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 Windhouse 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

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


Seascapes, comparable to this one captured by Emma Smith on her way to Elgol, Skye, feature strongly in the current gallery of the BBC's Your Pictures of Scotland. View as soon as you fancy an escapade.

Scottish Islands Explorer - water is a strong factor
Digital Edition: arrives through the ether

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Opening and Closing

The weekend saw the opening of the R & B (Raasay & Borders) Distillery on the Isle of Raasay; yesterday afternoon the closure of the last bank branch on the Black Isle. The BBC covers the red-letter-day for spirits in the west as well as a black day for banking to the east.

Scottish Islands Explorer - opening up the islands to more readers
Digital Edition: closes sales at speed

Monday, 18 September 2017

Different Style Schooling

Here are reminders of the changing style of schools. The old schoolhouse on Isle Martin, near Ullapool, was closed in 1925 and the 'new' one (above) was built. It continued to be used (below) until 1949.

Recently a group of local children were joined by school-pupils from Glasgow to help clean the island beach. An account of this venture is on the BBC website and full details of an Isle Martin Heritage Project are compelling.

Scottish Islands Explorer - evolves like everything else
Digital Edition: in the forefront of technology

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Looking at and from Glenelg

There is something about Glenelg - the place with the longest palindromic name in Britain -  that has the feel of 'an island on the mainland' together with views of Skye. There are two properties currently on sale there with prices that are somewhat different. Knight Frank has Scallasaig Lodge a six-bedroom traditional sporting estate property at £595k and Goldsmith & Co has Corsaig Cottage, above and below, at £150k.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always looking at islands
Digital Edition: always ready to appear whenever required

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Seating at Strathchailleach

Yesterday's  item on Cruib, Jura, brought out well over a thousand visitors, albeit to the blog not to the bothy. Take a closer look at several more comparable Mountain Bothies Association places to stay by going to a BBC Alba programme  (broadcast on Wednesday 13 September) through iPlayer. One bothy featured is the remote Strathchailleach (below) to the north of Sandwood Bay, Sutherland. Its Maintenance Officer is pictured above taking chairs there. So seating should still be available.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to reflect people's enthusiasms
Digital Edition: best picked up, like the chairs, well away from the bothy

Friday, 15 September 2017

Vacancy on Jura

The Ruantallain Estate on Jura has 20,000 acres that stretch from coast to coast. One small part of it - the former stalkers' lodge built with stable and deer larder - was loaned to the Mountain Bothies Association in 2012 and is maintained by them. Cruib is south-facing on Loch Tarbert on the uninhabited east side of the island. Getting there appears, from maps, to be deceptively easy. The MBA is looking for a Maintenance Officer to oversee and devise ways of keeping the idyllic place in a state of good repair.

Scottish Islands Explorer - maintenance of this publication is an easier project
Digital Edition: appears effortlessly

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Finding Fethaland

There's a piece of land and property come onto the market on the northern tip of Mainland Shetland. It consists of  Fethaland, Hooplees,Largarth and Houllsquoy, incorporating almost 100 hectares above the village of North Roe and has the postcode ZE2 9RY. Offers in the region of £595k will be considered. Look at the item in Shetland News and the full details from the estate agent, Neil Risk.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a lot for your money here, at £3.95 per copy
Digital Edition: or a year's supply for £9.99

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Angling In & Off Hebrides

Go to the Ravenspoint Visitors' Centre at Kershader, Isle of Lewis, and stop at the cafe overlooking Loch Eirisort. Across the water is Soval Lodge where this lone fisherman is endeavouring to make a catch or two. His chances of success are indicated in a Stornoway Gazette report on current angling conditions in and off the Hebrides. We do realise than catching fish is not everyone's cup of tea, but here's a chance to do both!

Scottish Islands Explorer - specialises in catching items and images of interest
Digital Edition: click on and complete magazines are landed in seconds

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

'Wet Desert' Protection

Whether you own a house with a view of the Black Cuillin Ridge, Skye, or have tents from different eras for wild camping, you will appreciate the countryside you are in. Readers of the Rough Guides have nominated Scotland as the most beautiful country in the world. Cameron McNeish has responded  with a plea for the protection of many places in the Highlands & Islands and quotes Frank Fraser Darling's remark about the frequency of the habit he termed 'the wet desert'.

Scottish Islands Explorer - presents and promotes prominent places
Digital Edition: an accelerated acquisition

Monday, 11 September 2017

Lighting Effects

On one side of the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma has been barrelling along; on the other, the Aurora Borealis has been burnishing the skies in the most striking way for decades. See the BBC website for details of the latter and the image above for light effects over Shetland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - lights up readers' interests
Digital Edition: carries on regardless of wind and illumination

Sunday, 10 September 2017

In the Red on Scalpay

The sign of red in front of the shop on Scalpay, Harris, is symbolic of the financial losses suffered by the community enterprise. Yesterday it closed its doors for good, which was, of course, bad for some the island's 320 residents. Perhaps too many of them have been going to the supermarkets in Stornoway or taking advantage of the delivery services coming over the bridge. However, the bistro that shares the building is not affected by the closure. The story is carried in Hebrides News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - was stocked at the shop
Digital Edition: delivers day and night

Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Open Road on Orkney

Congestion is the norm for many who travel on the UK's highways, but the concept of the 'Open Road' probably remains precious to most. The Scotsman featured the results of a study that claims the nation's most open roads are to be found in Orkney. Discover more.

Scottish Islands Explorer - at its best when opened
Digital Edition: arrives along internet routes with no speed restrictions

Friday, 8 September 2017

Photos of Foula

Julian Paren knows Foula well and he was there to photograph, among many subjects, passengers from the Ocean Nova on an afternoon visit. He also recommends an item and images from The Atlantic. They are also well worth a visit by just clicking on.

Scottish Islands Explorer - travels around the islands for your enjoyment
Digital Edition: brilliant value and speed at under ten pounds sterling

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Stag

There is an interesting read - in today's Oban Times with the current issue of Iain Thornber's Morvern Lines. Its recommendation of a Panamint DVD  is obviously connected with the stag, captured by the author's camera!

Scottish Islands Explorer - casts around broadly for interest
Digital Edition: broadcasts continuously

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Toy Ahoy!

Let's see a new craze for 'sailing ships'. Two boys launched a model boat at Peterhead. It sailed to Denmark where a family set it on course to continue to Norway and Sweden. The BBC website has the details. Recalling the St Kilda mail-boats which were lifelines for the residents, it would be fun to see more people launching miniature vessels - to bring life to an old craft and creating new lines of communication for pleasure.

Scottish Islands Explorer - advocating marine explorers in miniature
Digital Edition: connecting through the skies rather than the seas

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Church Continuity

Kilmuir and Stenscholl Church, north Skye, had to close last year owing to safety issues. Now lottery funding will enble building work to bring it back to use after continuous service from 1830 until 2016. It has connections with Thomas Telford and sits well in the landscape as shown above. The details are in the West Highland Free Press.

Scottish Islands Explorer - continuity since 2 January 2000
Digital Edition: for a publication 'in the clouds'

Monday, 4 September 2017

A Changing Schoolhouse

When Chris Harris moved to the Out Skerries, some 18 months ago, he took up residence in the former Schoolhouse. Parts have been converted - to house a 20-seat cinema, the smallest in Scotland - and now he looks forward to creating a gym and spa for use by the island's residents. The details are in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - brings interest about island residents
Digital Edition: - accommodates small or large orders

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Friday Observance

Permission has been granted for this semi-derelict store building in James Street, Stornoway, to be converted to become the first mosque in the Western Isles. The story is in The Scotsman. To date, the town must have the greatest number of separate Christian denominations in a town of its size in the UK. There are the outward and visible signs of the Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the schisms with the Associated, the Continuing and the Reformed; the Episcopalian; Roman Catholic; Baptist; Brethren; Salvation Army Vine Church; and Latter Day Saints - in at least 15 buildings. At least Islam practices on a Friday, not adding to Sabbath Observance.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a secular publication
Digital Edition: available every day of the week, at all hours

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Sufficient on Stronsay?

Two views to take in today. An article in the current Bricks & Mortar section of The Times in which the general rise in Orkney and Shetland property prices are featured. Then from Zoopla, the specific sale details of Dale Farm, Stronsay, with its double-glazed, three-bedroomed farmhouse; farm cottage; at least five outbuildings; with 21 fields covering some 144 acres. Offers of over £385k are invited for an Orkney establishment that certainly sounds sufficient.

Scottish Islands Explorer - offered at £3.95
Digital Edition: or £9.99 for the year

Friday, 1 September 2017

Powering to Record

Experiencing the Pentland Firth while on such a ship is one thing; enjoying the power it produces through tidal turbines is another. The devices here have produced a world record in production and the BBC website has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - power needed in Buxton for production
Digital Edition: relies on your resources to download