Tuesday, 31 October 2017

An Array of Sunrises

Yesterday morning - the final Monday in October - saw clear skies over much of Scotland and a fine array of sunrises. Some of them - like the one above at Port Askaig, Islay - are presented on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often worked on at that hour
Digital Edition: available worldwide at any time

Monday, 30 October 2017

Business Opportunities

Business is booming in places, but running a small commercial enterprise is never easy. Take a look at what's on offer in Shetland. However, in a recent presentation on the topic to the Scottish Parliament, only 12 small businesses in that area responded. Were they too busy or so despondent?

Scottish Islands Explorer - well aware of the ups and downs
Digital Edition:  certainly shows innovative ways

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Logging Today?

Did you have an extra hour in bed today - even apart from having the clocks go back? When sperm whales sleep on, the term used is 'logging' and a group of them off the Isle of Lewis were caught doing so on camera last Wednesday. Catch up with the details on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - rests a little between issues
Digital Edition: never sleeps

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Challenging Plots

Here are two challenging plots - both in Orphir, Orkney. Above is the winner of a competition in Gardeners' World magazine; below is for building at Houton Head.

Scottish Islands Explorer - challenging topics encouraged
Digital Edition: overcomes challenges of time and space

Friday, 27 October 2017

Were Lights Turned On?

Were your lights turned on by the National Trust for Scotland appointment? It was featured here on Monday and Tuesday - with a closing of applications today. The Barra Head lighthouse on Berneray at the foot of the Outer Hebrides towers over an island that would be in your care, were you Operations Manager here. Do consider the post as well as the work of photographer, Charles Tait, who was responsible for this image.

Scottish Islands Explorer - loves the thought of this job
Digital Edition: subscribing is as easy as receiving

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Always Away Games

Barra planes land on sand; Greenock Morton football teams play on grass. One young player commutes between them. Read the story in yesterday's edition of The Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - goes on regular missions for coverage
Digital Edition: takes from little to no time

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Long Lens Needed

Here's an aerial view of Sule Skerry, 37 miles west of Orkney, and its lighthouse, the most remote of the formerly-manned installations in Britain. Were it to require a replacement lens then that could be difficult to acquire as well as to deliver. However, the BBC website features a item on a man whose work involves keeping this aspect of glass-making, an old technology, alive.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes looking a long distance
Digital Edition: part of the new technology

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Calling Again

There were many visitors to the blog yesterday and with the Friday 27 October closing date for applications, here are the details of the Operations Manager, Natural Heritage (Islands) appointment from the National Trust for Scotland. It's the chance of a lifetime for the right person wanting to care for such as Canna (above) and Fair Isle.

Scottish Islands Explorer - the magazine has a keen operations manager
Digital Edition: getting around them is no problem by this method

Monday, 23 October 2017

Calling for a Custodian

Do you feel a calling to protect and promote such places as Staffa and Fair Isle as well as St Kilda, Canna, Iona, Mingulay, Berneray and Pabbay? If so, then act quickly if a 'dream job' appeals. The National Trust for Scotland is advertising for a Custodian for these islands. According to an article in The Scotsman only five people have, so far, formally expressed an interest in the appointment for which applications close on Friday.

Scottish Islands Explorer - do mention the magazine if applying
Digital Edition: acquire knowledge of the islands through this acquisition

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Elevation and Location

There would be something stimulating about having a contemporary house set into the hillside, with your own three acres around you, views across Skye and, on a clear day, out to North Uist. The plot is on offer - in excess of £80k - and it's at Lower Milovaig, beyond Glendale. Worth checking out the details through the agent, RE/MAX.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes locations with elevations
Digital Edition: always in a commanding position on the internet

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