Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine

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Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine

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Review of "Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine"

published 09/03/2010 | Violet1278
Member since : 10/11/2008
Reviews : 359
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I have just read the very sad news that Ciao payments are all ending. I am going to miss the friends I have made on here so much. I wish you all health and happiness when the curtain closes on here.Thank you to you all.xx
Pro A wonderful insight into the world of these remote UK places
Cons None
very helpful
Quality of journalism
Quality of features
Value for money
Quantity of advertising

"Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine- And A Tribute To The Editor"

Are you a lover of wild and remote places, or do you dream of one day of escaping to somewhere quiet and serene? - Well if so I have the magazine which will take you there from your armchair. I have a passion for The Scottish Islands and have visited most of them, and was delighted when I saw an advert for a magazine totally devoted to these remote shores.

It was the year 2000 and the first issues were being launched from Fair Isle by Linda Grieve and Philip Welch. These were initially in black and white, and were little more than a few pages of news and stories. At this early stage there were 50 subscribers, myself included.

Fair Isle is a small island between Orkney and Shetland, and is home to only 70 people. The launch of this magazine, which was little more than a newsletter at first, was the beginning of something which was to take shape and to become a widely read glossy magazine a few years later. Surrounded by cliffs, Fair Isle is just 5km long and 3km wide. The islanders live mainly in the south in traditional crofts. Many are crofters, some work for the National Trust for Scotland, which owns the island; others nurse or teach the children at Fair Isle Primary School. Philip was also working as a deck hand on the ferries and was a member of the fire brigade.

Every two months in those days Philip would post a CD of the magazine to a printing firm in Wales, which produces page layouts on screen; these were then e-mailed back for the owners to proof read. When they were satisfied with the finished product, the magazine would be printed.

This is where it all began on windswept Fair Isle in a small workshop in the back of their home. Fantastic!

As the readership swelled the pages became glossy and in colour and a new era of the magazine emerged.

So now the magazine which is the UK's only one devoted to The Scottish Islands is published six times a year in full colour, and has 56 pages all brimming with stories of islands. The emphasis is on wildlife, culture, the environment, archaeology, lifestyle, and history, and the pages are often overflowing with travel reports. There are excellent illustrations and beautiful photographs adorn the pages.

In 2006 the owners decided to sell the magazine as they wanted to pursue other interests, and it was sold to Jeremy Smith, who had not only a love for these islands but a 10 year history of publishing. He was planning a move to The Island of Jura in the Inner Hebrides, where he was building a house and planning to run the magazine from there. Sadly and so very tragically I heard the news that Jeremy lost his life last month to pneumonia, at the young age of 35 years. I can’t even begin to express my sadness about this, and my heart goes out to his wife and his family. Their love for each other took them to marry in The Orkneys, a reflection of their affection for the islands, which were to have become their future home together had Jeremy lived.

The magazine will continue to be published, and I know I will always think of him when I receive my copy, because we had talked on the phone many times about our plans and dreams, as our lives mirrored each others in many ways. I believe he put his heart into the magazine and this is reflected on every page.

You can subscribe to the Scottish Islands Explorer for £19.97 a year, and the cost for two years and longer falls in proportion to allow for customer loyalty. If you are lucky enough to live in Scotland you may find the magazine on the shelves. I saw it recently in Inverness airport and in South Uist too.

The magazine also welcomes articles on relevant topics to be submitted for consideration, and also photographs are accepted. Details about the format and so on can be gained by visiting their website.

There is an opportunity if you visit the website to download a copy of a recent magazine, which gives you an excellent insight into whether the publication is for you.

This month there are some inspirational articles including a trip into the heart of the Corryvrecken Whirlpool, and a heart felt account of a couple who left their Edinburgh life to begin a new chapter on a remote west coast island. This decision which was not made lightly, came into being after a long and sad night when their eldest dog slipped away from their arms, reminding them that time is never a certainly. How true that was to be for the editor, dear Jeremy who had so much passion for life.

I have visited many places having read about them in this magazine, and feel very privileged to have been part of the journey, from seeing the birth of this new enterprise to the glossy magazine it has become today. It now has a circulation of over 25000. The first copy had only 50 readers! It's a story of success and I think it is a wonderful thing that the new owner from England was planning to take the publication back to the islands, to Jura.

I wish the magazine all the success in the world and will continue to subscribe. It takes you to some very special places, and I think it shows great respect for the wonderful communities that live on the edge of Scotland.

This review was previously published on Dooyoo last year, and has been updated to include the sad news of the loss of Jeremy. I know that his memory will live on in so many kindred spirits who join together as they celebrate a love of The Scottish Islands. His memory will shine through on every page.

Summary: Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine- A must for any island lover.

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Comments on this review

  • davidbuttery published 12/03/2010
    How interesting! I love the Scottish islands, despite my limited experience of them, so will certainly check this out.
  • GemmaC25 published 11/03/2010
    This gets an E from me :)
  • paulpry118 published 11/03/2010
    Sounds a good magazine
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Product Information : Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine

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Listed on Ciao since: 09/03/2010