Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Open ... for Booking

Take a look below at the waters in front of Lews Castle, Stornoway, and reflect on the ways in which this grand and historic building has been recently-renovated to provide luxurious accommodation and first-rate facilities. The delight is in the details which are to be found through Natural Retreats. Here is a natural choice for a stay from Easter 2017 onwards and bookings can be made now.

Scottish Islands Explorer - what a base for exploring the Isle of Lewis
Digital Edition: another area where the 'now' word is applicable

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Bobby the Birdman

Here is a chance to discover and relish the achievements of Bobby Tulloch (1929 - 1996) the renowned Shetland naturalist by acquiring a new book book on him from Birlinn. The details of its launch are to be found in Shetland News and an obituary can be read from the pages of The Independent.

Scottish Islands Explorer - records wildlife and its experts' achievements
Digital Edition: go on, go back in time with a futuristic approach

Monday, 28 November 2016

History in the Making

There is something a little eerie when comparatively recent events or constructions are classified as 'historical'. That has happened with the Churchill Barriers in Orkney, two of which have been listed by Historic Environment Scotland for the first time. Follow this up in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looking forward to editions being 'listed'
Digital Edition: the antidote to 'historic'

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Rocket Post

The distance from Hushinish to Scarp, North Harris, is not far, but it has imperilled lives and inspired scientific work. None more so than the events documented in the 2004 production of Rocket Post, a film that is featured in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - here was exploration with a difference
Digital Edition: quite a contrast in information speeds

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Spreading Its Wings

Loganair will be doing two more significant things next year - severing its links with Flybe and operating more services. These will include flying passengers from Stornoway to Manchester and back. For details of what will be on offer, go to the BBC website. The Old Man of Hoy, below, will not be affected.

Scottish Islands Explorer - more ways of getting to destinations of choice
Digital Edition: journeys effortlessly through the internet

Friday, 25 November 2016

Adopt An Acre

Two days ago the notion of living on Skye was highlighted. Now here is a chance to adopt an acre of the 12,000 that make up Bla Bheinn in the Cuillin Hills through a scheme promoted by the John Muir Trust. One or two would make quite a purchase or gift.

Scottish Islands Explorer - another acceptable gift at a comparable price
Digital Edition: and one for under a tenner

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Fair Isle - To View

Are these vessels ready to come or go from Northaven, Fair Isle? The island which was once thriving with 400 residents is now surviving with 55. However, publicity is about to happen with a two-part portrait of the life and times of the community starting on BBC Scotland on Monday 28 November at 21.00. Read about it in Shetland News and, if possible, either see the programme or try to persuade the BBC to screen it on One, Two or Four. Prepare yourself with an informative read from Shetland - Pride of Place.

Scottish Islands Explorer - Fair Isle is where the magazine originated
Digital Edition: available everywhere 24 hours per day

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Skye High

When Rightmove asked a number of people where they most desired to live in Britain, Skye came top of the list. Take a look at the results of the survey here. For a look at the range of properties they are promoting, click here, and the list includes Crionach pictured above, built to traditional lines in 2003.

For a more modern look and a winner of an architectural award, though built just six years later, is Fiscavaig House, which is not currently for sale. Strathaird House below is an older property on the market with the principal rooms in the Georgian part of the house.

Scottish Islands Explorer - occasionally advertises island properties
Digital Edition: if houses sold at the speed of this style of publication

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Festival Fundraising

As the season of good will approaches and the North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival continues to need support - particularly for the sheepdyke re-building that encircles the island - do consider assisting. Ways and means are here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - continuing to build its circulation
Digital Edition: also circles the planet

Monday, 21 November 2016

Ring the Changes

The Northern and Western Isles have long historical pasts that spring to life through delving into them. A way of finding at about what is coming to the surface is to take a look at the blog Archaeology Orkney that is promoted by the University of the Highlands and Islands. It covers more than its title implies.

Scottish Islands Explorer - digs up information about the past
Digital Edition: just look into it for there's no obligation

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Islay Appeal

Both cattle and cats on Islay apparently prefer to look out to sea. Humans are usually more interested in what the land, in the form of plots, or what property have to offer. Go to Rightmove where the former on the island starts at £65k and the latter ends at £900k.

Scottish Islands Explorer - houses are up its street
Digital Edition: prospectuses and magazines delivered on-line

Saturday, 19 November 2016


Here's Alastair Humphreys, an explorer and motivational speaker, who has just launched a short film, Wilderness. So if on this Saturday you can spare four minutes to see an aspect of Scottish landscapes, click on here right now.

Scottish Islands Explorer - focuses exclusively on islands
Digital Edition: you can be thoroughly immersed within four minutes

Friday, 18 November 2016

Cross-winds and -purposes

So, here's an image of a plane that was caught in cross-winds at Stornoway Airport. Subsequently, aviation companies are pleased to be able to simulate conditions and an Airbus A350 turns up for safety-testing checks on the Isle of Lewis last Wednesday. What happens next? There is speculation on social media that Donald Trump is flying in to visit the site of his Mother's birth. The man has rather a lot to prepare for at present without gallivanting. Just go quietly to the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - just concentrate on what's here and settled
Digital Edition: get straight to the basics

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Presents from the IBT

This fishing-hut at Laxay, Isle of Lewis, is close to the office of The Islands Book Trust. Do click on there to see its new website and to find an array of books that could be great presents for the forthcoming season of good-will and exchange of gifts. Both venues offer good catches.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a gift in itself ...
Digital Edition: ... at a discounted rate

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Tide of Change

The decline in the population of Stroma, off the Caithness coast, was startling. From 375 in 1901 to 12 in 1961, with the last indigenous residents leaving the following year. Now there are the first figures for an incline in the production of electricity by a tidal turbine in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, between the island and the mainland.

The generation of power from the MeyGen project by Atlantis Resources has started. The details are given on the BBC website and indicate how just a few months ago the Bluemell Sound turbines, between Yell and Unst, Shetland, were productive. So here is another example of 'The Tide of Change'
Scottish Islands Explorer - a part of the (ex)change of information
Digital Edition: powering on throughout the world

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Gaeltec Devices

Dunvegan is on the far side of Skye and yet, owing to the miracles of technology, is able to be the base for Gaeltec Devices, a company that is pioneering miniature devices to help humans and horses live easier, more effective, lives. Read about the set-up on the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has taken advantage of new technologies ...
Digital Edition: ... such as this device for bringing a magazine to your screen

Monday, 14 November 2016

Monday is Super Moonday

You may not be lying in a boat watching for the Moon to rise at 16.26 (GMT) today, but it could well be worth looking up for the Moon will be at its closest to Earth for 70 years. Details are in The Orcadian and on the BBC. The latter recommends 23.21 for viewing. Miss it and the wait for the next comparable event - another 'Super Moon' - is 25 November 2034.

Scottish Islands Explorer - also worth waiting for
Digital Edition: comparable calculations lie behind its internet orbit

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Ten Islands and More

A feature article in the Daily Telegraph considers Ann Cleeves' choice of ten mysterious islands in the UK. There's also a link to a list of 15 remote places within the country. Each item is well worth a visit this morning

Scottish Islands Explorer - pleased that Scottish islands appear in these lists
Digital Edition: difficult to find a remote place without access to the magazine

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Muckle Acclaim

Richard Gibson Architects have won a prestigious award for their conversion of Muckle Roe Chapel, Shetland. The details of this and other winning designs are to be found in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - it has been short-listed for an award
Digital Edition: converts print quality into screen appeal

Friday, 11 November 2016

Faith and Language

The mist and the mystery are symbolised at the Garrynamonie Roman Catholic Church, Our Lady of Sorrows, on South Uist. If you missed last night's programme on BBC Alba involving Faith and Language in 1979 then try BBC iPlayer. The details are in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always available to catch up
Digital Edition: brings the 1970s to life again

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Flying High

The RSPB Scotland reports that the number of Golden Eagles has soared. Apparently the only one thought to have a habitat in England, near Haweswater, in the Lake District, has not been seen there for over a year. Take a look at the report on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - steadily increasing its sales
Digital Edition: soaring away

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Sea Farm Live

The flags are out for the opening of Scottish Sea Farms new £3.5 million site for salmon production at Scapa Flow, off the coast from Holm, Orkney. The details of the live plant and the employment created are featured in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - reports strong production bi-monthly
Digital Edition: additional copies 'farmed' instantly

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Outdoor Adventures

Look up and down to see adventure all around.  Kevin Serginson is the force behind the blog, Moder-Dye, and his journeys last week to see eagles on Fetlar and seals on Papa Stour are well worth accessing for those who like Shetland, wildlife or both.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to absorb moves and movements
Digital Edition: where images comes to life on screen

Monday, 7 November 2016

Garden of the Bard

Here's a house with a view, in a settlement that is translated as 'Garden of the Bard' from the Gaelic, Garyvard in the South Lochs of the Isle of Lewis. The asking price for the two bedroom property is in the region of £76k. It could well be worth looking into the details from the Hebridean Estate Agency.

Scottish Islands Explorer - Garyvard is in the hub of an exploration area
Digital Edition: its price is on the low side, too

Sunday, 6 November 2016

What Are You Up To?

There are windows of opportunity everywhere throughout the world and the weekend is a good time to think of what we are up to doing. Why not go to Sixty Degrees North and see what is offered by way of work in Shetland? One of its directives is 'Creating Connectivity' and that's how employment will grow in the future.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has grown extensively over 17 years
Digital Edition: the future here, at under ten pounds for a whole year

Saturday, 5 November 2016

They Stand Out

There is sufficient material on the website of Mo Thomson Photography to keep you coming back throughout the weekend. So start with the St Kilda Stacks above and go even higher with aerial and drone dimensions enhanced by digital technologies.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to capture much from all angles
Digital Edition: speaks for itself

Friday, 4 November 2016

End of the Week Feeling?

Billy Muir, of North Ronaldsay, may get tired from working, but has little concept of a working-week. He has employment from many jobs on an on-going daily basis and is 67 years-of-age. These images are from the Daily Telegraph and this item on him is from the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer -  requires constant attention
Digital Edition: is always ready to be activated

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Extra-fine 'Premium'

There's a new Harris tweed, an extra-fine version, in production which will soon feature on both fashion catwalks and city streets. The 'Premium'  is a softer fabric which will eliminate any itchiness sometimes associated with the 'Classic' or 'Blackhouses' ranges used for outerwear, furnishings and luggage. It comes from Carloway Mill, the Isle of Lewis, and was the subject of an article in The Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - endeavours to produce a premium publication
Digital Edition: at quite a discount compared with a woven product

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Some Banking Numbers

This blog is delighted with the numbers achieved over the past few days since it reached its 2000th item. They are dwarfed, however, by Loganair, which has carried its one millionth passenger on the Orkney Inter-islands routes. That passenger, Anne Rendell, is accustomed to both the plane banking and to her employment in the banking profession with the Royal Bank of Scotland. As part of her work she has flown on the services some 10,000 times. Nice work if you can get it ... or not! Read more through the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer - yearns for such increases in sales
Digital Edition: help by boosting the numbers here - at £9.99 per year

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Depopulation Forecast

The Summit Stone, Taransay, photographed by Mick Parmenter, is located on a once-thriving island. The last permanent residents left in 1974. Recent forecasts - on the BBC website - indicate that there will be falls in population throughout the Western Isles. One of the reasons is, apparently, the reluctance of women to live in relative isolation. However, visiting such places has much appeal, as the Northern Light Charters website indicates.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a vicarious way of reaching islands
Digital Edition: numbers rising steadily