Sunday, 31 July 2016

Five Beds; Six Bunks

Let's be like sheep and flock to more property sites - from Stromness, Orkney, to Unst, Shetland, and now to Galson, Lewis. Today's is a remarkable establishment some 20 miles from Stornoway - with a guest house and five bedrooms (four double) plus a bunkhouse accommodating six. Go to the Hebridean Estate Agency for details and see where the asking price of around £250k could be spent or invested.

Scottish Islands Explorer - here's a prospective base for this magazine
Digital Edition: from the Northern to Western Isles in a flash

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Literary Connections

It may look basic and is in need of restoration, but this cottage, Wullver's Hool, Unst, has a literary history. It was the home of the prolific Shetland writer, Jessie Saxby (1842 - 1940). Her details are in Shetland News and the property is with Harper Macleod. A sum of over £25k would be considered.

Scottish Islands Explorer - covers island writers
Digital Edition: far from the Saxby era

Friday, 29 July 2016

Home on the Holms

Here's a project for the weekend - in considering whether these places are for you. There are two private islands for sale off Stromness, Orkney. They are being offered through the local estate agent, Lows.

Go on, click on above and have the pleasure of 20 clear images plus highly-informative text. You have to admit that this is unusual and that the price, with offers over £300k, is different to that of many properties.

Scottish Islands Explorer - with no physical effort required
Digital Edition: will reach you faster than crossing to the Holms

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Broadband for More

Vodafone now offers its 3G service to two more of Shetland's more distant communities. The 61 residents of Fetlar can access the broader band-width through the Rural Open Sure Signal Scheme of the company. Sandness, in West Mainland, where there are 160 inhabitants in 75 occupied houses, has no village shop and so internet retailing and delivery could well develop further there. The full details are in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - more places to set up businesses ...
Digital Edition: ... and to acquire this magazine instantly?

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Tour de Tweed

The concept of a Harris Tweed Bike Race is not new, but the first one in the Isle of Lewis will be held on Saturday 13 August. The winner will receive a yellow jersey in the appropriate Tour de France colour from yarn supplied by Island Stitches of the Isle of Harris. Read about an event that is both timely and quirky on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has readers in France
Digital Edition: capable of a fast sprint finish to your screen

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Ancient Past ... Alive

The Council for British Archaeology has designated the last two weeks of July as Britain's Festival of Archaeology. You can dig deep into the subject - with a splendid photograph heading a recent article in The Guardian. Make the first move with your cursor.

Scottish Islands Explorer - plenty on the surface of each issue
Digital Edition: arrives instantly from above

Monday, 25 July 2016

Caught on Camera

Whether you prefer Dalmore Beach waves, Isle of Lewis, by Joanne Baird or a puffin landing on the Isle of May by Eric Niven, you will probably enjoy the selection of photographs from the regular BBC website feature. Click on and get carried away.

Scottish Islands Explorer - also full of photographic perspectives
Digital Edition: get there fast through the air and waves

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Orca Watchers' Haven

The Lerwick-based photographer John Coutts, spotted these orca-watchers and the Shetland Wildlife Holiday director, Hugh Harrop, captured the orca images that appear in Shetland News. The headline includes, of course, the words ... 'Whale of a Time'. Follow the leads by clicking above.

Scottish Islands Explorer - off-shore mammals often feature
Digital Edition: no need to wait long for the version to appear

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Postellers Appeal

From city centres to seasides and islands, there are opportunities for enjoyment with Postellers YHA. The organisation has been going for 48 years and is at something of a crossroads. Thousands in London and the South-East have got out and about together, but now more leaders, members (10-14 year-olds) and funds are needed. Find out more by clicking above and here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has introduced many to islands and beyond
Digital Edition: awareness aroused with acceleration

Friday, 22 July 2016

Arm Found

Within this complex of the archaeological site at the Ness of Brodgar, an arm bone has been excavated. It has been waiting to come to the surface of Orkney for some time. Read the account on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - hopes to continue reaching out for decades to come
Digital Edition: within a finger's reach

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Strip, Field and Port

Yesterday we kept at ground level with a feature on the North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival. Today we take off with the flying facilities on the island - for yesterday saw the opening of a new waiting room at the terminal. The Orcadian has the report and makes a reference to the 'airport'. In the image above it is referred to as an 'airstrip'. In between must come the term 'airfield'. Any technical definitions?

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of many landing places
Digital Edition: available through the airwaves without aircraft

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Note and Go

It's always worth looking into festival events and dates to see whether what appeals can be fulfilled. So click onto the North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival and you may be drawn to the most northerly of the Orkney group. You have nothing to lose by looking.

Scottish Islands Explorer - constantly looking around
Digital Edition: downloaded on shore or in the skies

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Flannan Anyone?

There are a few chances each year to reach the Flannan Isles and then it's possible to be thwarted by heavy swell. An opportunity appears on Saturday 30 July when a limited number of places are offered by The Islands Book Trust. Click for a trip, perhaps?

Scottish Islands Explorer - always ready to take off
Digital Edition: given the internet, available on Flannan

Monday, 18 July 2016

Sheep Maps

The Faroe Islands have some interesting terrain, flocks of sheep and ways of using them. Cameras have been strapped to their backs and film footage captured. See the BBC item and the MailOnline piece and then speculate how, for instance, Soay, Scarp, Foula or Fair Isle could be seen in a new perspective.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a new breed of readers encouraged
Digital Edition: also carries new technologies

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Road to Elgol

Here is a photograph to lure you to Skye - on the long, twisting and highly-scenic route between Broadford and Elgol. It's a there-and-back-again road, well-worth travelling,

Scottish Islands Explorer - always scope for discovery
Digital Edition: a one-way system that takes you straight there

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Too Close for Comfort

A regular wild swimmer who has a daily dip off Lerwick was confronted with a bull orca sharing space with her. Read about this encounter in Shetland News and feel relieved that all ended safely.

Scottish Islands Explorer - does not relish meeting killer whales
Digital Edition: able to escape quickly and provide cover

Friday, 15 July 2016

Buzzfeed With Bonus

Take a look at the places of accommodation to stay in Scotland at under £30 per night as featured on Buzzfeed.

Among them is Howmore (below) but not mentioned in the item is Berneray (top) and Rhenigidale (above) - all Gatliff Hostels are within yards of the sea on idyllic islands and are real 'hostels of destination'.

Scottish Islands Explorer - great hostels from which to explore
Digital Edition: download before you leave home for it's faster

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Fish Food Float

A new feed barge for carrying supplies to the fish farms in Loch Seaforth (below) was handed over to Marine Harvest Scotland last week. It carries some 450 tonnes of feed. Another, able to to hold 320 tonnes, will soon be in operation in Loch Stulaidghll. These craft, featured in the Stornoway Gazette, have been designed to work in remote places, but I need assistance to locate Loch Stulaidghll on the map as well as to pronounce its name. Please help!

Scottish Islands Explorer - covers and discovers some remote places
Digital Edition: makes access so easy

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

New Haven on Barra

The project was initiated in 2007 and has recently opened with 90 metres more berthing for fishing vessels. Ardveenish Harbour, Barra, will boost the island's capacity for catches and processing. Read in the Stornoway Gazette about the £1.7 million investment.

Scottish Islands Explorer -  in its way provides investment in island iinterests
Digital Edition: can be caught and processed almost instantly

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Go To Howmore Now

These images of Howmore look inviting enough, but the long-established South Uist settlement offers many more perspectives. They are brilliantly encapsulated in an audiovisual presentation by Dr Julian Paren through the website of the Gatliff Hostels. Go there now via the link.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a publication to sit back and enjoy
Digital Edition: another way of reaching the Scottish Islands

Monday, 11 July 2016

Look Forward

The BBC gallery of photographs from the first week of July features the customary number of island images, including this one of Flotta by Audrey Philpott. Here are places to look forward to visiting.

Scottish Islands Explorer - adds 'to-be-seen' places
Digital Edition: accesses with acceleration

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Whale of a Time

See through the BBC a range of images involving humpback whales breaching the waters off the north-east coast of Lewis. They were taken by Hebridean Whale Cruises, based in Gairloch.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has similar tendencies
Digital Edition: appears suddenly as well

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Body Parts

These sections of a wall in the excavations of the Cairns Project, South Ronaldsay, fit together as only dry-stone walling can. Now archaeologists have to find the connections of recently-discovered human-remains. See the BBC's coverage.

Scottish Islands Explorer - connects every eight weeks
Digital Edition: a fine electronic fit

Friday, 8 July 2016

Am Paipear - 40 Years On

The BBC website feature on the Benbecula-based newspaper, Am Paipear, and an invitation to watch a preview of a programme on the publication are worth considering.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a bi-monthly going for over 16 years
Digital Edition: technically advanced

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Tall Tales

Living in the shadow of The Sgurr on the island of Eigg, must be a little daunting. However, insights and tales from the Small Isles show that the daring and enduring were factors in their histories. A new book by Professor Joan Hunter has been launched and interesting facts from it appear on the BBC website. Don't miss the item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - historically as well as geographically
Digital Edition: compresses time ... for delivery at least

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Web Ahoy!

They keep on coming to Orkney and while the captains of the cruise ships have navigational aids, passengers may not know what to expect. Now a new website has been launched to interest and inform those who anticipate landing and looking. The Orcadian introduces the service.

Scottish Islands Explorer - also aims to interest and inform ...
Digital Edition: ... with innovative methods

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

A Walk on the Steep Side

In October 2015 a group approached Stac Lee, in the St Kilda group, during a weather-window with SeaHarris, and some were able to make the arduous walk and climb up the 45 degree angle to the top. Follow their escapade through YouTube.

Scottish Islands Explorer - from wide scenes to single stacks
Digital Edition:  water- and weather-proof

Monday, 4 July 2016


Anne Glennie certainly knows about diversifying business interests. From keeping alpacas and maintaining Hebridean Huts, for 'glamping', at North Galson on the westside of the Isle of Lewis, she has started Cranachan Publishing. On Thursday 7 July, her first novel - Buy Buy Baby - will be published. Once again the internet has helped eliminate distance. The Stornoway Gazette has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to encompass distances
Digital Edition: delivers at speed

Sunday, 3 July 2016

A Significant Headland

Take a tour or two to Barra Head Lighthouse in the company of Paul Murton and of Marc Calhoun. The former went there with a BBC film crew; the latter though Northern Light Charters. The trips are memorable for this headland dominates.

Scottish Islands Explorer - covers both headlands and islands
Digital Edition: get ahead with the fastest way of access

Saturday, 2 July 2016

New Walk Planned

Take in a still image of Latheronwheel, Caithness, and then click onto its source, Gordonmac Dot Com, for a great shoreline shot. The section of coast may be opened up to walkers in 2018 with the creation of a route between Inverness and John O'Groats. Some details are on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - in print as well as on paths
Digital Edition: or seamlessly through the internet

Friday, 1 July 2016

Finance ... and Risk

There have been clouds of uncertainty over Europe this past week. They have not had such a benign look as those over Raasay from Pinterest. However, the examination achievements of a Raasay resident have been acknowledged in his command of Finance, Investment and Risk. See the West Highland Free Press item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - clouds some judgments
Digital Edition: races through the ether to you