Local snappers capture islands at their best

Iona, The Lane to the Sea. © Paul Tomkins

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Scotland’s many, varied and much-loved islands have attracted travellers and visitors for centuries.

Peter Irvine, author of the best-selling Scotland the Best series, has now produced a very different kind of guide.

Scotland the Best: The Islands is an appreciation of islands as unique geographical, natural and social entities, all intrinsically different but with shared histories, challenges and their own relationship with land and sea.

Carsaig Arches – rocks formation in sunset light, Mull. © Sven Stroop.

This beautiful book also sees the islands through other lenses: those of a curated collective of acclaimed Scottish and international photographers. Many live permanently on the islands, some are frequent visitors who hike, cycle, camp out and wait patiently for the light.

All pay homage to their subjects with time and respect and strive for distinction in an Instagram world.

Jura from Islay. © Mark Unsworth.

Island based photographers include Ben Shakespeare and Mark Unsworth on Islay, Andy Surridge on Arran, Ross Evans on Coll, and Cailean Maclean on Skye.

The book’s images point up remote and unheralded places – beaches, headlands, remnants of more populous times – but don’t ignore the many remarkable, more signposted ‘attractions’ where tourists converge.

Pete said: ‘It’s a continuously reinventing pleasure to disembark from a CalMac ferry after a journey with dolphins and porpoises, Scotland drifting past, the breezy deck and the maccy cheese and step ashore into the different small worlds of Scotland’s islands.

The Sgurr of Eigg. © Allan Wright.

‘That’s what I did last summer as I have many times before, but for this book, it’s been a great privilege to follow in the footsteps of some outstanding photographers. I hope you enjoy their intriguing images and that my introductions and recommendations may be useful in your explorations.

‘”The Islands” is for everyone who loves Scotland, who loves or may come to love small islands and who will revel in the life-enhancing experience of discovering them. But go quietly and if you are in a vehicle on single track roads, please don’t forget to pull over.’