it in The Herald.

Scottish Islands Explorer - currently for sale ... at £3.95 per copy
Digital Edition: also available at £9.99 per year

Saturday, 22 July 2017

A Great Eastern Railway


Thanks to Andy Strangeway, advocate and adventurer, we have an image of Bound Skerry, the most easterly point of the British Isles. The lighthouse, built in 1857, in the Out Skerries group of Shetland also had its means of construction and of delivering supplies - a railway. Apparently it was bombed twice during the Second World War, mistaken for a munitions factory.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a publication named after one man?
Digital Edition: delivered along the fast tracks of the 21st Century

Friday, 21 July 2017

Remote Rocks Railway


When it comes to remote railways in Britain, the one on Sule Skerry, 40 miles west of Orkney, comes into the extreme category. It is on the South Landing and was used for conveying rocks during the 1892 - 94 construction of the 88ft lighthouse on the 35-acre islet that rises 45ft above sea level. The photograph, taken in 1967 by David Glass, is now 50 years old. Read a full account of a part of Sutherland  in this Photographers' Resource. The lighthouse is the most distant from any other settlement in the UK.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to feature places that are remote
Digital Edition: overcomes distance effortlessly

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Take a Closer Look


Here is the lighthouse and dwelling on Little Ross, the island featured on the blog yesterday and still on the market today. The Caithness-based publisher, Whittles, is preparing for the October launch of its new book, Life and Death on Little Ross by David Collin. The author was there on the day of the murder of a lighthouse keeper and, 57 years later, gives a full account of the incident, the 117 years of devoted service by the Northern Lights Board staff as well as of the life and times of the island and its community.

Scottish Islands Explorer - will feature the book in the Nov / Dec issue
Digital Edition: acts quickly when requested

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Little Ross; Big News


Lighthouses have their secrets, but what happened on Little Ross, off the Dumfries & Galloway coast, in 1960 became a big news story. Now it is being revived with the prospective sale of the 29-acre island for an asking price of £325k. The details of the past are in the Daily Telegraph; the current features are presented by Galbraith of Castle Douglas.

Scottish Islands Explorer - few hidden secrets
Digital Edition: open to all at a moment's notice

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Currency Uncovered


The Knowe of Swandro archaeological site on Rousay, Orkney, continues to spring surprises. The latest is the discovery of a mid-4th Century Roman coin. The last to be found in a comparable position was in sand dunes on the Western Isles about ten years ago. Go to the BBC website for the full story.


Scottish Islands Explorer - deals in sterling
Digital Edition: at a reasonable price - £9.99 per year

Monday, 17 July 2017

Skye Lines


Both the design of the window and the view from this dwelling on Loch Duich are compelling. Take a look at more features of the house at Letterfearn and then learn about the Skye-based architectural company, Rural Design.


Scottish Islands Explorer - subject to design and scrutiny
Digital Edtion: delivers in a thrice

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Hoy Wire Act


Getting up the Old Man of Hoy has never been easy, but going there and back by tight-rope took Alexander Schulz, a German adventurer, into new dimensions - measuring 450ft above the sea and almost 200 yards for a one-way journey. The story from Orkney is covered by the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer - also needs planning
Digital Edition: it links invisibly

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Stroma Find for Band


To find the connection between Stroma, the deserted Caithness island, and Neon Waltz, the John O'Groats-based band, go to the BBC website. The clue is an abandoned musical instrument that can still be played.


Scottish Islands Explorer - brings the forgotten back to memories ...
Digital Edition: ... with speed

Friday, 14 July 2017

First Legal Distiller


Iain Robertson, photographed here by Scott Mooney, will be joining the team of R&B as its whisky distiller at the new Isle of Raasay Distillery. It's due to open in September and will be the first legal still on the island. He is a recent graduate of the Heriot Watt Brewing and Distilling School and has been a guide at the Edinburgh-situated The Scotch Whisky Experience. Look back on this blog to Bere Barley - for details of the venture.

Scottish Islands Explorer - distills stories and news items
Digital Edition: takes a fraction of the time to produce and deliver

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Bring on the Boats!


The official opening of the £16.5 million extension to Lerwick Harbour, Mair's Pier, has taken place. More cruise ships will be appearing on the horizon and their passengers thronging the town as well as visiting the island. Read about the new facilities on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - on sale in Lerwick
Digital Edition: advance copies available

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Secret and Stunning


When Daniel Start made a selection from his Hidden Beaches - Wild Things Publishing - for the The Telegraph, he chose three of his secret and stunning locations in Scotland. Two of these were on the islands - Fidden on Mull and Uig on Lewis. Take a quick look now, ready, perhaps, for a summer jaunt.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always ready to explore the shore
Digital Edition: provides access with acceleration

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Idyllic Small Island Estate


Here's an opportunity to acquire an idyllic small estate, on an island, within the Inner Hebrides with offers over £375k. Take a look at Arinthluic, Isle of Coll, through the Inverness office of Bell Ingram, but with a closing date of Friday 14 July.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a small media estate itself
Digital Edition: with a technological presence

Monday, 10 July 2017

Seek and Find


Seeking property in Shetland; find something on Fetlar? Look at the article in the Home section of the Sunday Times. It could act as a good guide.

Scottish Islands Explorer - at least settle down with a magazine
Digital Edition: go places in seconds

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Machines Ebb and Flow


Two items in the BBC coverage of the Northern Isles show how the design and construction of machines to harness energy from the waves and tides can come and go. Shetland has the innovative story; while Orkney is preserving a product for posterity.

Scottish Islands Explorer - back issues are preserved
Digital Edition: current magazines a part of innovative technology

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Price-cut to Callanish


Getting to the Callanish Stones, or the rest of the Isle of Lewis, via Stornoway Airport has never been difficult, but it can be expensive. However, an aircraft price-war is underway and one way flights from Glasgow can be secured for £50. Delving into the Loganair and Flybe websites is required, but first get the background to the battle for your custom from the BBC.


Scottish Islands Explorer - has not increased its price for five years
Digital Edition: a bargain at £1.99 for one issue; £9.99 for six

Friday, 7 July 2017

Pleasure Palace Preserved?


Rum has many natural attributes, but few islands in the world have anything resembling the innovative former home and pleasure palace of the Bullough family, Kinloch Castle. Its upkeep is horrifically high, but plans are in hand to keep it preserved for future generations to enjoy. Read The Times article published yesterday.


Scottish Islands Explorer - preserved in print
Digital Edition: constantly available online

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Freedom Conferred



Consider the life and times of Dr John Rae in Frontiers Magazine and then read on the BBC website about the Freedom of Orkney to be conferred on the Arctic Explorer.


Scottish Islands Explorer - celebrates both the living and the deceased
Digital Edition: resurrects past issues

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Music from the Old Man


The Old Man of Hoy, Orkney, looks a little precarious. However, David Greenald, from Chester, achieved an ambition by climbing to the top of the stack, taking out his accordion and playing tunes. His friends recorded the event which is available through The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - stresses the visual
Digital Edition: brings sounds and sights

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

A Day of Glory Given


Walking the Song by Hamish Brown (Sandstone Press) has recently been published. One chapter - A Day of Glory Given - is about a walk he took on a Christmas Day from the Gatliff Hostel at Rhenigidale, North Harris. Click onto the chapter title to access the full account of his experiences. For even more extensive days out, download the work of Neil Pinkett with his Walks From the Gatliff Hostel at Reinigeadal. Alternatively purchase the booklet for £3 from Northampton Square.


Scottish Islands Explorer - also a way of finding your feet in the hills
Digital Edition: try the magazine for £1.99 a copy; £9.99 for a year

Monday, 3 July 2017

Island Invitation


There are several ways of accessing the Holm of Grimbister, an island that's for sale in Orkney. One is to go there in person; another is to purchase the current edition of Scottish Islands Explorer or its digital edition at £1.99 for the single copy where it is featured on the inside back cover; another is to read about in The Times Bricks & Mortar supplement; alternatively go to the Savills website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - copies with you quickly
Digital Edition: an issue with you immediately

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Pull of Mull


Whether you have Calgary Bay around or Tobermory below, Mull has its pull. The blog Love Sco++ish Islands presents this view as well as some compelling images.


Scottish Islands Explorer - always takes in a variety of views
Digital Edition: ready to respond to your instructions

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Take in Arran


Yesterday's image was from the prow of a yacht; today's from a comparable position on a CalMac ferry. This is of the approach to Lochranza, Arran, and its a reminder that here is an island that offers much. Check out this website and look to Brodick Castle of the National Trust for Scotland. There's a reminder of its having the only island country park, which stretches from the seashore to the mountain top.

Scottish Islands Explorer - stretches even further horizontally
Digital Edition: good for a quick trip

Friday, 30 June 2017

A Gallery of Variety


Here is an image of island-explorers in action. Jennie Morrison captures the experience of approaching Ailsa Craig in the BBC Your Pictures of Scotland series.

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys the going and the going ashore
Digital Edition: brings the photographs to life fast

Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Fair Isle Stare


They are looking at you with stares. Time for you to regard them - these Fair Isle sheep - on the website that features their island between Orkney and Shetland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - another way of looking
Digital Edition: accessed only by humans

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Take a Tour or Two


Here are two ways to tour Orkney. Take the virtual reality method with Andrew Learmonth through VisitScotland; go in person with Patricia Long nee Leith who is a guide with an extensive and intensive knowledge of the island group. The photograph of the Ring of Brodgar is by Premysl Fojtu and there are Orcadians alive today whose ancestors helped construct the Neolithic henge.

Scottish Islands Explorer - helps build knowledge
Digital Edition: a product that's 10,000 generations down the line

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Words Woven in Song


The Shetland Tweed Company and the use of local words to brand its products was described by Eric Musgrave in his blog. A BBC programme introduction puts the Shetland dialect into context and now a choir and its leader, featured in Shetland News, have won an award for their promoting it through song and composition.


Scottish Islands Explorer - weaves words every eight weeks
Digital Edition: promotes them worldwide

Monday, 26 June 2017

A Few Fetlar Fotos


This image of the 'Stone of the Ripples' overlooking the Wick of Houbie comes from the Shetland island of Fetlar. It is one of many that are featured in a gallery to be enjoyed here from the blog Kozetland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes names that sound distinctive
Digital Edition: so easy to access

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Bere Barley


Bere barley has a Viking pedigree and has been grown on Orkney for many years. It is to be grown, first as a trial, on Raasay, Skye, in preparation for use in the new island distillery. The BBC website has an interesting account of the backgrounds to the crop and to the venture.


Scottish Islands Explorer - always open to experiment
Digital Edition: ready for most communicative processes

Saturday, 24 June 2017

An Island's Images


People look at islands in different ways. This photograph of three lochans on Tanera Mor is to promote Wild Swimming. However, the exhibition at the Rhue Gallery, Ullapool, features the work of Kevin Percival who was employed on the Summer Isles and whose images of people and places are captivating. See a preview on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - exhibits itself every two months
Digital Edition: always available

Friday, 23 June 2017

Way North of Norwich


The vintage bus, a Bedford OB, which left Norwich for Lerwick, Shetland, last week, has reached Kirkwall, Orkney. It was covered on this blog, but now read more about the venture in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - gets around the country as well
Digital Edition: take a tour of the website yourself

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Memories of Matron


What is today the Youth Hostel on the Old Scapa Road in Kirkwall, had been opened in the Second World War for postal and communications staff. However, in 1947 its use changed and part of it became a hostel for girls from the outlying Orkney islands attending school in the town. At a special lunch, former residents recalled their time in the accommodation supervised by a 'formidable but kind' matron. The Orcadian covered the event.

Scottish Islands Explorer - more accustomed to boarding ferries
Digital Edition: has its own communications hub

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Sunset Boulevard


The BBC website has a fine collection of images of sunsets throughout Scotland taken recently. The one shown is from the Loch of Clumly, Stromness, Orkney, by Graham Lyon.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often looks to islands in the west
Digital Edition: also 'in the clouds'

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Beneath Rockall & Reefs


Conditions look placid on, around and above Rockall from the photograph. Recent research has revealed much about the underwater features and marine eco-systems below this most remote of islets and its adjacent rocks and reefs. Dive into a new world here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - appreciates all dimensions
Digital Edition: Rockall provides interest but no sales

Monday, 19 June 2017

Eight to Wait


Here is one of the first sights of Papa Stour, Shetland, for those arriving on the ferry. It's the waiting room and adjacent camp-site. So visitors are certain to boost the island numbers substantially as the resident population is now down to eight. Take a closer look at what there is to see and learn about the fascinating place from the blog, A Lifetime of Islands.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to see numbers boosted
Digital Edition: steadily building its base