Next Episode of Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands is
In Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands, Paul Murton sets out to experience island life today. He uncovers the past and reveals its connections with the present, pointing to the quirky, the surprising and the beautiful lying just offshore.
In this first programme in the new series, Paul Murton continues his island odyssey, exploring the remote and fascinating places which scatter our coastline, and meeting the people who call these islands home. On this Grand Tour, Paul is exploring a cluster of islands in the Outer Hebrides. Lying just off the North Uist coast is princely Berneray, where his journey begins. From there he heads south to capture the colours of Grimsay, and then weaves through the marram grass of Kirkibost, to end on the deserted whisky island of Pabbay.
This Grand Tour takes Paul around the coast of the Long Island of Harris and Lewis, beginning on Scarp, travelling north to Great Bernera, then south east to Scalpay. These islands may seem to exist in the shadow of their much larger neighbours but Paul discovers they have a distinct identity all of their own, as he hears remarkable stories of crofter rebellions, rocket mail and a rich local culture.
Paul explores the eastern outposts of Shetland - Papa Stour, Whalsay and the Out Skerries, encountering along the way newborn lambs, ancient ruins and traditional Shetland sword dancing. Paul's journey reveals a bittersweet story of islands where life seems to continue against the odds, in the face of declining populations and the challenges that come with being so remote. But in all of the three islands Paul explores, he discovers they have their own voice, made proud and distinctive by the determination of the islanders to keep their communities alive.
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