Wednesday, 22 November 2017

House, Gallery & Studio

Yesterday's blog featured a property that could have served a writer. Today's consists of a three-in-one deal in which a house, gallery and studio are offered for £350k at Garyvard (the poet's garden) in the South Lochs area of the Isle of Lewis. Artists have been accommodated here for several years and the estate agent, Ken MacDonald, is right to stress the unique aspect of these purpose-built facilities.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always on the lookout for the unique
Digital Edition: will deliver on time

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Panoramic View

Here's what could be a writer's dream - a one-bedroom cottage ... on an island ... commanding a 180 degree view to the west ... with sunsets as the bonus to a fulfilling day's work. It's on West Yell, Shetland, is new to the market with offers over £75k. See what this property at Everhoull has to offer.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always looking out for stimulating locations
Digital Edition: wifi takes you far

Monday, 20 November 2017

Studio Specials

Here is the Mission House Studio, Finsbay, Isle of Harris, the workshop of Beka Globe Photography. Do take a look at her work and consider the 30% discount, plus special draw, on books and prints available until Monday 4 December.  Ask for details and mention this blog.

Scottish Islands Explorer - will take you far
Digital Edition: available from farthest points

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Severe, but Spectacular

There are many sides to Foula - from the facilities of the harbour at Ham to the outline of Gaada's Stack. The life and times of the settlement are captured in this BBC Travel item which leads with the words - 'Severe, but Spectacular' - and contains memorable imagery.

Scottish Islands Explorer - to the ends of the British Isles
Digital Edition: broadband eliminates distance

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Resourceful on Rockall

There are ultimate destinations and sources of in-depth information. This group from the Scorpion Expedition on Hall's Ledge, Rockall, have achieved an ambition, shared by many, of sitting on perhaps the most inaccessible spot in the British Isles. Their adventure can be watched in a brilliant YouTube clip. For a full analysis of Rockall, and its adjacent Hasselwood Rock and Helen's Reef, go straight to the dissertation by Ondrej Danek. These outposts are well covered by the author.

Scottish Islands Explorer - getting well away
Digital Edition: goes to the ends of the Earth

Friday, 17 November 2017

Best in 17 Years

Mingulay was abandoned by its human residents in 1912 and its bird numbers have fluctuated ever since. However, the National Trust for Scotland, which manages the island almost at the end of the Outer Hebridean chain, reports the best season in 17 years for guillemots and razorbills. The BBC website carries a report 

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys rises in numbers
Digital Edition: is experiencing them

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Village for Sale

There's a 'holiday village' in Elgol, Skye, on sale through Strutt & Parker. Take a look at what Mary's Cottages have to offer as an investment for letting as well as living.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some investment potential
Digital Edition: low price entry level

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Space for Ship

There has long been a replica Viking ship looking down towards the whole nation from the top end of Unst, Shetland. Now there is a move to bring the launching of space-crafts, maybe space-ships, to the island. Consider what's proposed from the BBC website. Soon Unst visitors may have a complete view of the whole country?

Scottish Islands Explorer - fills its spaces with island material
Digital Edition: has a permanent presence in space

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Sanday School

The two figures on the school sign represent half the number of pupils who, in the last school-year, attended the primary school on Sanday, serving Canna on the Small Isles. Now all four children from one family have gone and the school has been 'mothballed'. There are just 17 people residing on Canna and Sanday. Quite an opportunity for schooling with a difference. Read about it on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - numbers holding up
Digital Edition: subscribers racing ahead

Monday, 13 November 2017

New Era for Tanera

A chance encounter yesterday at a cafe on the shores of the Mediterranean led to meeting a relative of a former owner of Tanera Beag, one of the Summer Isles. Research followed and the discovery, missed in the Summer, that Tanera Mhor, the largest of the island group, had been sold after being on the market for exactly four years. The details are here and the new owner is Ian Wace, co-founder of Marshall Wace Asset Management, a London-based hedge fund. There's a new era ahead for this holiday haven in 2018.

Scottish Islands Explorer - last sold almost eight years ago
Digital Edition: currently trading in the ether of the internet

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Knitwear Resurgence

Yesterday's item drew attention to the resilience of trade in candles. Today's focuses on the resurgence of knitting as a creative activity as shown at a weekend event in Lerwick. Go to Shetland News for details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - printed publications maintain appeal over the years
Digital Edition: comparatively recent, but with growing appeal

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Essence of Harris

There's a family-run, candle-making company on the Isles of Harris that is going places internationally. See what Essence of Harris offers and read the report on their progress in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - illuminates island interests
Digital Edition: powered by the internet

Friday, 10 November 2017

Virtual Visitors Arriving

The St Kilda archipelago is marked here. In the background are Hirta, where people lived permanently until 1930; Soay where landing is extremely difficult and the sheep are feral. Closer to the plane from which this photograph was taken are Stac an Armin and Stac Lee, occasionally climbed by intrepid 'Marilyn-baggers'; Boreray, thought to have been permanently uninhabited until recent discoveries. The last is the smallest Scottish island with a summit of over 1000ft. It is also the focal point of a video game which is detailed on the BBC website. So virtual visitors are assured.

Scottish Islands Explorer - print and electronic; not video
Digital Edition: the modern way to absorb such places at St Kilda

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Box of Books Discovered

A member of The Islands Book Trust staff was clearing a space when a hidden box of books was discovered and some previously out-of-stock publications were back in print. They were advertised and some shrewd buyers purchased at original prices. See what's still available here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some back numbers remain available
Digital Edition: once converted to this version, always on offer

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Cover Photo

This image by Shetland-based photographer, John Moncrieff, was selected as the cover for the British Wildlife Photography Awards' book. Read about and see more of his highly-commended work in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - encourages a bi-monthly head-to-head
Digital Edition: makes contact as quickly as these puffins

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Mustheb Story

Read the story of Heike Winter in the Stornoway Gazette and you will learn of a notion that evolved into a business plan and then into production as well as marketing. All being well, Mustheb will reach your table before transfer to plate and palate.

Scottish Islands Explorer - keen to be involved with enterprises
Digital Edition: takes business ideas to international markets

Monday, 6 November 2017

Stroma Surveyed

The lighthouse on Stroma, in the Pentland Firth, continues to function, but the island failed to flourish after its peak in 1901. However, permanent residents continued for over 60 years until it became depopulated. The Scotsman carried a memorable article on the eerie settlement earlier this year with its history and buildings surveyed.

Scottish Islands Explorer - considers the flourishing and floundering
Digital Edition: goes from strength to strength

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Click for Cash

The Islands Book Trust has a purpose - to discover and share the history of Scotland's island communities. It arranges meetings and lectures, publishes books and papers, organises events and trips - including ones to the Shiant Islands, pictured above. The Trust is keen to benefit from the generous scheme of the Aviva Community Fund hoping to raise £1000 for its 2018 Programme. One thousand votes are needed and, so far, 252 have been given. Please use your ten votes to help reach that total. Some 2000 blog-watchers will access this page; some 200 will scrutinise it; perhaps some 20 will go a little further and cast votes to almost double the total secured so far? Click here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - discovers and shares
Digital Edition: raises revenue electronically

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Point Piper Property

Close to the Coral beaches, at Claigan, near Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye - Point Piper, a detached bungalow built five years ago, is now on sale for offers in excess of £350k. Worth looking into as well as out from.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes property in prime exploratory areas
Digital Edition: having fast internet is always a key condition

Friday, 3 November 2017

From Public to Private

Yesterday's item looked at changes in public transport next year; today's is about the recent opening of new facilities for those with private vessels. They are marina hubs at East Loch Tarbert and Scalpay on the Isle of Harris. The report in the Stornoway Gazette indicates how they will enable sailors to link with comparable facilities in Stornoway, Lochmaddy, Lochboisdale and Castlebay.

Scottish Islands Explorer - new ways for marine explorers
Digital Edition: also about links on a global scale

Thursday, 2 November 2017

More Connections for 2018

Changes to timetables for 2018 are featured in the Stornoway Gazette. Among them is the new 06.20 weekend service from Lochboisdale (photographed by Allan Macdonald) to Mallaig that will connect with the Fort William train, enabling passengers to continue, if they wish, to Corrour with its Station House, billed as one of the country's remotest restaurants.

It certainly is far above sea level, for at 1339 ft is the highest railway station in the UK, and provides the only access to vast areas of land and loch. So the islands and wilderness will be a little closer.

Scottish Islands Explorer - pleased to learn of easier access
Digital Edition: always accessible

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Fruits de Mer

Around ten days ago, in heavy Atlantic seas, the Lombok Strait, lost two containers overboard. If they have opened, then large quantities of bananas and pineapples are heading in a westerly direction. Beachcombers have been alerted by Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - here's another reason for exploring coasts
Digital Edition: picked up through internet not fishing-net

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

An Array of Sunrises

Yesterday morning - the final Monday in October - saw clear skies over much of Scotland and a fine array of sunrises. Some of them - like the one above at Port Askaig, Islay - are presented on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often worked on at that hour
Digital Edition: available worldwide at any time

Monday, 30 October 2017

Business Opportunities

Business is booming in places, but running a small commercial enterprise is never easy. Take a look at what's on offer in Shetland. However, in a recent presentation on the topic to the Scottish Parliament, only 12 small businesses in that area responded. Were they too busy or so despondent?

Scottish Islands Explorer - well aware of the ups and downs
Digital Edition:  certainly shows innovative ways

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Logging Today?

Did you have an extra hour in bed today - even apart from having the clocks go back? When sperm whales sleep on, the term used is 'logging' and a group of them off the Isle of Lewis were caught doing so on camera last Wednesday. Catch up with the details on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - rests a little between issues
Digital Edition: never sleeps

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Challenging Plots

Here are two challenging plots - both in Orphir, Orkney. Above is the winner of a competition in Gardeners' World magazine; below is for building at Houton Head.

Scottish Islands Explorer - challenging topics encouraged
Digital Edition: overcomes challenges of time and space

Friday, 27 October 2017

Were Lights Turned On?

Were your lights turned on by the National Trust for Scotland appointment? It was featured here on Monday and Tuesday - with a closing of applications today. The Barra Head lighthouse on Berneray at the foot of the Outer Hebrides towers over an island that would be in your care, were you Operations Manager here. Do consider the post as well as the work of photographer, Charles Tait, who was responsible for this image.

Scottish Islands Explorer - loves the thought of this job
Digital Edition: subscribing is as easy as receiving

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Always Away Games

Barra planes land on sand; Greenock Morton football teams play on grass. One young player commutes between them. Read the story in yesterday's edition of The Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - goes on regular missions for coverage
Digital Edition: takes from little to no time

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Long Lens Needed

Here's an aerial view of Sule Skerry, 37 miles west of Orkney, and its lighthouse, the most remote of the formerly-manned installations in Britain. Were it to require a replacement lens then that could be difficult to acquire as well as to deliver. However, the BBC website features a item on a man whose work involves keeping this aspect of glass-making, an old technology, alive.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes looking a long distance
Digital Edition: part of the new technology

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Calling Again

There were many visitors to the blog yesterday and with the Friday 27 October closing date for applications, here are the details of the Operations Manager, Natural Heritage (Islands) appointment from the National Trust for Scotland. It's the chance of a lifetime for the right person wanting to care for such as Canna (above) and Fair Isle.

Scottish Islands Explorer - the magazine has a keen operations manager
Digital Edition: getting around them is no problem by this method

Monday, 23 October 2017

Calling for a Custodian

Do you feel a calling to protect and promote such places as Staffa and Fair Isle as well as St Kilda, Canna, Iona, Mingulay, Berneray and Pabbay? If so, then act quickly if a 'dream job' appeals. The National Trust for Scotland is advertising for a Custodian for these islands. According to an article in The Scotsman only five people have, so far, formally expressed an interest in the appointment for which applications close on Friday.

Scottish Islands Explorer - do mention the magazine if applying
Digital Edition: acquire knowledge of the islands through this acquisition

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Elevation and Location

There would be something stimulating about having a contemporary house set into the hillside, with your own three acres around you, views across Skye and, on a clear day, out to North Uist. The plot is on offer - in excess of £80k - and it's at Lower Milovaig, beyond Glendale. Worth checking out the details through the agent, RE/MAX.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes locations with elevations
Digital Edition: always in a commanding position on the internet

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Watch Out

These four fulmars, resting on Orkney cliffs, are fortunate. Many have been effected by plastic pollution and their plight has been documented by the South Ronaldsay filmmaker, Raymond Besant. His work will be screened on BBC Two's Autumnwatch next week. The details are in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - resting after the latest edition that's been released
Digital Edition: always on alert for subscribers

Friday, 20 October 2017

Petrel Patrol

Storm petrels fly a long way out to sea to gather food and have to wait until prospective predators are asleep before they return. So seeing them can be arduous and involve late nights. Two RSPB scientists looked into the possibilities of setting up a long-term project with infrared cameras on the uninhabited Shetland isle of Mousa. Read about their findings in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tends to go to bed early
Digital Edition: always awake and read

Thursday, 19 October 2017

New Issue at Hand

If you are a subscriber, then the new issue of Scottish Islands Explorer should be at hand. If you purchase your copy from a retail outlet, then supplies should now be within reach. The edition will take you to Orkney, Shetland, the Outer and Inner Hebrides, to places where significant transport links to the islands are made, Mallaig and Inverness as well as away to Scottish connections in the Falkland Islands. There's also an exclusive interview with the CEO of Flybe - an airline that's ready to convey you to many of these parts.

Scottish Islands Explorer - be taken there
Digital Edition: making the journey, if you wish, in an instant

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Reprinting Owing to Demand

There's a new guidebook to the Outer Hebrides from the publisher, Bradt. It has had to be reprinted owing to demand and that's within just three months - as reported in the Stornoway Gazette. The author, Mark Rowe, has every reason to be pleased and, by chance, his contribution as Guest Columnist appears in the new edition of Scottish Islands Explorer that is officially launched today. Look out for both book and magazine, just as this observer is looking out from Bosta Beach, Lewis.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks around coasts and lochs throughout Scotland
Digital Edition: delivering its findings fast

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Picture Perfect

Neist Point, Skye, photographed by Stephen Docherty, appears in the new series of images, Your Pictures of Scotland, on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - new issue officially out tomorrow
Digital Edition: the new one has been online for the past five days

Monday, 16 October 2017

Skye's the Limit

This Press and Journal photograph of Danny MacAskill shows him on top of his native Skye. A BBC Scotland item endeavours to explain the science behind his masterful manoeuvres.

Scottish Islands Explorer - recognises a genius when it meets one
Digital Edition: also appears to defy gravity