Friday, 31 May 2019

Watch Your Step

The Hebridean Way is extensive and promotes intensive activities by cyclists and walkers. However, like everything that's in frequent use, problems can arise. One, involving the footpath, is highlighted in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - engages in non-active exploration
Digital Edition: enables exploration that's fast

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Rockall - 34 Years Ago

The nearest permanently inhabited settlement to Rockall is on North Uist, some 230miles to the east. The granite islet has drawn adventurers and at this time of the year, from 26 May - 4 July, in 1985 it was occupied by Tom McClean. Just take a look at the YouTube clip to understand what a remarkable person he was.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes ultimate places and this is one
Digital Edition: carries YouTube everywhere

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Welcome - Except ...

Virtually all are welcomed to Eigg, although two exceptions occurred recently. One was a man, apparently not a resident, who will be charged with fire-raising; the other involved the police officers ferried there in the Mallaig lifeboat to investigate the crime. The more remote the Scottish island, the rarer it is to have a police presence at any time. The Press and Journal has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - peaceful, in so many senses
Digital Edition: carries reports the full distance

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

The Lure of the Beach

There is an irony that on a Bank Holiday Monday when people clamour to reach seashores for pleasure, two pods of pilot whales are in danger of becoming beached on Stronsay (above) and on Sanday. A close watch is being made on these Orkney isles. The BBC Website carries an account.

Scottish Islands Explorer - whales obviously like to explore
Digital Edition: follow the latest magazine fast and with small fees

Monday, 27 May 2019

Re. Remote

There's a problem in that it's becoming increasingly easy to find remote present and past settlements and reach them from the British road network. An estimate is that six miles is about the limit in Scotland. So for those wanting a challenge, there's Molinginish, North Harris.  It falls within the above category, but getting there is an arduous business. Maps out!

Scottish Islands Explorer - promotes exploration
Digital Edition: not something to be taken for granted here

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Skye Above Eiffel

European road trips and their popularity are being monitored in an entirely different way. Look at the West Highland Free Press account of how the Isle of Skye has come top, higher than the Eiffel Tower!

Scottish Islands Explorer - yearns for  top spot
Digital Edition: always ease of access

Saturday, 25 May 2019

An Orkney Move?

Considering a move to Orkney from a city? Raise the Roof Productions are looking for people to take part in a Channel 5 series on the subject. Go to The Orcadian for details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - interested in those moving to islands
Digital Edition: an inexpensive way to move to the magazine

Friday, 24 May 2019

Skye Estate To Be Sold

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has announced its intentions to sell the Orbost Estate on Skye. It purchased the 5,775-acre holding some 22 years ago in order to boost the local economy. Go to the BBC Website for details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - easier to manage
Digital Edition: comes and goes at the speed of light

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Lonely Planet Commends

The publishers of Lonely Planet Guides are much influenced by those who travel widely. In their recent awards for the 'Best in Europe', Shetland has been nominated in the top ten places to visit and was the only UK area named. Read more in the Shetland Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has many links with the Northern Isles
Digital Edition: delivers information to the point of enquiry

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Mike Healey

The artist, Mike Healey, has a solo exhibition at Thompsons Gallery, London from 30 May - 8 June 2019. His work includes several Scottish island scenes, including the Paps of Jura (above) and the Summer Isles.

Scottish Islands Explorer - usually portrayed photographically
Digital Edition: a way of promoting artists' work worldwide

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A Game of Stones

There is much to engage and enjoy on North Ronaldsay, especially during its now customary festival. The continual maintenance of the Sheep Wall is a feature that makes the island unique. Take a look at the festival website which may encourage you to take part in the building process or other activities.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looking for expansion rather than enclosure
Digital Edition: goes to extreme places with ease

Monday, 20 May 2019

Here's to Looking

Derek Paterson was at Laig Bay, Isle of Eigg, when his photographic interests aroused curiosity. See how others captured ways of looking at places, people and animals in the latest Your Pictures of Scotland from the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer - plenty on which to focus
Digital Edition: takes photos … worldwide

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Life as a Smallholder?

Lifestyles on Orkney are often praised; living near Stromness is highly-regarded; life as a smallholder has its devotees. There's a property, needing attention, on sale at Miran that could attract the attention of some. It comprises a cottage, outbuildings and over six acres - for offers over £150k. Take a look at The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - residents' lives arouse interest
Digital Edition: gives many opportunities to explorer

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Skye is the Limit

Here are two perspectives of the Ashaig Airfield, Broadford on Skye, concerning which there is news of approval for a resumption of services to Scotland's Central Belt. The Press and Journal has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - nothing like air travel for access
Digital Edition: likewise has speed to get around

Friday, 17 May 2019

The One for the Sun

The recent Spring sunshine has meant that once again the attributes of the Isle of Tiree are to the fore. It's accustomed to being one of the sunnier spots of Britain. Take a look at what's on offer throughout this Inner Hebridean island here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - Tiree is one of those iconic places
Digital Edition: delivers the news to the world

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Fancy a 16-bed House?

Orkneylodge was constructed as an hotel in 1997 and enjoys an impressive location on the shore of Scapa Flow. It's now advertised as a 16-bed detached house through Zoopla. Take a look inside.

Scottish Islands Explorer - runs to 52-pages
Digital Edition: available through all large houses

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Skye from on High

Taking a look around Skye online can give refreshing insights. The Isle of Skye Photo Gallery has many images provided by local photographers and Scotland from the Sky has an astonishing re-creation of the Vikings impact on the south of the island.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a magazine that loves to delve and deliver
Digital Edition: takes information anywhere

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

White Wife

Plans are being made by some Unst, Shetland, residents, to erect a life-size statue of a ghost, the White Wife of Watlee, that has appeared to single men on a lonely stretch of road on the island. Go to The Press and Journal for details of this rather unusual community project.

Scottish Islands Explorer - not associated with hauntings
Digital Edition: appears seamlessly, but without ghostly traits

Monday, 13 May 2019

Flag A Design

The design is remarkably simple, but it's the flag approved for Barra, at the lower end of the Outer Hebrides. Now Eriskay, Benbecula and North Uist - part of the chain of islands further north - wish for designs of flags of their own and you can be part of the process. Look at the BBC item on the topic.

Scottish Islands Explorer - it's flagging interest that requires attention
Digital Edition: will fly whatever is required

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Looking At and Around

A misty morning and crofting cottages on Bressay, Shetland, form the photo taken by Steven Donaldson and featured in the current BBC Your Pictures of Scotland. Here is a varied compilation of images to enjoy.

Scottish Islands Explorer - photographic opportunities everywhere
Digital Edition: enables worldwide coverage

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Arctic Return

Some people commemorate others in remarkable ways. Two intrepid adventurers have followed in the Arctic-based footsteps of the Orcadian explorer, Dr John Rae, and completed the journey. An account of this achievement is in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - takes the level of exploration to extremes
Digital Edition: accesses brilliantly, without risk

Friday, 10 May 2019

Ronay for Rent

Ronay in North Uist has not been inhabited since 1931, although a hundred years previously it had a population of 180. Apparently it may be rented for holiday purposes and its house looks to be in good condition. The island has, according to Hamish Haswell-Smith, attracted religious interests, with a priest's hill, a monk's headland, a Druid's hill and a chapel described by none other than Martin Martin.

Scottish Islands Explorer - The Scottish Islands by HH-S is so highly rated
Digital Edition: unlikely to be available

Thursday, 9 May 2019

One Fire; Many Problems

The travel plans of residents of Yell, Unst and Fetlar have been affected by a fire on board the MV Diggri on Monday morning. The ship that normally sails out of Toft on Shetland Mainland is out of service  and, once again the vulnerability of island life is evident. The Shetland Times has a report.

Scottish Islands Explorer - most deliveries do not involve ferries
Digital Edition: very much an air mail service

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Lochaline is Vulnerable

The CalMac ferry from Fishinish on Mull to Lochaline on the Morvern Peninsula could ban cars for an eight-week period while improvements are made to the slipway. Suddenly Lochaline residents, among others, feel vulnerable, for the alternative is an 80-mile round-trip. That's vulnerability and highlights one of the problems of remoteness and reliance on transport links. Read more in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of fragility as a factor in island life 
Digital Edition: helps deliveries … of information 

Tuesday, 7 May 2019


The time has come for those interested in Scottish islands to consider the work of Lisa Drewe. Her Islandeering is the topic of an extended item on the BBC Website and, of course, on her own website - with 130 insular places visited. Click on, view and experience!

Scottish Islands Explorer - invites you to get involved
Digital Edition: another way of finding out more

Monday, 6 May 2019

Look at Erraid

When you reach the ferry for Iona, turn left instead of right, and you could soon be transported to Erraid. Take a look at what's on offer through the Findhorn Community for staying on an island with R L Stevenson connections.

Scottish Islands Explorer - there is a gulf between Erraid and Iona
Digital Edition:  reaches both islands effortlessly

Sunday, 5 May 2019


A family has been producing goods on the Isle of Auskerry, Orkney, for some 35 years. That's some achievement as it is the least visited inhabited island of the archipelago and the epitome of being off-grid. Take a look at the website which features, among other matters, its flock of North Ronaldsay sheep.

Scottish Islands Explorer - productive about remote places
Digital Edition: on-grid, if ever there is such a concept

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Not a Viking Issue

How times have changed since, for example, the Norse invasions of a thousand years ago. Did gender equality issues ever cross the mind of a Viking warrior? Bear this in mind when looking at The Press and Journal report on an aspect of Up Helly Aa, the Shetland Festival.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to see matters in perspective
Digital Edition: how times have changed! 

Friday, 3 May 2019

Which Way to Cycle?

When choosing the route to cycle the Western Isles - from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis - most prefer to have the prevailing wind at their backs. However, there are contrarians to be observed and listened to - at Pedalling the Wrong Way.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to take a popular route
Digital Edition: goes wherever as directed

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Stained Glass in Stornoway

A storm in 1946 severely damaged the stained glass windows of St Columba's Church in Stornoway, the Isle of Lewis. 73 years on and their restoration is underway. The Press and Journal has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes light in all forms -natural and reflected
Digital Edition: travels at a speed comparable to that of light

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Garden Fest & Best

There is something remarkable about the style and scale of the locations for the Orkney Garden Festival, to be held from 4 - 14 July. Take a look here to see what's on and how you can book to enjoy the best of different dimensions in one of the Northern Isles.

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys featuring the cultivated as well as the wild
Digital Edition: takes seconds rather than years to create