Saturday, 21 October 2017

Watch Out


These four fulmars, resting on Orkney cliffs, are fortunate. Many have been effected by plastic pollution and their plight has been documented by the South Ronaldsay filmmaker, Raymond Besant. His work will be screened on BBC Two's Autumnwatch next week. The details are in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - resting after the latest edition that's been released
Digital Edition: always on alert for subscribers

Friday, 20 October 2017

Petrel Patrol


Storm petrels fly a long way out to sea to gather food and have to wait until prospective predators are asleep before they return. So seeing them can be arduous and involve late nights. Two RSPB scientists looked into the possibilities of setting up a long-term project with infrared cameras on the uninhabited Shetland isle of Mousa. Read about their findings in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tends to go to bed early
Digital Edition: always awake and read

Thursday, 19 October 2017

New Issue at Hand


If you are a subscriber, then the new issue of Scottish Islands Explorer should be at hand. If you purchase your copy from a retail outlet, then supplies should now be within reach. The edition will take you to Orkney, Shetland, the Outer and Inner Hebrides, to places where significant transport links to the islands are made, Mallaig and Inverness as well as away to Scottish connections in the Falkland Islands. There's also an exclusive interview with the CEO of Flybe - an airline that's ready to convey you to many of these parts.

Scottish Islands Explorer - be taken there
Digital Edition: making the journey, if you wish, in an instant

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Reprinting Owing to Demand


There's a new guidebook to the Outer Hebrides from the publisher, Bradt. It has had to be reprinted owing to demand and that's within just three months - as reported in the Stornoway Gazette. The author, Mark Rowe, has every reason to be pleased and, by chance, his contribution as Guest Columnist appears in the new edition of Scottish Islands Explorer that is officially launched today. Look out for both book and magazine, just as this observer is looking out from Bosta Beach, Lewis.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks around coasts and lochs throughout Scotland
Digital Edition: delivering its findings fast

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Picture Perfect


Neist Point, Skye, photographed by Stephen Docherty, appears in the new series of images, Your Pictures of Scotland, on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - new issue officially out tomorrow
Digital Edition: the new one has been online for the past five days

Monday, 16 October 2017

Skye's the Limit


This Press and Journal photograph of Danny MacAskill shows him on top of his native Skye. A BBC Scotland item endeavours to explain the science behind his masterful manoeuvres.

Scottish Islands Explorer - recognises a genius when it meets one
Digital Edition: also appears to defy gravity

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sea Loch Swim


Last weekend saw two swimmers making the first successful challenge of the sea-loch route from Achiltibuie (pictured above with the Summer Isles in the distance) to Ullapool. That's 14 miles through Loch Broom. The full story of this epic swim is relayed in the West Highland Free Press.


Scottish Islands Explorer - tends to take less strenuous ways
Digital Edition: covers 14 miles in a nanosecond

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Shetland Sea Salt


When entrepreneurs are recognised for their skills and products, there is usually cause for celebrating and savouring the news. Go to Shetland News and see an example how local salt manufacturing, Shetland Sea Salt, has been awarded acclaimed status.

Scottish Islands Explorer - new print edition out early next week
Digital Edition: available now

Friday, 13 October 2017

VisitScotland Changing


These VisitScotland offices of similar designs - in Tarbert, Harris (above) and Castlebay, Barra - may well have different futures. The tourist organisation plans to close 39 of its 65 centres and Castlebay is to be one of them. The future of others in the Outer Hebrides is under review. There has been a significant decline in the number of people visiting them in recent years as digital research has grown. The BBC website has the full details of where and why.


Scottish Islands Explorer - provides tourists with certain levels of information
Digital Edition: there and then as required and with new issue today

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Ulva Buyout Back


The last three blog-items have been about the acquisition of personal property; today's is a return to potential community buyouts. The residents of Ulva, off Mull, have learnt that the North West Mull Community Trust may go-ahead to try to raise funds for purchasing the island's 4,500 acres.


The asking price is £4.25m; the area is seven square miles; the current population is six. Scottish Islands Explorer once visited the fine Georgian house soon after it was converted to a hostel and looked into the Thomas Telford-designed church nearby. Go to the BBC website for more views.


Scottish Islands Explorer - looks forward to re-visiting
Digital Edition: will soon be available ahead of next week's new print issue

Seeing Double


Yesterday's blog brought out a record recent number of visitors. It focused on a property on Westray, Orkney. A shortcoming (or possibly advantage) is that it requires a two-ferry-crossing from the mainland. Access to today's two-house-offer does not require ferrying - for it's a bridge to Skye.


They are at Uig, on the far side of the island and perfectly placed for the CalMac services to Harris and North Uist. Here, with sea loch views, are two properties - a traditional and contemporary - for the price of one - with offers in excess of £395k. Go straight to Remax for full details and a gallery of images.


Scottish Islands Explorer - plenty of value here as well
Digital Edition: two for one with copy and speed

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Make a Move?


Many visitors responded to the property-on-Orkney item yesterday. Some people will find the sale featured today irresistible - a five-bed-roomed house with an integral artist's studio plus bed & breakfast business, a conservatory and walled garden. It was renovated six years ago, has ground-source central heating and Swedish triple-glazing ... and fine views from its Broughton, Westray shore-side location. It's at a fixed-price of £210k with full details from Lows. For advice about moving to Orkney and the views of Richard Clubley, who has recently settled in, just click on.


Scottish Islands Explorer - carries property adverts ...
Digital Edition: ... and carries them to a worldwide audience

Monday, 9 October 2017

See Soligeo


There's a detached house for sale, at Soligeo, Deerness, Orkney, that is ready to occupy, has five bedrooms, a former cottage in the grounds which, with planning permission, could be developed, and with sea views, comparable to the one below, across to Copinsay. Take a look and be prepared to pay £310k.


Scottish Islands Explorer - likes looking at locations for living
Digital Edition: always ready to be acquired

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Angus Macleod Lecture


Here's an opportunity to attend a lecture given by Donalda MacKinnon, a Director of BBC Scotland. The presentation also celebrates the life and times of Angus 'Ease' Macleod. Please note Thursday 2 November (from 19.30 - 20.30) and access the details of this e-Sgoil presentation are in the Stornoway Gazette. The lecture will be given in Stornoway and at live venues throughout the islands as well as, by arrangement, beyond. For these special facilities and to indicate your wish to attend, click here.

Scottish Islands Explorer  - loves to learn of new technologies ...
Digital Edition: ... such as e-Sgoil

Saturday, 7 October 2017

One of Two on Rum


Mark Kelly does not claim to be an expert hiker, but he certainly gets around. His Halfway Hike blog introduces you to a variety of places and presents evocative images. Do go in his company to the Isle of Rum and take the walk to the more northern of the two MBA bothies on the island, Guirdil. Here it is silhouetted against the sea on one side and the summits on the other.


Scottish Islands Explorer - recommends a walk on the wild side
Digital Edition: best downloaded before reaching the bothy

Friday, 6 October 2017

Fair and Attractive


The lights of the Auld Haa Guest House, Fair Isle, are in the forefont; those of the Aurora Borealis illuminate the background. The sight of each has welcomed visitors to the island for many years and, although the resident population has declined from a high of 400, people's awareness of it has increased considerably. For instance, Scottish Islands Explorer was founded there on 2 January 2000. Take in the enlightening item in the BBC Travel series.

Scottish Islands Explorer - awareness of it has increased many fold
Digital Edition: take it in before subscribing

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Dig Down; Count Up


The autumnal gold colours bring out the best in what could be termed a featureless moorland of the Isle of Lewis. However, it's a sight unchanged from Neolithic times. Where early residents created structures, recent generations have engaged in archaeology to uncover them. A recent survey suggests that these endeavours - of both groups - now yield sound returns for the local economy. Delve into the BBC item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - much waiting to be covered by the magazine
Digital Edition: for £9.99 you can reveal a whole year of coverage

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

25 Acres for £55k?


The blogs on Rockall displayed how difficult access can be for some remote places. Getting to Scalpay is straightforward as well as scenic. Acquiring the tenancy of  a croft covering 25 acres of land in stunning scenery at 10 Scalpay could be an interesting proposition. See what Western Isles Property has to offer with this plot on sale for around £55k.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always interested in land on islands
Digital Edition: no trouble picking up signals and copies here

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Return to Rockall


The most isolated part of the British Isles draws people, despite being seen by so few and landed on by even fewer. Yesterday's blog Climbing Rockall led to further researches and here are film clips of the Annexation of the islet in 1955 and of Tom McClean's landing in preparation for living (or existing) there in 1985. Sit back, relax and relish the endeavours of others, without having to lift a finger.

Scottish Islands Explorer - sometimes goes to extremes
Digital Edition: 1955 - nonexistent; 1985 - a concept; 2015 - flourishing

Monday, 2 October 2017

Climbing Rockall


Starting the week has its obstacles, but, to put things in perspective, begin with the prospect of climbing Rockall. Here's a YouTube view of an adventure and one that ended with success.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has its own summits to climb
Digital Edition: unavailable in this vicinity

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Wheels of Freedom


Mark and Deb have created a blog, Riding the Wheels of Freedom, and it will take you on a fine tour of the Outer Hebrides. So access their ventures and start planning yours for next year. The image is of Baleshare where the skies and shores are extensive.

Scottish Islands Explorer - gets around on foot, with wheels and propellers
Digital Edition: ready to be accessed anywhere at any time

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Selling on Berneray


The approach to Berneray is either across the causeway or directly from the ferry terminal at the south end of the Sound of Harris crossing. Virtually the first building on the island is the Ardmaree Stores & Lobster Pot Cafe where the proprietors sell a wide range of goods and services to residents and visitors.


The business is on the market through Anderson Banks at a price of around £130k. So if you are thinking of of retailing in a position that is both commanding and attractive, look into it as a commercial proposition. The forecasting stone outside the premises is for meteorologic, not economic, purposes.


Scottish Islands Explorer - does business on many islands
Digital Edition: here's business through the internet

Friday, 29 September 2017

Fish Scales Up


This Shetland shore-angler has reasons to look pleased. The deep-sea trawler crews also had a good time last year, with the value of catches up 30% from 2015. Read the detailed figures in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - trying to catch an increased readership
Digital Edition: nets increasing numbers on the internet

Thursday, 28 September 2017

London Cancelling


Here is London Airport ... at Eday in Orkney's north islands. It was, alas, missed out, owing to timing problems, in a Loganair Tour to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of flights to these parts. A gold-painted plane took off from Kirkwall and landed on Stronsay, Sanday, North Ronaldsay, Westray and Papa Westray. Details and a range of images are to found on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - an anniversary approaches
Digital Edition: always ready to land

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Home Alone


Seilebost and Luskentyre, Isle of Harris, have beaches renowned throughout the world. Here's a rare opportunity to purchase a local property with views. It may have only one bedroom with a kitchen and lounge area plus a bathroom, but the Seilebost location means that its price - £125k - has attractions. See more at the website of Ken MacDonald & Co.


Scottish Islands Explorer - likes minimalism with vistas
Digital Edition: accessible worldwide

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

From St Kilda


Here's a reminder to our readers who live on Lewis and Harris. Tonight at 18.00 the AGM of The Islands Book Trust will be taking place in the Education Room of the Lews Castle Museum. At 19.30  Maureen Kerr will be talking about her experiences in working on St Kilda as well as visiting the Blasket Islands off the west coast of Ireland.


Scottish Islands Explorer - works closely with the IBT
Digital Edition: available on islands everywhere

Monday, 25 September 2017

Rum Bunkhouse


Thinking of a late break or considering an adventure for next year? Bear in mind that the Rum Bunkhouse has much to offer. The website is innovative; the construction is imaginative; the location is inspirational.


Scottish Islands Explorer - goes for Rum and more
Digital Edition: wifi is free at the bunkhouse - so access there

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Open Doors


September is into its last full week and Doors OpenDays Scotland will soon be closing. Take a look at a wide range of doors and doorways - with an Isle of Skye and a St Kilda example presented here.


Scottish Islands Explorer - delivered through doors worldwide
Digital Edition: enters homes without visible means of access

Saturday, 23 September 2017

The Past Surfaces


The Windhouse, Yell, is allegedly Britain's most haunted house, and tales about it are set to continue. Two skeletons, perhaps some 750 years old, have been unearthed close to the property and just six inches below the surface. Read the item in Shetland News and, if still gripped, the essay by Lynn Cherry called The Haunting of Wndhouse on Yell.


Scottish Islands Explorer - brings news and views to the surface
Digital Edition: arrives by overground routes

Friday, 22 September 2017

Safer for Storm Petrel


The Shiant Isles, in The Minch, look formidable enough in the winter light. However, this group wintered over as part of the RSPB's Shiant Isles Recovery Project with the intention of clearing the islands of non-native black rats.


According to a BBC Report, their work is showing signs of success with the return of Storm Petrels, which are not found in the same vicinity as rats.


Scottish Islands Explorer - its niche market not threatened at present
Digital Edition: has an even longer range than the storm petrel

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Competitive Thrust


Orkney has been and is in the forefront of lifestyles. The ways of life and death of the Neolithic people there is examined in a BBC item; the increase in the amount of disposable income among islanders during recent years is featured in The Scotsman. The constructions above were state of the art in their day; the architectural detail of this house near the beach in Durness, across the Pentland Firth in Sutherland, attracts.


Scottish Islands Explorer - takes in time as well as presenting place
Digital Edition: delivers with technological edge