Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Back in 1837 - that's 180 years and some six generations ago - the population of Ulva, off Mull, was 600. It was at the height of a kelp boom. Then things declined and much has gone down ever since, with just six residents there today. It's been in the news with the proposed buyout - see Ulva Issues - but some people will just continue to make the occasional visit, enjoy the views of the islands to the south from the now derelict village of Ormaig and be reminded of its connections with the development of Australia.
Scottish Islands Explorer - exists in the present; dwells on the past ...
Digital Edition: ... looks to the future
Monday, 15 January 2018
Muckle Flugga Whisky is a single malt distilled in Speyside and taken close to the islet after which it is named. It remains there - perhaps in this shed that's part of the old shore station of the lighthouse on Unst, Shetland and 'winters over'
during a 12-month stay before being returned to its mainland distillery for bottling. The islet that supports the Muckle Flugga lighthouse is within yards of the most northerly outcrop of the British Isles, Out Stack. Acquire a bottle through the Master of Malt website without having to travel to the end of the country.
Scottish Islands Explorer - goes to the ultimate for interests and imbibing
Digital Edition: just goes to the ends of the Earth
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Eilean Dhomhnaill in Loch Olabhat, North Uist, was linked by a manmade causeway, to create a crannog. These existed from the Iron Age to extend and protect settlements. Now the island of North Uist could become a hub as a spaceport for launching satellites and spacecraft. Read about the early proposals on the BBC website. Here are different ways of extending influence.
Scottish Islands Explorer - creates links wherever possible
Digital Edition: a revolutionary method
Saturday, 13 January 2018
At least Door Holm, Shetland, remained stable despite the heavy seas. Crossing to the Northern Isles by ship can, however, be a moving experience. However, the turbulence recorded featured here by CCTV cameras could have been taken from many ferries in the world. It has been suggested that this is from New Zealand. Any suggestions?
Scottish Islands Explorer - has avoided such incidents, thankfully
Digital Edition: travels by air-waves
Friday, 12 January 2018
For an inspirational visit to a website, access Rural Design Architects based on the Isle of Skye. The views of the properties and their vicinities are breathtaking.
Scottish Islands Explorer - takes in all sorts of views
Digital Edition: also guided by state-of-the-art technology
Thursday, 11 January 2018
The entrance to the London gallery of Panter & Hall in Pall Mall is certainly clear and The Scottish Show 2018 will be taking place there from 29 January - 16 February. The pastel on paper - Haar Lifting - by Matthew Draper will be on sale and despite the mist, there is no prize for being able to identify the island depicted.
Scottish Islands Explorer - has been represented at the gallery
Digital Edition: one of its features is clarity
Wednesday, 10 January 2018
There is plenty of life - of the avian variety - on Sulasgeir, but men are just occasional visitors and women are rarely seen there, except when a film-crew is present. However, there's a chance for many to return in the next four weeks, through BBC iPlayer and the availability of last night's programme on BBC Alba.
Scottish Islands Explorer - here's a place explored by few
Digital Edition: the bird population would show no interest
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Stornoway was once a town renowned for one area of 'busyness' on a Sunday - in that the comings and goings of congregations to their many respective churches punctuated the day. A feature that was not evident concerned 'business' - for commercial activity virtually ceased. Then came a limited number of alternative Sabbath activities - air flights, ferry services, a petrol station with shop open. Now, for a trial period, An Lanntair, the arts centre, will welcome visitors on the last Sundays of January, February and March 2018. The BBC website covers these changes.
Scottish Islands Explorer - Sunday sales in Stornoway are certainly low
Digital Edition: open all hours
Monday, 8 January 2018
Places are at risk around Scotland as climate changes have an impact on sea levels. Dynamic Coast is a study that focuses on where protection is most needed and Skara Brae, Orkney, is among the sites. More details are on the BBC website.
Scottish Islands Explorer - has a vested interest in islands
Digital Edition: global coverage well above sea level
Sunday, 7 January 2018
According to Stephen Doig in the Daily Telegraph it's time to dust off ... your Fair Isle sweaters. Here's an island with a strong brand association for knitwear that has a knack of surviving fashion trends.
Scottish Islands Explorer - Fair Isle is where it all started
Digital Edition: use this device to access the magazine from anywhere
Saturday, 6 January 2018
Things go in threes and here is the final blog in the current series on Stronsay. An appeal is out for new residents to live, and thrive, on this Orkney island. As it happens the Stronsay Hotel is up-for sale and the details are with Lows Property. Offers around £265k could secure and that includes quite a lot of building, kit and custom. Worth a little consideration this weekend?
Scottish Islands Explorer - should sell well on Stronsay
Digital Edition: will go anywhere within seconds
Friday, 5 January 2018
If you are impressed by the waves of a publicity campaign for the Orkney island of Stronsay or influenced by its empty roads and big skies, then it could be the place for you ... to settle. There are, among others: an interesting-looking farm with offers over £385k; an attractive, modern, gated, three-bedroomed-house with offers over £190k; a property with 28 acres of land (currently under offer) at £135k; a 'priced-to-sell' dwelling over £80k; and a good-sized building plot with fine sea views over £16k. Worth a weekend browse? Look at what The Scotsman and The Guardian have had to say. Alternatively remind yourself of the information through yesterday's blog.
Scottish Islands Explorer - takes you to 'paradise' on occasions
Digital Edition: travelling is not the issue with immediate connections
Thursday, 4 January 2018
Reflect on an Orkney island community that is looking to attract more visitors and residents. A first step to visiting, staying and stopping at Stronsay is to click onto its newly-launched website. It will help you discover this 'Island of Bays' where a welcome is assured, a safe and stimulating environment is evident and access by boat and plane is straightforward. Here is a place ready for a economic resurgence. One of its attractions is that the ferry terminal is right in the island's main settlement, Whitehall (above), with facilities to assist your arrival and stay.
Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to convert readers to residents
Digital Edition: also welcoming and accessible
Wednesday, 3 January 2018
There us something initially calming about starting out on a new venture or business - with time to reflect before the launch. John Corfield has undertaken a variety of challenging tasks and is now into busyness with the day-to-day activities demanded by
his Isle of Skye Smokehouse. The details are in the West Highland Free Press including the use of a smokehouse design based upon the cleits of St Kilda where the preparation of food
was undertaken for hundreds of years. Here is a local venture to follow and to support - bringing distinctive tastes to many and trade to an island.
Scottish Islands Explorer - strives to revive island interests
Digital Edition: a modern approach to delivery
Tuesday, 2 January 2018
One of our regular readers provided more details about the island that featured yesterday:
'The house that stood on the island until 1960s, was formerly occupied by the Jackson family. The son, James, gave up his job as a marine engineer to assist his father keeping the farm going. However, with additional costs of transportation to the mainland, the income was insufficient and the Jacksons left the island. The house was not occupied again. Eventually after several attempts to flatten it, the rubble and stone were used to make a road across the island. James Jackson moved to Newburgh and would go for daily walks along the shore overlooking what was his Mugdrum Island home.'
Scottish Islands Explorer - manages to keep going despite postal costs
Digital Edition: incurs no fees for transportation
Monday, 1 January 2018
In need of a quiet few minutes at the start of the New Year? Then watch a YouTube presentation of Mugdrum Island in the Firth of Tay. It has 79 acres and gets no higher than 13ft. Until 1926 it supported a farm specialising in cereal crops. Getting there requires a combination of transport methods.
Scottish Islands Explorer - overcomes difficulties of access
Digital Edition: has acquired new subscribers already in 2018