The May edition of Scottish Field is now available – and we celebrate Scotland’s northern isles.
Orkney and Shetland are parts of the country which many of us have never visited, and hopefully our features will inspire more of us to visit these fascinating islands.
Janice Hopper discovers the heroes at the helm of WWII’s ‘Shetland Buses’, the fishing boats which shuttled between occupied Norway and Scotland, which were crucial in bolstering resistance to the Nazis in WWII.
We meet William Sichel – a man who was a professional table tennis player but gave it all up and moved to a remote Scottish island to become a rabbit farmer; who was then inspired to start running by watching TV, battled cancer and became one of the world’s most successful ultramarathon runners. Click HERE to watch him talk about his life.
We highlight the best walks for all the family on Orkney and Shetland, which offer scenery, history and wildlife.
Orkney’s Italian Chapel is a lasting reminder of friendships forged in a time of conflict, and we discover how it was crafted from Nissen huts by Italian prisoners of war.
Editor Richard Bath said: ‘when we came up with the idea of focusing on Shetland and Orkney, it was a project that was enthusiastically
embraced. Friends from the islands were consulted, plans drawn up, travel booked.
‘There are some places that just leave an indelible impression, and for me St Magnus’ Cathedral in Kirkwall on Orkney is one of them. Standing in the nave looking up at the high vaulted ceiling 150 feet above your head, it’s difficult to imagine that work started on this immense edifice almost 900 years ago.
‘It’s even more staggering to think that for the majority of its life, the cathedral was part of the Diocese of Trondheim in Norway. Once you
appreciate that, it explains so much about these islands to the north of mainland Scotland. They are part of Scotland but somehow different, with their Scandinavian roots and traditions.
‘Shetland is similar to Orkney in its difference to the mainland; part of Scotland but palpably not. Nor are they identical, either in culture or landscape. People often lazily lump Orkney and Shetland together, but the islands’ inhabitants see themselves as being as alike as Glasgow and Edinburgh.
‘We hope you like the result, and that it does these remarkable islands justice.’
In our regular features, we speak to former athlete Liz McColgan about running and animals and swapping Dundee for Doha, Alex Massie profiles co-leader of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie, and in wildlife, spring sees Scotland’s ponds come alive with frogs and toads.
Our regular columnists have their say, as Alexander McCall Smith’s sailing holiday is planned to perfection, Blair Bowman waxes
lyrical about old and rare whisky, Fiona Armstrong has her work cut out in the kitchen, and Alan Cochrane comes out in support of the memory of Churchill in Dundee.
This 164 page issue is now in shops, and can be bought online HERE.