Thursday, 21 March 2019

Orkney Opens

At this time of year, the blog appears at around 07.00 and that's the time today when Orkney will be welcoming the first cruise ship of the season, the MV Astoria. It was meant to be yesterday, but a change in the ship's itinerary unexpectedly occurred. The harbour installation will have a space and the Kirkwall streets will be ready for throngs of visitors. It will all be over by 13.00 when the ship departs. The Orcadian has a report.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some sales will take place before sailing
Digital Edition: interesting as to whether internet is available on board

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Fixed Link or Ferry?

Whalsay is a prosperous and well-populated Shetland isle of 7.6 square miles. It is dependent on a ferry service, but there is talk of a fixed link in the form of a tunnel. See The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of 'two-ferry destinations'
Digital Edition: fixed links are minimal

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Appeal to Youth

Gigha has attracted people over the years. However, the population declined from 700 in the 18th Century to 100 at the end of the last. Following the community buyout in 2002, there was a 50% increase. Now the trustees are looking for younger people to settle and have appointed a 19-year-old to their board. The Press and Journal has the details as well as the background.

Scottish Islands Explorer - Gigha is a fine place to start exploring
Digital Edition: a pre-requisite for most would-be settlers

Monday, 18 March 2019

Time to Look

Two photographers, Gordon Macrae and Aaron Simpson, have their work featured in the current BBC's Your Pictures of Scotland. One sheep on Lewis showed an interest; the other, on Skye, continued to graze.

Scottish Islands Explorer - worth looking at the photos in the current issue
Digital Edition: fast shutter actions and then worldwide exposure

Sunday, 17 March 2019

More at Lismore

Lismore has attracted people over the centuries, but archaeologists have recently found proof, backed by radiocarbon dating, of burials back in the 7th and 10th Centuries. A tradition maintains that St Moulag founded a monastery there in 562, a year ahead of St Columba doing similar on Iona. A report in The Press and Journal gives full details of the finds.

Scottish Islands Explorer - copies are dated
Digital Edition: does not require radiocarbon

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Unst and Low

You can get a little further north than Baltasound in Unst, but not that far. It's not easy to find a six-bedroom property in Britain with a guide price lower than £78k. Go to Zoopla for details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - remains reasonably-priced at £4.95 a copy
Digital Edition: even lower at £9.99 for the year

Friday, 15 March 2019

Gaelic Concerns

The West Highland Free Press has drawn attention to a decline in the numbers of secondary pupils seeking qualifications in Gaelic and of those wanting to apply for places at Sabhal Mor Ostaig (above) on Skye.

Scottish Islands Explorer - at least uses the services of a Gaelic Consultant
Digital Edition: takes any language anywhere in the world

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Schools Hebridean Society

The Schools Hebridean Society was established in 1962 and above are members of the expedition to Mingulay in 1980; below is the camp at Rhenigidale in 1974. It's now history and yet over 3000 places were filled by young people and leaders during the organisation's 27-years of existence. The founder, John Abbott, was a man of inspiration in many fields of education. Now, alas, his memories are curtailed by Alzheimer's disease. His son, Tom, is undertaking Expedition 365 Hebrides to raise funds for and awareness of Alzheimer's Research UK. More details are at Just Giving. If you are near Waterstones in Bristol on Saturday 23 March, go to hear him give a presentation of his proposed ventures - at 19.00. There will be more to report before Tom begins his year-long crusade at the end of March.

Scottish Islands Explorer - pleased to follow a worthy cause
Digital Edition: raises awareness everywhere

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Name Revealed

Here is a typical view of bracken on the Isle of Skye. It provides a clue given to the name chosen by competition for the new accommodation and leisure resort to be built at Portree. See the West Highland Free Press for the winning entry.

Scottish Islands Explorer - items revealed in each issue
Digital Edition: island-hopping on a global scale

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

For Self or Catering?

Here is a two-bedroomed country house on the Isle of Scalpay, Harris, that appears to have ideal attributes for creative people or to be to continued in its current use as

a self-catering property. Full details with a fine gallery of images can be clicked onto here. The asking price is for offers over £170k.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes discovering distinctive places
Digital Edition: always to be checked when looking for residential opportunities