Monday, 26 June 2017

A Few Fetlar Fotos

This image of the 'Stone of the Ripples' overlooking the Wick of Houbie comes from the Shetland island of Fetlar. It is one of many that are featured in a gallery to be enjoyed here from the blog Kozetland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes names that sound distinctive
Digital Edition: so easy to access

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Bere Barley

Bere barley has a Viking pedigree and has been grown on Orkney for many years. It is to be grown, first as a trial, on Raasay, Skye, in preparation for use in the new island distillery. The BBC website has an interesting account of the backgrounds to the crop and to the venture.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always open to experiment
Digital Edition: ready for most communicative processes

Saturday, 24 June 2017

An Island's Images

People look at islands in different ways. This photograph of three lochans on Tanera Mor is to promote Wild Swimming. However, the exhibition at the Rhue Gallery, Ullapool, features the work of Kevin Percival who was employed on the Summer Isles and whose images of people and places are captivating. See a preview on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - exhibits itself every two months
Digital Edition: always available

Friday, 23 June 2017

Way North of Norwich

The vintage bus, a Bedford OB, which left Norwich for Lerwick, Shetland, last week, has reached Kirkwall, Orkney. It was covered on this blog, but now read more about the venture in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - gets around the country as well
Digital Edition: take a tour of the website yourself

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Memories of Matron

What is today the Youth Hostel on the Old Scapa Road in Kirkwall, had been opened in the Second World War for postal and communications staff. However, in 1947 its use changed and part of it became a hostel for girls from the outlying Orkney islands attending school in the town. At a special lunch, former residents recalled their time in the accommodation supervised by a 'formidable but kind' matron. The Orcadian covered the event.

Scottish Islands Explorer - more accustomed to boarding ferries
Digital Edition: has its own communications hub

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Sunset Boulevard

The BBC website has a fine collection of images of sunsets throughout Scotland taken recently. The one shown is from the Loch of Clumly, Stromness, Orkney, by Graham Lyon.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often looks to islands in the west
Digital Edition: also 'in the clouds'

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Beneath Rockall & Reefs

Conditions look placid on, around and above Rockall from the photograph. Recent research has revealed much about the underwater features and marine eco-systems below this most remote of islets and its adjacent rocks and reefs. Dive into a new world here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - appreciates all dimensions
Digital Edition: Rockall provides interest but no sales

Monday, 19 June 2017

Eight to Wait

Here is one of the first sights of Papa Stour, Shetland, for those arriving on the ferry. It's the waiting room and adjacent camp-site. So visitors are certain to boost the island numbers substantially as the resident population is now down to eight. Take a closer look at what there is to see and learn about the fascinating place from the blog, A Lifetime of Islands.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to see numbers boosted
Digital Edition: steadily building its base

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Seal Off Fair Isle

The image of a seal off the South Fair Isle Lighthouse may be incdental to the BBC item, but it is illustrative.

Scottish Islands Explorer - see what's happening throughout many islands
Digital Edition: acquire what's happening

Saturday, 17 June 2017

An Ultimate Destination

This is an ultimate shot - of  Muckle Flugga Lighthouse and of Out Stack beyond - the most northerly parts of Britain. The photograph is by Terry Mooney, employed as a search and rescue winch operator on the Shetland Coastguard's helicopter. You could soon be seeing this destination yourself - for a newly-delivered tour-boat, the 42ft Compass Rose, has reached Yell and will soon be operating in these waters. Read about its proposed ventures in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - takes you the distance
Digital Editions: serves all parts of the globe

Friday, 16 June 2017

Shelves and Tables

By the end of this coming weekend, the new edition of Scottish Islands Explorer - for July / August 2017 - should be on retailers' shelves and subscribers' tables throughout the UK. Click on to Contents to see what's in it; take out a subscription here; and for under a tenner have the Digital Edition on your screen within seconds, followed by another five issues until mid-2018.

Scottish Islands Explorer - do take a look
Digital Edition: it's yours in an instant

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Deck House

For that sense of stimulation by a property and inspiration about a residence, go to Rural Design Architects, the Skye-based practice, and their creation, The Deck House, at Waternish.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a magazine with views
Digital Edition: designed especially for you

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Toast for Eigg

It is 20 years since the community buyout of Eigg, one of the Small Isles. Time to toast the event and to take a look at the many interesting facts related on the BBC website - none more so than the rise in population from 64 to 100.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a fine percentage increase in sales that would be
Digital Edition: available on Eigg

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Stockinish and Memories

In 1986, 18 junior members of the South Dartmoor Cyclists' Touring Club undertook a tour of Scotland and one of them took this photograph of Stockinish Youth Hostel, South Harris. It had doubled as a primary school and temporary hostel in the 1960s and '70s, but has long closed. An account of the tour, however, is available on the club's website. Anyone who has memories of the Gairloch (below) and Ratagan SYHA Hostels on the Mainland should consider the West Highland Free Press article that draws attention to their 85th anniversaries.

Scottish Islands Explorer - those cyclists were real explorers
Digital Edition: for fast access with copies not for recycling

Monday, 12 June 2017

Ten Coastal Walks

Ten experts on British coasts were asked to submit what they considered to be fine walks and they appeared in Saturday's edition of the Daily Telegraph. Among them was Madeleine Bunting's description of the Isle of Eigg (above), with a reference to its old village of Cleadake (below) captured here by the Birmingham-based photographer, Mark Holland. His portfolio is well worth seeing.

Scottish Islands Explorer - provides plenty of scope for walking
Digital Edition: let your fingers walk over the keys to connect

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Sound Waves

Peter Fletcher, a music producer, has long had a dream of being able to produce sound waves within earshot of sea waves. This 'aural vision' was particular felt when he resided in Nottingham, a city far from the ocean. Now the fantasy is about to come reality with the near-completion of his music studio in the former crab-processing factory at Kirkibost, Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis. The West Highland Free Press has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - makes a sound on delivery
Digital Edition: delivers silently and at speed

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Vintage Vehicle Returning

This Bedford OB bus is 67-years-old and started its working life in Shetland. The vintage vehicle will be returning to some of its original routes, leaving Norfolk for the long journey on Monday. Read about the outing and the people involved in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has been running for 18 years
Digital Edition: ready to catch day or night

Friday, 9 June 2017

A Grand a Week?

There were two children at the Primary School on Foula, Shetland. One is off to High School in Lerwick next term and so the number drops by 50%. Almost £50k is the salary of the head teacher whose job has been advertised recently. That's about £1k a week, including three months holiday a year, rental accommodation available and one pupil to teach for the foreseeable future Nice work if you can get it! The BBC has the details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - nice read when you get it
Digital Edition: there for you, delivered now

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Father's Day - Just Ahead

It's ten days to Father's Day. Why not take him to a Skye ridge or, on second thoughts, give him a gift of Scottish Islands Explorer magazine? Indicate in one of the boxes on the subscription form the message you would like us to send and he will receive it, together with seven issues for the price of six. It's a present that will certainly last until Father's Day 2018.

Scottish Islands Explorer - waiting to be delivered to fathers everywhere
Digital Edition: on offer at £9.99 for the whole year, anywhere

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Fancy a Little Punding?

Go to the North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival website and look at the 2017 Schedule of Events to discover more about activities, in general. and 'punding', in particular. You will not be disappointed with this, the most northerly of the Orkney group

Scottish Islands Explorer - activities galore featured
Digital Edition: a fine electronic engagement available

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

AH! Alastair Humphreys

Whether you are jumping for joy on a summit or cycling on a flat stretch at sunset ... or just feeling that you would like to engage in 'microadventures' of this kind ... then go to the website of Alastair Humphreys. Updates have taken place; the newsletters are re-appearing; it's all go, although the pace and pursuit of adventures can all be within personal comfort zones.

Scottish Islands Explorer - encourages the 'out and about'
Digital Edition: the zones are worldwide and instant

Monday, 5 June 2017

Take a Seat or Two

The Gatliff hostels at Berneray (above) and Rhenigidale have seats for visitors to relax on and feel relieved that they have reached rather stunning settings. The Gatliff group is featured in a VisitScotland blog that identifies nine unusual hostels - with an image of Howmore. Take a look and then plan a visit.

Scottish Islands Explorer - to read when exploring great hostels
Digital Edition: like the Gatliff hostels, always open

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Blue Door

The premises of The Blue Door charity shop in Victoria Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, may not look particularly inviting, but since establishment in 2003, it has raised £1.7 million for various causes. Its work has now been honoured by the Her Majesty the Queen. See the BBC for the story behind this remarkable initiative.

Scottish Islands Explorer - awaiting royal attention
Digital Edition: available to all who have computers

Saturday, 3 June 2017

A Shore Low Price

Here's an interesting looking inlet, at Gravir, in the Lochs district of Lewis. You may want to look at a property, which appears to be relatively-close to the shore, marketed for around £17.5k. See Gil Mhor Cottsge and what's offered. For fine Hebridean images as well as house details, go to the home-page of the agents Ken MacDonald & Co.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes peeking at properties
Digital Edition: can focus on them fast

Friday, 2 June 2017

Brough of Birsay Bomb

The Brough of Birsay, off Orkney Mainland, looks a safe haven, but an unexploded device has been washed up on the tidal island. Disposal experts will be dealing with it this morning. See the BBC.

Scottish Island Explorer - ready to go off, not be washed up
Digital Edition: a device that you can detonate safely

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Watch the Whale

The hump-backed whale off Tiumpian Head, Lewis, may not have leapt as high as this comparable one in a similar location, but it was captured on camera and is ready to be viewed on the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer - ready to capture many aspects
Digital Edition: moving footage incorporated

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Norwegian Jade

A ship with a capacity of 2400 passengers made its maiden voyage to Kirkwall yesterday. So the Norwegian Cruise Ship Lines Norwegian Jade arrived - the first of five visits this season, conveying mainly North American passengers. The Orcadian covered the event.

Scottish Islands Explorer - appears six times a year in Kirkwall
Digital Edition: always ready to come to yours in an instant

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Store Restoration

The village of Hillswick, Northmavine, Shetland has a new addition for its storehas been converted to an art gallery. Renovation has been by Geoff Jukes, who works in the international music business. The full details are in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - resurrected every other month
Digital Edition: converts printed pages into screen images

Monday, 29 May 2017

105 and Counting

You can see why the Silver Sands of the Isle of Eigg appeals to visitors. However, permanent residents have been coming to settle in homes on the island and are eagerly being counted. Read The Guardian article from last month.

Scottish Islands Explorer - many readers settle as subscribers
Digital Edition: more than a hundred could download simultaneously

Sunday, 28 May 2017


Tidal causeways are invariably exciting and the prospect of renting one of the four properties on Davaar certainly appeals.  Take a look at what Kintyre Cottages have on offer.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has covered Davaar
Digital Edition: to mull over in Kintyre

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Roundabout Nesting

Roundabouts have a knack of attracting traffic, but not birds, especially when it comes to nesting. However, consider what are the advantages to an oystercatcher of starting a family on the busiest gyratory in Orkney. The answer could be in The Orcadian ... or not.

Scottish Islands Explorer - not known as a nesting-site
Digital Edition: more aviation than avian

Friday, 26 May 2017

Wild Swimming

The temperatures have been steadily rising this week. Soon you may want to follow in the strokes of a wild swimmer in Loch Coruisk, Skye. Read on at the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - print has to cool, but not this low
Digital Edition: take it hot off the press

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Chance to Paddle?

Next week presents opportunities to travel on the Paddle Steamer Waverley and take in Skye, Raasay and that remote corner of the mainland, the Knoydart. Read about the route and background of the vessel in the West Highland Free Press.

Scottish Islands Explorer - paddles its way through island coverage
Digital Edition: faster than jet-propelled

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Shetland Sunday

Last Sunday was, indeed, a 'sun day', particularly in Shetland. The weather was glorious. It ended in splendour with the sunset off St Ninian's Head captured by the camera of Gordon Siegel and published in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - accustomed to evening lights
Digital Edition: always ready to cast light

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

St Kilda Challenge 2018

There's plenty to think about St Kilda - and this year's Challenge for yachts is one of the topics. Consider its background in the item that appears in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - keeps returning to the archipelago
Digital Edition: accessible from Hirta in the group

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Admiral's House

Read in the West Highland Free Press about the legacy of studios for artists from the estate of Vice Admiral Sir Roddy Macdonald. It's an example of one generation's interests being passed to the next and, in this case, it has happened at Brae, on Skye.

Scottish Islands Explorer - to be passed on one day
Digital Edition: very much a product of the current generation

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Arctic Terns on May

The title of today's blog sounds rather political, but it introduces birds' rituals captured by photographer, Eric Niven, on the Isle of May. It appears with a number of stunning images from the most recent BBC - Your Pictures of Scotland. Click on to be transported. Incidentally, there are 26 places named 'May' in the world, with only one 'Corbyn' and that's in Texas.

Scottish Islands Explorer - few political views, many island scenes
Digital Edition: available in all Mays and the one Corbyn

Saturday, 20 May 2017


A Saab 340 freighter aircraft had been delivered to Loganair and will be involved in the delivery of mail to and from the Northern Isles. The RMA Shetland Flyer will be reviving the 1930s tradition of using the 'RMA' title - 'Royal Mail Aeroplane'. Read on at Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - will be conveyed by this plane
Digital Edition: has helped quicken deliveries

Friday, 19 May 2017

More on a Great Mystery

Read about the production of a film based on the mystery of the lighthouse-keepers on Flannan Isle. It's documented in the Stornoway Gazette, the local paper for the island, where the original event occurred almost 110 year ago.

Scottish Islands Explorer - the magazine is no mystery, it appears!
Digital Edition: more new technologies are applied to it

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Anticipating Aurora

Lancaster University's AuroraWatch UK team is planning to construct devices in Shetland to alert people to the appearance of the Northern Lights. Read the item on the BBC website and enjoy the image above of a building controlled by the Northern Lighthouse Board. It is to the south of many in Scotland - at Barns Ness, Dunbar.

Scottish Islands Explorer - sheds light on insular features
Digital  Edition: operates through the skies