Thursday, 31 May 2018

Beyond the Rainbow

Jane Hill's photograph of Barra is a good introduction to the islands represented in the current BBC's Your Photographs of Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - displays many variations of light
Digital Edition: travels faster than its speed

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Bell Rock Site

A great civil engineering feat of the early 19th Century was the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse, eleven miles off the coast of Angus. It now has a fascinating website focusing of many aspects of its creation and use. Enjoy dipping into it as well as looking at these photographs by Ian Cowe.

Scottish Islands Explorer - also a site to explore
Digital Edition: a technology of the 21st Century

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Skye Summer Ahead

Imagine that you had reached your holiday cottage on Skye in time for the scorching Bank Holiday Weekend and looked forward to four months of residence ahead. If that prospect excites and you have around £220k to spend / invest, then the Shepherd's Cottage at Orbost is new on the market. See exactly what is offered through the Skye Property Centre.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always speculating about lifestyles
Digital Edition: usually in range, but worth checking

Monday, 28 May 2018

High Appeal

Stromness has another claim - considered to be one of the most charming towns in Scotland in a recent survey. Go to The Orcadian to see who was asked and what they thought.

Scottish Islands Explorer - completely understands this selection
Digital Edition: new technology to enjoy quietly

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Pigeon Past

A male racing pigeon released from Cork was set to go to Derry, but something happened en route and it arrived in ... Lewis. The BBC website has details of his journey that went wrong, but where the bird ended up safe and in comfort.

Scottish Islands Explorer -  reaches most of its delivery destinations
Digital Edition: mistakes rectified in split-seconds

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Marmora's Warbler

Here is an image of Marmora's Warbler from BirdGuides. From the same source comes an enthusiastic account from earlier this week of a rare find - one of them on Unst, Shetland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - Unst attracts many human visitors
Digital Edition: can be as rare or as commonplace as required

Friday, 25 May 2018

Casks Ahoy!

Here's CalMac's Lord of the Isles docked at Lochboisdale, South Uist, and photographed by Allan Macdonald. The port could be handling, if plans works out, 300,000 litres of whisky a year. See the story on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - will cover and celebrate this initiative
Digital Edition: ready to promote the liquor globally

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Views and Value

Whalsay, Shetland, is a prosperous island, and this house at Isbister represents rather good value with space - four bedrooms - and views for £80k. See more at Harper Macleod.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always looking at residences
Digital Edition: always ready to travel to extremes

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

How Good is Your Gaelic?

Test your knowledge of Scottish Gaelic with this quiz from the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - keen to promote this language of the North-west
Digital Edition: conveys meanings instantly

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Four G for Fair Isle?

 Round-the-clock electricity will soon be available for the 55 residents of Fair Isle and, perhaps, soon after that 4G may be rolled out by EE. So then there's nothing to stop the island becoming an enterprising commercial hub. That's quite a transformation. Look into it at Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - born on Fair Isle
Digital Edition: conceived later

Monday, 21 May 2018

Where There's a Wiay

Wiay, off Benbecula is still listed as being for sale. It was on the market for £500k some five years ago. It has 970 acres and is half-a-mile off Peter's Port. For more details go to Vladi Private Islands and to Visit Outer Hebrides. It harboured Bonnie Prince Charlie and could, perhaps, house you?

Scottish Islands Explorer - there's a market for both publication and islands
Digital Edition: goes around the world as well as Wiay

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Robson on Rona

The Islands Book Trust is presenting a one-day event at Ness, the Isle of Lewis, on the work of the author, social historian and authority on North Rona, the late Michael Robson. It's to be on Friday 15 June and gives many the opportunity to learn more of his interests.

Scottish Islands Explorer - will be at the event
Digital Edition: able to return to Rona as required

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Loch Druidibeg

There are plans approved for a new community-run nature reserve and visitors' centre at Loch Druidibeg in South Uist. See more at the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - is, in its way, a visitors' centre
Digital Edition: enables news and views to travel fast 

Friday, 18 May 2018

Peak Performances

The Scottish Islands Peaks Race begins in Oban at noon today and 34 teams will be heading for mountain tops as well as navigating 160 nautical miles. Mull and Ben More will be followed by Jura and the Paps, Arran and Goat Fell culminating in a journey to Troon for the completion of the course.

Among the competitors will be Bill Dobbie, co-founder of the Isle of Raasay Distillery, who with four team-mates will be competing under the title of Raasay While You Wait, one of their distinctive single malts. Undoubtedly supplies will be on board in case of victory or disappointment, success or set-back.

Scottish Islands Explorer - prefers more leisurely routes
Digital Edition: would get around in a split-second

Thursday, 17 May 2018


The coastline of Vacsay, in West Loch Roag, Lewis, is certainly irregular with daily access to nearby drying islands. It had a population of nine in 1861, but since that era has been uninhabited. It is formed of Lewisian gneiss with peaty soil which is where its name is derived - from the Old Norse for 'peat bank island'.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of the many to discover
Digital Edition: regular in its downloading 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ulva Deal Agreed

A deal,  between the Howard Family and the North West Mull Community Woodland Company, has been concluded relating to Ulva, off Mull. Transfer will take place on Thursday 21 June. The National Trust of Australia looks forward to promoting tourism on the island which was the birthplace of Lachlan Maquarie (1762 - 1824) , former Governor of New South Wales, who is often referred to as the 'Father of Australia'. Details are in The Press and Journal item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks forward to revisiting the island
Digital Edition: available in Australia as readily as off Mull

Leper Colonies

The isolated figure on Papa Stour and the small isles of Brei Holm and Maiden Stack (Mark Stockdale - Geograph) on the ferry route into this Shetland island are reminders of isolation. Into the 18th Century these outposts were used as colonies for lepers. In all probability the condition suffered by those banished was a vitamin deficiency rather than the disfiguring long-term affliction of leprosy.

Scottish Islands Explorer - goes to ultimate parts
Digital Edition: delivered 'infectiously' and then used 'contagiously'

Monday, 14 May 2018

Start the Week on Bass

Start the week with a photograph of Bass Rock taken by Craig Newton. Then click onto the current gallery of the BBC's Your Pictures of Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - well represented in the selection
Digital Edition: a reminder of how fast new technologies can be

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Sky Rescue

When a cliff climber was rescued at Fethaland, Shetland, he appreciated how assistance came from land, sea and air. The story is in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - covers from all angles
Digital Edition: constantly alert for appeals from prospective readers

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Ready for Ramadan

Yesterday saw the opening of a mosque in Stornoway - in time for Ramadan which begins on Tuesday next. A report is in The Times. The Outer Hebrides is probably now the only place in Britain where attendance at places of worship could be described as 'popular'. So now there is a Friday alternative to Sunday activities. Maybe it's time for the Seventh Day Adventists to consider constructing a church in the vicinity to provide a Saturday option?

Scottish Islands Explorer - a bi-monthly experience
Digital Edition: available throughout the week's seven days

Friday, 11 May 2018

New Campsite on Skye

Elgol and The Cuillin, attract many people to Skye. Last year it was reported that accommodation was scarce throughout the island. A new campsite opening at Broadford next month - with spaces for 26 vehicles and 49 tents - will help ease things a little. See the item in the West Highland Free Press. More campsites are featured on the WalkHighlands website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - good intentions, not good in tent!
Digital Edition: can be connected under canvas

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Orca in Orkney

Here's an orca spotted off Eynhallow, Orkney, and featured on the website of which has also been the source of the sighting of an active pod of orcas in Scapa Flow. The latter was captured by a drone and the footage is on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - the whale is also an explorer
Digital Edition: not yet delivered by drone

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The Cod Hunters

This painting of a 19th Century fishing boat by the artist B Bauckham (1800 - 1900) shows an activity on a calm day. John Goodlad's new book, The Cod Hunters, describes the turbulent and lucrative operations of Shetland fishermen in that era. It is featured in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - more calm than turbulent
Digital Edition: a 21st Century innovation

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Wrecked and Washed Up

An accident involving a crab-fishing catamaran off the West Coast of Ireland on 10 April has led to wreckage being washed up at Drimsdale, South Uist, some 230 miles away. The story is in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of extensive currents
Digital Edition: covers distances in a thrice

Monday, 7 May 2018

Liquid Assets

Most people are attracted by an unusual prospective residence; some are drawn by assets in liquid form. Here, with Chiltern Hills Estate Agents, is a 40-acre section of loch and land for sale, close to Voe in Shetland. Its asking price is difficult to judge.

Scottish Islands Explorer - attracted by land and water
Digital Edition: utilises air-waves

Sunday, 6 May 2018

An Insular Perspective

Although the Knoydart, on the right, is not an island, this remarkable panoramic view by Bill Cameron of Loch Hourn from Glenelg certainly gives it an insular perspective. The image is in the current BBC Your Pictures of Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - finds parts of the Mainland irrestible
Digital Edition: accessed from lonely places

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Sound Lodge Sounds Good

Sound Lodge on Weisdale Voe, Shetland, is a new-to-the-market property. It has taken six years to create and offers a great deal for venue, views and ventures. Take a look - with 61 images to enjoy - through a leading local estate agent, Harper Macleod.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes property potential
Digital Edition: always ready-to-view

Friday, 4 May 2018

Getting Around

The Arctic walrus seen off the Orkney islands of North Ronaldsay and Sanday in March, followed by shoreline sightings off Caithness and Sutherland, has been photographed, by Neil Morrison, on Harris. He has lost weight, but has travelled successfully from the Northern to the Western Isles. 'Wally' and his kind are rare visitors - for the last was spotted in 1954. Read the full account on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - sighted regularly in cover the West and North
Digital Edition: travels globally

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Amnesty on Arran

These canisters can help save lives, but with time become dangerous and illegal. The Arran Coastguards called an amnesty to collect unused and out-of-date marine pyrotechnics. They arrived in significant numbers and were disposed of last weekend. Here's what happened as depicted quite dramatically by The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - unsold copies are pulped
Digital Edition: a non-material, non-inflammatory approach  

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Eagles Ahoy!

Three White-tailed Eagles have appeared on Hoy this year. The breed had been absent throughout 2017. A breeding-pair is there and were they to produce off-spring, this would be the first time on Orkney since 1873. The story is in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - produces six times a year
Digital Edition: will populate screens without hesitation or deviation 

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

New Leverburgh Lifeboat

The waters around Leverburgh - from the Sound of Harris to The Minch and out to the Atlantic Ocean beyond Harris and the Uists - need a craft with resilience and speed. Read in the Stornoway Gazette about the the Shannon Class 13-25 (13 metres and the 25th in the series for the RNLI) which reached Leverburgh at 13.25 last Saturday.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of the number of lifebooats in its 'parish'
Digital Edition: also resilient and fast