Tag: Scottish islands

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Book review: Scottish island bagging

There’s something definitely beguiling about islands, bringing to mind the swathes of history that have washed their shores.   As ‘places apart’ from the mainland they’re often distinguished by their distinctive natural environments and sites of special cultural and historical significance.  For outdoors folk of course, islands have an immediate appeal as places for adventure, challenge and exploration. Scottish Island Bagging, the new book by … Read More Book review: Scottish island bagging

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Cycling the Hebridean Way – Part 2

Located 40 miles off the Scottish mainland in the North Atlantic Ocean, reminders of how different life is in the Outer Hebrides are never far away.  It’s often the place that feels the brunt of Atlantic storms, and experiences them first.  And with its big skies, low lying land and exposure to fierce westerlies, the weather has a huge impact on daily life. On … Read More Cycling the Hebridean Way – Part 2

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Cycling the Hebridean Way – Part 1

It’s a scene straight out of a remake of Whisky Galore.  As the last notes of the ceilidh band fade away the high-spirited locals spill out into the street, a glass in one hand and the other arm around their partner.  The hubbub gradually subsides as most people pile into a minibus to take them back to town, and as the impromptu car park … Read More Cycling the Hebridean Way – Part 1

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Most memorable photos of 2018

My trips this year took in not just Scotland but I also ventured a little further afield to Ireland, France and Indonesia.  From mountain to sea and from coast to coast I hiked, biked and camped my way through many adventures. Take a look as I describe some of this year’s standout memories. 1.  Cycling around Lismore On cold, frosty morning in January I … Read More Most memorable photos of 2018

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Lismore’s tranquil charms

My recent excursion to the island of Lismore was book-ended by two encounters with the local Church of Scotland Minister.  A stern chap, he only shared a brief ‘hello’ with me on our second meeting.  Since I was kitted out head to toe in protective gear, bike in hand, I briefly entertained the thought that he might disapprove of people cycling on the Sabbath … Read More Lismore’s tranquil charms

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Exhilarating Eigg

I was fortunate to enjoy superb weather for my weekend on Eigg and, as I described in my previous post, I was blown away with the island.  Having climbed An Sgurr, Eigg’s prominent peak, in the morning I ventured to the north of the island for the rest of the day. Cycling is a great way to get around Eigg.  There’s one hill over … Read More Exhilarating Eigg

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An eagle eye’s view of Eigg

There’s something about islands.  Maybe it’s the wistful sense of adventure that comes with travelling by boat.  Or perhaps the physical and psychological separation that gives islands their unique character, setting them apart from the familiar mainland.  Even, perhaps, it’s the feeling of ‘commitment’ in the sense that having arrived – come rain or shine – you’re there to stay …  Eigg was all of … Read More An eagle eye’s view of Eigg

Scottish mountain and coastal webcams

Webcams provide an easy way to check the weather conditions before you head out.  Here’s my selection of 25 good webcams of mountain and coastal locations across Scotland, plus a link to a long list of traffic cams. I’ve provided thumbnails of those webcams that refresh every few seconds.  Those without any pictures are more modern cams that provide a live stream, and some … Read More Scottish mountain and coastal webcams

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VisitScotland’s Tourism Community

  What do you do when you’re researching a trip or holiday ?  How do you get the lowdown on the best places to go and places to stay ?  How do you find insider tips from locals, or discussions by people who have questions just like you ? I often look for just this kind of advice when I’m travelling somewhere new so … Read More VisitScotland’s Tourism Community

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Canoe camping on Scottish lochs – 10 great island wild camping spots

  Blame it on devouring ‘Swallows and Amazons’ as a kid.  There’s something magical about camping on an island.  First, there’s the challenge of the journey there by canoe or kayak, then the ‘discovery’ of an uninhabited land.  Even though the stretch of water may be no more than a few hundred metres, it puts a much greater psychological distance between you and the … Read More Canoe camping on Scottish lochs – 10 great island wild camping spots

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14 for 2014 #4 – Climb the Rum Cuillin

Rum has long been on my wish list.  The Rum Cuillin, while not quite of munro height, must rank as one of the best mountain ridges in Scotland: a long, challenging day with spectacular views.  And all of this on a smallish island of around 10 miles square with wildlife, beaches and an over-the-top Victorian hunting lodge.  So adding this to my 14 for 2014 was … Read More 14 for 2014 #4 – Climb the Rum Cuillin

14 for 2014 #3 – Visit the Island of Colonsay

  Colonsay is one of Scotland’s lesser-known islands, just eight by three miles and with a population (2011) of 144.  Until recently I hadn’t visited but given the positive recomendations by other visits I decided to add it to my 14 for 2014 list at the beginning of the year. My Mum and I took the CalMac ferry on a glorious day from Oban, taking … Read More 14 for 2014 #3 – Visit the Island of Colonsay