Sunday, 21 October 2018

Iona Library Restored


The Duke of Argyll, whose great-great-grandfather established the Iona Cathedral Trust in 1899, has officially opened the newly-restored library on Iona. The Very Revd Dr Finlay Macdonald (pictured above), chairman of the trust, is pleased with the results of refurbishment with its monies and the assistance of a £100k National Lottery grant. Some of the buildings date back to the 6th Century; with the Columban monastery being supplanted by the Benedictine Abbey in the 13th Century; earlier restoration work has been in various phases from 1913 into the 1940s and 1950s. The Press and Journal has more details.


Scottish Islands Explorer - copies need to be lodged there
Digital Edition: what changes there have been in reading

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Be Aroused on Raasay


One thing will lead to another on Raasay - from the delights of the distillery to the lights of fiery torches. The fourth Whisky Fire & Song event will be taking place on Friday 2 & Saturday 3 November 2018. Click here for full details and then make a booking directly on the website.


Scottish Islands Explorer - casts light on distant places
Digital Edition: moves at the speed of light

Friday, 19 October 2018

A Popular Skye Option


Here's the MV Coruisk, of CalMac's fleet, approaching Armadale from Mallaig, with the Knoydart Peninsula in the background. Figures in a West Highland Free Press item show that this crossing is surprisingly popular, despite the obvious attractions of the Skye Bridge. The clues may be in the sights on the sea journey; the amenities along the Sound of Sleat; the fine Fort William - Mallaig road, with the locations of parts of a popular novel en route; simply that SatNav tends to advise this way.

Scottish Islands Explorer - prefers the scenic routes
Digital Edition: delivers directly

Thursday, 18 October 2018

'Twenty-Kirk-Cull'


Once the Church of Scotland supported a missionary / teacher on the remote island of Foula where the kirk (above) has few social amenities immediately around it. Few residents use the road to reach it on a Sunday and now the ecclesiastical authorities have announced the prospective closure of it, plus six others on small islands - Out Skerries, Whalsay, Bressay, Fetlar, Fair Isle and Yell. 13 kirks on Mainland Shetland have been selected as well. For details of this 'Twenty-Kirk-Cull', go to the BBC Website or to Tuesday's blog

Scottish Islands Explorer - it's easier to manage a magazine than a mission
Digital Edition: always opening new markets

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

All Electric Orkney?


The prospect of being able to fly from Kirkwall to the outer Orkney islands by electric plane could be a reality by 2021. Read the item on the BBC Website and quietly make plans to be there for some remarkably innovative flights.

Scottish Islands Explorer - could the magazine be all-electronic by then?
Digital Edition: the way of the future

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Two-Thirds to Go


Here's the most northerly Church of Scotland kirk in Britain - at Unst in the Shetland group. Although specific church closures have not been announced, the figure of 20 out of 31 to be decommissioned in Shetland has sounded alarm bells. That's one-third to remain. A clue to this is in another statistic - there are 975 members of the Church of Scotland in Shetland, but two-thirds of them do not contribute financially. Details are in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - well aware of changes in communities
Digital Edition: something that's on the increase 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Gravity Defied on Skye


Waterfalls are determined by forces of gravity - for there's not much that can stop them. However, Storm Callum performed remarkably on Skye as these pictures from the BBC Website show.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of the pressures of the elements
Digital Edition: subject to other forces

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Vallay


The history of Vallay contains elements of a 'tall story' or in this case lengthy shadows on the tidal flats that separate it from the rest of North Uist. However, Lucy Davies explores many down-to-earth aspects of the island in yesterday's Daily Telegraph Magazine. Interesting insights are presented.


Scottish Islands Explorer - discover through a full-length article
Digital Edition: not dependent upon tidal forces

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Go Great Bernera


Bosta Beach, Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis, is depicted here by Murdo Alick Macleod and appears in Art UK. For a tour of the island in high-definition there is no better way than the Calco Macleod presentation on YouTube.

Scottish Islands Explorer - explore this island in just 13 minutes
Digital Edition: high definition wherever you are

Friday, 12 October 2018

Full Power on Fair Isle


The Auld Haa Guesthouse will, like all other connected properties on Fair Isle, be receiving full power from the Scottish Power electricity grid from today onward. There will be no need to rely on the Northern Lights on some occasions! The full story is documented in Shetland News. The next stage is to attract more people to make this island location their home.

Scottish Islands Explorer - left Fair Isle in 2006 after launching there in 2000
Digital Edition: needs electricity, internet and a screen

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Surf and Safe


Mangersta, off the west coast of Lewis, has much to offer - from a secluded beach with surf to a sensational bothy that's safe. However, as the autumnal weather closed in, the seas proved too much for some surfers and the coastguards had to be called out. See the BBC website for details of the rescue and The Wandering Lens for the background to the bothy image.


Lisa Michele Burns (below) is a travel and underwater photojournalist responsible for The Wandering Lens and here she is a fine focus.


Scottish Islands Explorer - putting seascapes and escapes together
Digital Edition: projects items and images at remarkable speed

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Hero of Buzancy


The annual Angus Macleod Memorial Lecture will be given at 19.30 on Thursday 8 November at Pairc School, Gravir, South Lochs, Lewis by Dr Angus Macmillan on his late uncle and namesake, Angus Macmillan (above), who was acclaimed as The Hero of Buzancy. Click here for full details and then make a note of the significant event in your diary.

Scottish Islands Explorer - directs you to dates that matter
Digital Edition: carries news of events to far distant places

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Corncrake Numbers Up


There was an expected rise in the number of people taking in the Outer Hebrides during the benign Summer of '18. However, the increase in the number of corncrakes visiting was particularly appreciated - with 34 males appearing. See in the Stornoway Gazette an account of this influx.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would corncrakes be purchasers
Digital Edition: delivers good news throughout the world in a flash

Monday, 8 October 2018

Pilgrimage to Boreray


Boreray, the 500-acre island in the Sound of Harris, is the subject of a detailed analysis by Alastair McIntosh who visited in 2015. His interests were multiple, but he explores, in particular, the life of St Donnan, who died in 681; how the grandfather of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, was born there; how his 'pilgrimage' to the island was assisted by its only inhabitant, Jerry Cox. The photographs here were taken by Marc Calhoun and the building above was the island's Free Church, last used in the 1920s.


Scottish Islands Explorer - traces the ways in which islands are approached
Digital Edition: its readership is growing

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Skye in Early Light


The early morning light of Skye is captured here by Andy Dines. His photograph won acclaim and is detailed in the Daily Record. The item is well worth reading … and the image to be enjoyed at length. Further stunning pictures from National Geographic are included in the feature.

Scottish Islands Explorer - promotes similar views
Digital Edition: takes a photo and dispatches it worldwide in a second or so

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Get Out; Get Better


When Andrea Verni photographed the Shetland sunset in 2013, the image made an immediate and timeless impact. Now local GPs are prescribing looking at aspects of nature in order to help cure some medical conditions. So taking an evening stroll, collecting driftwood, listening to birdsong or, perhaps, observing puffins are recommended. See the BBC website for background details and the concept of getting out in order to get better.


Scottish Islands Explorer - now when prescribing includes subscribing!
Digital Edition: treatment available immediately through this channel

Friday, 5 October 2018

Hebridean Dark Skies


The first Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is to be held on the Isle of Lewis from Friday 8 until Tuesday 21 February 2019. Read about the event on the BBC website and consider the paintings of Ron Lawson at the Alpha Art Gallery. His Hebridean Croft House is above and Mannal, Tiree below.


Scottish Islands Explorer - endeavours to display them in the best light
Digital Edition: will come to you at the speed of light … or faster

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Shetland Inset - Out!

From today public bodies will be barred from producing maps of Scotland with the Shetland Isles boxed or inset. The reasons are fully outlined on the BBC website.  

Scottish Islands Explorer - is not a public body

Digital Edition: exists to avoid being boxed in

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Arctic Return


One of the epic journeys of the Arctic Explorer, John Rae, is to be commemorated next year with a 102-mile trek across the Boothia Peninsula, Canada, by the explorer, David Reid, and his team in what is to be called 'Arctic Return'.The Orcadian venturer undertook the hazardous crossing in 1854. Read the details of the planned expedition in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - drawn to northern territories
Digital Edition: waiting to contact those in distant places

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

From the Moo to You


It's been the ambition of Gordon Mackay, since he left off-shore work, to set up a dairy business on the Isle of Lewis. That's now in operation at Moorpark Farm and its Guernsey herd is producing milk on a commercial scale. That's the first time on the island since 2012. The BBC website has an item; We Love the Westside has details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks forward to testing the product
Digital Edition: supplies measured per second

Monday, 1 October 2018

Ships' Shape


The designs of sea-going vessels have certainly changed from Viking times. The welcome sight of the CalMac car deck to a lone cyclist in Stornoway and the contrast of old and new at Haroldswick, Unst, are featured in the current BBC Your Pictures of Scotland. The photo above was taken by Morag Green; the one below by Steven Spence.


Scottish Islands Explorer - the ways of getting around are part of exploration
Digital Edition: has instant appeal