Sunday, 30 April 2017

Scuttled 98 Years Ago


This photograph by Angus Watson shows how Hoy is high and suggests the comparable depths of Scapa Flow. The waters have recently yielded the first sonar sighting of a vessel believed to have been scuttled there in 1919. See the image and read the account on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - goes to lengths and depths for ideas and images
Digital Edition: another technological aid to discovery


Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Hebridean Way




The Hebridean Way has been launched - with the long distance footpath now open alongside the cycle-way. Read about the opportunities offered, in the Stornoway Gazette.


Scottish Islands Explorer - variations on explorations
Digital Edition: available en route

Friday, 28 April 2017

From Litter- to Bomb-Squad


The Da Voar Redd Up is an annual event when as many as one in five Shetland residents offer to join litter squads clearing local beaches of debris. Read the BBC website account of how one group discovered, and then left well alone, a washed-up, rusty grenade which had to be dealt with by the Bomb Squad.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to ignite interest
Digital Edition: goes off worldwide instantly

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Beauty on a Budget


Here is a view of the Sound of Harris from outside the Gatliff Hostel on Berneray. It's a matter of a compelling scene at a competitive price. Lee Allen has produced a fine guide - Scottish Islands on a Budget - and you can just click to download, thanks to Love Scottish Islands

Scottish Islands Explorer - scenic splendours on a shoestring
Digital Edition: in this format, to you, £9.99 per year

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dangers of Impersonation


The high-level cycling-stunts of Danny MacAskill should not be attempted by individuals wishing to emulate his breath-taking achievements. An item in the West Highland Free Press indicates the dangers.

Scottish Islands Explorer - prefers to be static in style
Digital Edition: is dynamic in the electronic sense

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Normal Service Soon


I have found myself in a remote part of Scotland that's temporarily been without internet connection. So to put an entry up today, I may as well feature, say, Heard Island (above) - about 2500 miles to the the south-west of Western Australia. It, too, has limited internet, but it does have a country code / top-level domain of '.hm'' - 'Heard / McDonald Islands' - two relatively close places with no people there.  We will be back sooner rather than later.

Scottish Islands Explorer - interested in islands with Scottish connections
Digital Edition: fast to find

Monday, 24 April 2017

Shape of Some Surf


It all looks so easy, especially the eating! Sanitised surfing is available in some leisure complexes and a Shetland company is trialling a machine to recreate the experience. Take a look - and a video trip - through Shetland Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some would say the print issue is the real thing
Digital Edition: others would disagree and recommend the ether issue

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Hebridean Happiness


This couple photographed on their wedding day on Bernera, Isle of Lewis, do have a reasonable chance of living happily-ever-after. The Office for National Statistics surveyed all parts of the UK and the highest number of people declaring themselves to be happy was in the Outer Hebrides. Read more in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - our circulation figures suggest contentment
Digital Edition: available at a pleasing speed

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Skye High


The Scottish Colourist with an international artistic reputation, Cara McKinnon Crawford, has many links with Scottish islands and now with Scottish Islands Explorer. Take a look at her, above, and then at her work through a page of the magazine's website. Peruse the paintings and, perhaps, purchase them, the Fine Art Cards or the remarkable 17-minute DVD of some of the locations that have inspired her. It's appropriately-called Skye High.

Scottish Islands Explorer -  low on the Highlands; high on the Islands
Digital Edition: comes from high 'in the clouds'

Friday, 21 April 2017

Hebridean Blackhouses


These blackhouses certainly look that against the fields at Arnol on the Isle of Lewis. To have insights into the topic, go to the Hebridean Blackhouses item on the Hidden Europe blog. They are put into context.

Scottish Islands Explorer - the way they lived recorded every other month
Digital Edition: very much the way we live now

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Property Powers Up


Here are two items on a vibrant part of the UK's property market. The house above, on Burra, Shetland, is featured in the Daily Express, while the Financial Times analyses why this locality has been so powerful in raising prices in the last year - up 26%.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes people looking up things
Digital Edition: powers remarkably fast access

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Ready for You


Over the Easter Weekend the latest edition of Scottish Islands Explorer - May / June 2017 - was delivered to subscribers and appeared on retailers' shelves throughout the country. Why not take a look - via the digital edition - or take out a subscription - through the secure payment facility on the website?

Scottish Islands Explorer - available here in the print format
Digital Edition: downloaded and available here much more quickly

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Island Spirit


Here is a recently-published book, The Island Spirit, with the sub-title, Living with the Tides on the Western Isles, proudly presented by the photographer and author, Jorg Waste. Dipping into it will be time well-spent. Access as well as the opportunity to purchase are here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has featured Jorg's work
Digital Edition: access and opportunity as well

Monday, 17 April 2017

Working Waves


It's good to learn, on a Bank Holiday, of the achievement of a turbine successfully working for our benefit. Read in The Orcadian about the new attainments of a large device of Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd. Gradually SWET - solar, wind, earth and tidal-  sources are replacing fossil fuels as driving forces in British energy supplies.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a primary source of local information
Digital Edition: powers the provision of publictions

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Go on West, to Vatersay


The image resembles rail tracks, but they are on Vatersay, below Barra on the Hebridean chain, and the photograph is actually of a beach decking-path. Yesterday's item was from Hidden Europe and that's today's link as well. It points to several aspects of the island and to the most westernmost occupied house in Scotland (below).


Scottish Islands Explorer - covers all points and many properties
Digital Edition: reaches Hidden Europe quickly

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Gateways to Barra


Hidden Europe is a magazine that is well worth considering as a source of interesting information. Take a dip into its blog, Letter from Europe, for a taste of its style. Go direct to a recent feature, Notes from a Hebridean Island, for insights into Barra, the island in the south of the Western Isles. So there are actually four gateways above - for a destination, for multiple observations, for considering a continent and ... for the beach.

Scottish Islands Explorer - new issue out on 18 April
Digital Edition: the gateway for early access

Friday, 14 April 2017

Good News on Friday


You can almost sense being 'in the clouds' on West Harris with the above image. An upgrade of internet connections will mean that superfast broadband will be available soon at six different exchanges and this will be some place in which to work as well as to play. Come here to read more about the prospects.

Scottish Islands Explorer - could even have its headquarters on these shores
Digital Edition: ready for split-second reception

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Long Lingering Look



Take a long lingering look at a gallery of interesting images on the BBC's Your Pictures of Scotland. At last - will come Graeme Brown's photograph of Seilebost Beach, Harris. It's the only 'island' entry in this week's compilation and worth waiting for.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always contains a gallery to admire
Digital Edition: and so easy to see in the latest edition

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Take a Digital Delivery


Here is part of a ruined village - Riasg Buidhe - on Colonsay and the photograph, by Roger Butler, forms the cover of the forthcoming edition - May / June 2017 - of Scottish Islands Explorer magazine. The print version will be on sale in shops and delivered to subscribers by 18 April, but those wanting to find out more, now, can access the digital version here. The cost is just £1.99 for the one and only £9.99 for six editions, taking you up until March / April 2018. Can you resist in taking, without obligation, a look at the cover and first few pages?

Scottish Islands Explorer - always taking you places of interest
Digital Edition: it will be with you with very few clicks

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Fair Isle Calling


The views are stunning; the conditions can be disconcerting; the prospects (for the right person) stimulating. Consider, if you are qualified, what Fair Isle, an island without a doctor, has to offer for the resident nurse. The BBC website looks at the post, with applications required by 24 April, in detail.


Scottish Islands Explorer - founded on Fair Isle in January 2000
Digital Edition: provides 24-hour cover

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Last of Its Kind


The winter months saw a re-fit of the MV Glenachulish that plies, from April - October, the short Glenelg - Skye crossing. Read on the BBC website how it has undergone changes and how it remains the world's last vehicular ferry of its kind.

Scottish Islands Explorer - also the first and last of its kind
Digital Edition: employing the latest technology

Sunday, 9 April 2017

High Over Head


Gallan Head is beyond Uig, on the Isle of Lewis, and could well become a focal point for visitors. Plans have been laid for the construction here of the Cetus Observatory that will bring the constellations, stars, planets ... and St Kilda closer. The details appear in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - usually focuses on terra firma
Digital Edition: accustomed to using the skies

Saturday, 8 April 2017

The North Uist Five


The image comes from the South Uist-based newspaper, Am Paipear; the item from the BBC website; the quintuplet lambs from a North Uist ewe.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would apprecite five more subscribers today
Digital Edition: about to produce the May / June edition

Friday, 7 April 2017

Half-a-Million


There is a considerable difference between the over half-a-million page-views - (503,036) - that this blog has accumulated over almost six years and the view witnessed by two intrepid climbers on Skye. Calculations of the former involve a daily average of 233, although the numbers have risen steeply in recent times. The past month's average has been 1,994 page-views per day. Keep coming and continue visiting the Scottish islands. The image below comes from an informative web-site called Hand Luggage Only that features Ten Secret Scottish Islands. They may not be that 'secret' but are certainly well-worth seeing.


Scottish Islands Explorer - keep calm and keep on subscribing
Digital Edition: discover more about a real bargain

Thursday, 6 April 2017

For 'Sanda' Read 'Santa'?


Here's a BBC item about investment and potential productivity in the oil-field, Sanda, to the west of Shetland. With the prospect of 280 million barrels of oil ready to be extracted and presented to the British economy, the word 'Santa' could well be employed.

Scottish Islands Explorer - plenty of (reading) material in prospect
Digital Edition: ready to be extracted and exported around the world

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Dualchas Over 21 Years


The blend of ancient landscapes and modern residential-designs appeals to me and, of course, to clients. The West Highland Free Press covered the 21st anniversary celebrations of Dualchas Architects. Take in what they offer.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always ready for new designs
Digital Edition: likes a similar cutting-edge

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Top Spot


If you are looking for a residence that incorporates a high standard of rural living, then look above to St Ola, Orkney, and a ten-bedroomed house for under £1 million. Perhaps have, in the garden, a replica of the houseboat from Stronsay, also in the Orkney group? A persuasive factor could be the annual survey of rural areas for standards of living by the Halifax Building Society which placed Orkney top. There was an irony about it in that this year's criteria included the provision of health clubs and leisure centres. Many consider that these are naturally built-into the Orcadian environment.


Scottish Islands Explorer - plenty to attract as well
Digital Edition: fast broadband is a factor in residential appeal

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Aye Life


The How to Spend It supplement with the Weekend FT certainly knows how to fire fantasies. Its recent feature, The Aye Life, considers upmarket properties and places to stay in the Highlands,

such as Corrour Lodge, of a modern design in granite by its lake with a dining room that is, to say the least, sumptuous. If your wallet or inclinations do not extend to this type of Palace of Isolation, then consider what is offered by the ...




... Loch Ossian Youth Hostel. It is run by the SYHA and shares the same remote railway station as the Lodge. However, its dining room facility would seem to encourage greater sociability.


Scottish Islands Explorer - consider the islands' hideaways and hostels
Digital Edition: goes anywhere

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Call of the Isles


If you belong to a generation that recalls the BBC's Tonight Programme, which ran from 1957 until 1965, and television personalities such as Cliff Michelmore (1919 - 2016), Alan Wicker (1921 - 2013)  and Fyfe Robertson (1902 - 87), a recent showing on BBC Alba, available on BBC iPlayer, may be of interest. It's The Call of the Isles presented by Fyfe Robertson (above) and made in 1963. The voice will resonate; the images impress and the now archaic technologies intrigue.

Scottish Islands Explorer - in time, it too will look out-of-date
Digital Edition: the fastest of current speeds will eventually seem slow

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Grand, Indeed


Paul Murton has every reason to look pleased. The programme he presents - Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands - reaches its finale tonight at 20.00 on BBC Two with his visits to the Monachs, Sula Sgeir and then to North Rona, which is the most isolated of our islands ever to have been inhabited. The walls, of the third oldest surviving place of Christian worship in Britain, are remarkable for they date from the 8th Century and its resident, St Ronan. What a climax to a grand tour of Scottish locations.


Scottish Islands Explorer - observes islands 13 centuries on from St Ronan
Digital Edition: isolation is no barrier to access

Friday, 31 March 2017

Tinhouse


Something for the weekend? Here's a property topic to dream about - The Tinhouse on Skye which appears to be the perfect retreat for two. It also has a website which will fill your screen with amazing images.


Go to the BBC website to put it in architectural context, for it is one of 27 contenders for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) 2017 Awards.


Scottish Islands Explorer - imagine running the magazine from here?
Digital Edition: a perfect electronic companion

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Washed Up Well


When a sailor on the Maersk Iowa, a container ship that's over 300 yards long, throws overboard a bottle containing a message and an email address, he or she hopes for the best in these circumstances. It turns up over 1400 miles away, on a beach in Sollas, North Uist, and is found by the owner of a gift company, Coralbox, based on Berneray. The story is there to be uncorked in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has been salvaged from the sea on occasions
Digital Edition: can be found on shores everywhere

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Delve and Dive


It may look a little dark here, but the BBC website has some colourful images of the sea-caves of North Rona and St Kilda. These are difficult-to-reach islands, especially the former, and so click on here to delve into the topic and dive into the water.

Scottish Islands Explorer - exists to delve
Digital Edition: dives through the internet to your outlet

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Rona Ridge




Above is a view by the Northern Light Cruising Company of a bay off the Fianus Peninsula at the north end of North Rona. It was taken from the ridge which runs along the steep cliff towards the automatic light. Recent interest has been directed to the Rona Ridge, a sub-maritime geological formation to the west of Shetland, where Hurricane Energy has located a significant oil-find. Read about it in yesterday's edition of The Times and make out what you can of it from the 3D diagram below.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always drawn towards this ultimate destination
Digital Edition: continuously draws on the material of the print edition

Monday, 27 March 2017

An Ultimate Campsite


The head of Loch Resort, at Kinlochresort, is an ultimate place to camp - for it's in a part of  North Harris that is difficult to access, but which has a distinctive history. The house in the background is kept in good condition by the Estate, but being under canvas has that special appeal. At least that's how the photographer, Marc Calhoun, felt, for it is his tent.

Scottish Islands Explorer - feels an affinity with this area
Digital Edition; probably too far off the beaten track for connections

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Changing Technologies


There's a nice contrast on the Churchill Barrier, Scapa Flow, Orkney, of the mast of a wreck and a wind-turbine - where one technology has replaced another. The photograph was taken by Ray Hammond.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often reflects on changes
Digital Edition: now in the forefront, but will be replaced

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Winter Over


Spring is here, at least officially, and it will be marked by the presentation of a fine winter image of trees taken by Alan Boswell. Just nine months to go before it begins all over again!

Scottish Islands Explorer  - well aware of the seasonal cycle
Digital Edition: revolves around different criteria

Friday, 24 March 2017

Riptide / TripTide


A riptide is a hazard, for tidal currents can flow strongly in restricted places. It may bring out sightseers, but does not provide conditions of safety. Travellers often wish to explore the sights, expand their knowledge through websites, experience with effective insights. A new company, TripTide Ltd, has been launched to help and direct people by widening their horizons and combating hazards. It currently focuses on London, but its business model could well apply to the Scottish islands, where we all need help from one another to discover more. Take a look ... here.  


Scottish Islands Explorer - another portal for discovery
Digital Edition: as well as a means of fast access