Thursday, 23 February 2017

How Many Islands?

Roger Cox is the Outdoors Columnist of The Scotsman (sounds like a wonderful journalistic position) and has both surfed off and written about the number of islands that make up the British Isles. The Ordnance Survey tracks such matters, indicating that there are 803 large enough to appear with a coastline at the 1:625,000 scale and a further 5,486 recorded as 'point features' or mere specks on the map. The number of inhabited islands is around 2.2% of the 6,289 total - just 137 of them.

Scottish Islands Explorer - covers every one in Scotland
Digital Edition: accessible everywhere

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Islands and Shorelines

Six out of the 17 images in the latest BBC Your Pictures of Scotland gallery feature either islands or shorelines. Above is Douglas Cochrane's photograph of Skye's Fairy Pools.

Scottish Islands Explorer - often focuses on the shorelines
Digital Edition: comes in faster than a racing tide

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Eighty Years On

Sumburgh Airport, at the south end of the Shetland archipelago,was opened in June 1936 by the pioneer of aviation in the Highlands & Islands, Captain E E Fresson. Its use was boosted by the RAF in the Second World War and again by the development of the local oil industry from the 1970s. Increases in recent passenger numbers have led to investment in a refurbished terminal that has just been formally opened. Shetland News gives the details of these improvements, over 80 years after the airport's first passengers were carried.

Scottish Islands Explorer - is often on sale in the gateways to islands
Digital Edition: expansion noted in this area

Monday, 20 February 2017

Foula from The Atlantic

Foula has its high point, The Noup, and The Atlantic is a magazine with a world edition. Put the two together and there is a fine gallery of 25 photographs of the remote island. Take a look by clicking on the publication.

Scottish Islands Explorer - recommends a visit by just clicking
Digital Edition: deserves to be considered

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Musical (Broad)band

Olwen Macleod, from Lochmaddy, North Uist, has devised ways of making her music pupils, throughout the world, learn a range of instruments assisted by high-speed broadband. Read the fascinating story in the West Highland Free Press.

Scottish Islands Explorer - music to its ears
Digital Edition: on the same wavelength

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Beginning with Old Word

The production of gin has become prolific in numerous small distilleries throughout Britain. One of them, the Orkney Gin Company, is hoping that its product, Johnsmas Gin, will win a high award in a global competition. The word 'Johnsmas' refers to a once celebrated occasion in Orkney and Shetland on Midsummer's Day. The company is based at Burray, Orkney, and so if you should miss the bus (below) then there is somewhere significant to visit. If not, then just enjoy the piece in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - distilled every eight weeks
Digital Edition: has a global presence

Friday, 17 February 2017


The burning of heather and vegetation, Muirburn, on Scottish hills is permitted from October until April. See how actions above can lead to nocturnal illumination on the Isle of Skye as shown on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - unsold retail copies are either burnt or pulped
Digital Edition: burns brightly during day and night

Thursday, 16 February 2017

A 26% Rise

Earlier this week it was announced that inflation has risen to 1.8% and then came another figure from the Office for National Statistics that during the course of the past year properties on Shetland had gone up by ... 26%. See more on the BBC website. The tranquil image above reveals accruing assets on the shores of Mainland Shetland and the island of Bressay.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of inflationary factors
Digital Edition: still available at under a tenner a year

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Self-Employment Capital

The average rate of self-employment in Scottish towns is 6.4%. Portree, Skye, more than doubles that figure with 13.1% while the undisputed 'capital' of this style of working is a major gateway to the Western Isles, Ullapool. Here 17.9% of the working population is classified as self-employed. The West Highland Free Press has the details. The image above is from Will Copestake Media and it's likely that the adventurer, guide and photographer, below, comes into this employment category.

Scottish Islands Explorer - the Editor of SIE is also SE
Digital Edition: appeals to people who lack time or inclination to shop

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


Orkney has been highly-rated recently as a place in which to reside. The Guardian looks at the pros and cons involved in a decision to move there. The sheep look settled. What will be your response?

Scottish Islands Explorer - encourages speculation as well as sightseeing
Digital Edition: available throughout the island group ... and globe