Sunday, 21 October 2018

Iona Library Restored

The Duke of Argyll, whose great-great-grandfather established the Iona Cathedral Trust in 1899, has officially opened the newly-restored library on Iona. The Very Revd Dr Finlay Macdonald (pictured above), chairman of the trust, is pleased with the results of refurbishment with its monies and the assistance of a £100k National Lottery grant. Some of the buildings date back to the 6th Century; with the Columban monastery being supplanted by the Benedictine Abbey in the 13th Century; earlier restoration work has been in various phases from 1913 into the 1940s and 1950s. The Press and Journal has more details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - copies need to be lodged there
Digital Edition: what changes there have been in reading

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Be Aroused on Raasay

One thing will lead to another on Raasay - from the delights of the distillery to the lights of fiery torches. The fourth Whisky Fire & Song event will be taking place on Friday 2 & Saturday 3 November 2018. Click here for full details and then make a booking directly on the website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - casts light on distant places
Digital Edition: moves at the speed of light

Friday, 19 October 2018

A Popular Skye Option

Here's the MV Coruisk, of CalMac's fleet, approaching Armadale from Mallaig, with the Knoydart Peninsula in the background. Figures in a West Highland Free Press item show that this crossing is surprisingly popular, despite the obvious attractions of the Skye Bridge. The clues may be in the sights on the sea journey; the amenities along the Sound of Sleat; the fine Fort William - Mallaig road, with the locations of parts of a popular novel en route; simply that SatNav tends to advise this way.

Scottish Islands Explorer - prefers the scenic routes
Digital Edition: delivers directly

Thursday, 18 October 2018


Once the Church of Scotland supported a missionary / teacher on the remote island of Foula where the kirk (above) has few social amenities immediately around it. Few residents use the road to reach it on a Sunday and now the ecclesiastical authorities have announced the prospective closure of it, plus six others on small islands - Out Skerries, Whalsay, Bressay, Fetlar, Fair Isle and Yell. 13 kirks on Mainland Shetland have been selected as well. For details of this 'Twenty-Kirk-Cull', go to the BBC Website or to Tuesday's blog

Scottish Islands Explorer - it's easier to manage a magazine than a mission
Digital Edition: always opening new markets

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

All Electric Orkney?

The prospect of being able to fly from Kirkwall to the outer Orkney islands by electric plane could be a reality by 2021. Read the item on the BBC Website and quietly make plans to be there for some remarkably innovative flights.

Scottish Islands Explorer - could the magazine be all-electronic by then?
Digital Edition: the way of the future

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Two-Thirds to Go

Here's the most northerly Church of Scotland kirk in Britain - at Unst in the Shetland group. Although specific church closures have not been announced, the figure of 20 out of 31 to be decommissioned in Shetland has sounded alarm bells. That's one-third to remain. A clue to this is in another statistic - there are 975 members of the Church of Scotland in Shetland, but two-thirds of them do not contribute financially. Details are in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - well aware of changes in communities
Digital Edition: something that's on the increase 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Gravity Defied on Skye

Waterfalls are determined by forces of gravity - for there's not much that can stop them. However, Storm Callum performed remarkably on Skye as these pictures from the BBC Website show.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of the pressures of the elements
Digital Edition: subject to other forces

Sunday, 14 October 2018


The history of Vallay contains elements of a 'tall story' or in this case lengthy shadows on the tidal flats that separate it from the rest of North Uist. However, Lucy Davies explores many down-to-earth aspects of the island in yesterday's Daily Telegraph Magazine. Interesting insights are presented.

Scottish Islands Explorer - discover through a full-length article
Digital Edition: not dependent upon tidal forces

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Go Great Bernera

Bosta Beach, Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis, is depicted here by Murdo Alick Macleod and appears in Art UK. For a tour of the island in high-definition there is no better way than the Calco Macleod presentation on YouTube.

Scottish Islands Explorer - explore this island in just 13 minutes
Digital Edition: high definition wherever you are

Friday, 12 October 2018

Full Power on Fair Isle

The Auld Haa Guesthouse will, like all other connected properties on Fair Isle, be receiving full power from the Scottish Power electricity grid from today onward. There will be no need to rely on the Northern Lights on some occasions! The full story is documented in Shetland News. The next stage is to attract more people to make this island location their home.

Scottish Islands Explorer - left Fair Isle in 2006 after launching there in 2000
Digital Edition: needs electricity, internet and a screen