Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Sea Stacks and Solitude

Here's an appeal. Scottish Islands Explorer has exhausted its stocks of the DVD compiled by the late Chris Mylne, who was a teacher and missionary on St Kilda before becoming a film producer. So if anyone could sell or direct us to a copy of his Sea Stacks and Solitude featuring St Kilda in 1966 and Fair Isle in 1978, it would be appreciated. If appropriate, please respond to the Editor.

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys featuring these two distinctive island groups
Digital Edition: by-passes print and video formats

Tuesday, 15 January 2019


It looks small and is such - Inchmarnock - beyond Bute deserves further exploration through Lonely Isles. Once 30 residents, now zilch.

Scottish Islands Explorer - ready for revival
Digital Edition: ready to access

Monday, 14 January 2019

'Worldering Around'

There's something about starting the week slowly and thinking of what there is to do rather than what has to be done. Take the attitudes of Aga, for example, and follow her Worldering Around blog when it presents views of the Isle of Mull and some of its off-shore islets. It could involve going from a Monday meandering to a life of exploration.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a good publication with which to begin
Digital Edition: and a fast way to get away

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Jura Deer

The name of Jura may have come from the Norse for the 'Island of Deer' or from the Gaelic work 'diura' meaning resilient or durable. The herds of deer have been both resilient and prolific, with early writers mentioning some 300 of the creatures and the current number of around 7,000. The image below was taken by Konrad Borkowski on Jura with the background of the Caol Ila Distillery across the Sound of Islay. Take  look at his products on the website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has durable qualities
Digital Edition: robust with remote access

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Cross the Sound to Run

There's a new custom in Shetland - cross the Sound of Bressay from Lerwick and take the Parkrun. Some 40 people a week are doing just that and they are coming from far and wide. The BBC website has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - why not run for a copy from your newsagent?
Digital Edition: it will run to you at speed

Friday, 11 January 2019

Land in Shetland

Here's an interesting contrast. Objections have been raised concerning the proposed building of new houses close to the Clickmin Broch, Lerwick. See Shetland News. Separately, 40 acres of land and a demolished valve house adjacent to a Shetland loch remain on sale at £60k, but without, as yet, planning permission for development. Go to Zoopla.

Scottish Islands Explorer - plenty of choice for living as well as exploring
Digital Edition: a crucial factor in choosing locations

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Loganair's New Aircraft

Here is an Embraer 145 aircraft which will soon appear in Loganair livery operating on Benbecula and Manchester routes. The details of the improved services are in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - distribution aided by air mail
Digital Edition: distribution at the speed of light

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Rocket Perspectives

2019 has seen a rocket going beyond Pluto and sending back images of Ultima Thule (below). 1934 was the year when the German scientist, Gerhart Zucker, tried to send mail from Scarp to North Harris (above). His experiment failed, but was part of a project that commenced with a similar attempt, which had proved a little more successful, in rocketing 600 items of mail across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. There were hopes of creating a regular service from Dover to Calais and from England to Ireland. Read about it in the Isle of Wight County Press.

Scottish Islands Explorer - mainly dispatched on terra firma
Digital Edition: travels through space effortlessly

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Suitable for Ulva?

Ulva is recruiting … for residents with aptitude and skills. Read the report in The Press and Journal to see whether you would fit in. The island once had 800 residents and so it's accustomed to numbers, despite being down to almost single figures at present. The recent community buyout attracted attention as well as funds. Now to encourage a larger permanent population.

Scottish Islands Explorer - permanent subscribers always welcome
Digital Edition: an inexpensive way to begin

Monday, 7 January 2019

Orkney's Branches

Getting around the islands in the Orkney group and undertaking financial work for the Royal Bank of Scotland has demanded making some 11,000 flights over the years. Read about Anne Rendall's involvement in the current issue of the Sunday Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has to been flown to many retailers
Digital Edition: does not rely on commercial aviation

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Shetland Sky

Linda Geddes writes in the New Scientist, 'In Shetland, doctors are handing out some unconventional prescriptions. Along with regular therapies, people with a range of physical and mental ills are being told to take in the sounds and smells of seabird colonies, build woodland dens or simply appreciate the shapes of clouds. A similar scheme in New Zealand found that, six to eight months after receiving a 'green prescription', two-thirds of patients were more active and felt healthier, and almost half had lost weight. Meanwhile, so called eco-therapy which involves participating in outdoor activities such as gardening or conservation, is emerging as a promising treatment for mild to moderate depression.' 

At least, take a look at a blog devoted to Shetland Sky and the photography of Richard Ashbee.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always looking up as well as out
Digital Edition: images and ideas conveyed in an instant

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Island Rescue Nomination

The sea cliffs of St Kilda are high and some sections of those on Soay (above) have probably never been climbed. This photograph was taken by Adrian Warren, who died in 2011. Last year a man of 87 found himself fortunate to be alive following a fall on nearby Hirta and a dramatic rescue operation. It is recounted here in The Press and Journal and has been nominated for an award.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often features the remarkable archipelago
Digital Edition: good for reading about remote places

Friday, 4 January 2019

Burns Night Supper

The Isle of Raasay Distillery is hosting a rather special Burns Night Supper at 19.30 on Saturday 26 January in their atmospheric Gathering Room. Tickets are £25 and there is much on offer. Take a look at the menu by clicking here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - can picture comparable events worldwide
Digital Edition: is able to supply them with copies 

Thursday, 3 January 2019

A Peninsular Property

Here's a new year opportunity - a seven double-bedroom property standing on its own peninsula in the busy village of Leverburgh, where the Sound of Harris ferry departs, suitable for self-catering, bed-and-breakfast accommodation or for a large family - on the market for offers over £395k. Take a look around by clicking here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys featuring places to live
Digital Edition: carries copy anywhere at anytime

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The Other British Isles

There are 82 inhabited off-shore British isles in the UK, with the majority of them in Scotland. A BBC item provides interesting insights.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks around many of them
Digital Edition: accessed from the vast majority 

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

'In Good Condition'

Divers working for Scottish Natural Heritage have reported that marine life around St Kilda is 'in good condition'. News of this kind is welcomed at a time when the media appears to relish the pssimistic. So turn with pleasure to the BBC website for a full account and images that make an impact.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a magazine that is flourishing
Digital Edition: do take a New Year dip into your funds for a tenner