Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Orkney 'second best place to live' in UK

Orkney Island, Stromness, Coastline
How about a move to the 'second best place to live' in the UK for your GP training?
Have a look at the Remote and Rural Track rotations for your chance to move to these beautiful and historic islands...

Friday, 16 December 2016

City Snapshot: Inverness in Winter

Inverness looking amazing in this Visit Scotland video, check out the Caledonian Programme which includes hospital rotations in this vibrant highland city..............

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

All the World's a Stage.......

Portrait of Shakespeare, William.
Thinking about the humanities and medicine today whilst planning out the next part of the GP Trainees' Day Release Education Programme.

This William Shakespeare poem really sums up our patient's journey through life. A journey which, as GPs, we are privileged to accompany them on - from cradle 'the infant, mewing and puking in the nurse's arms' to grave 'sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything'.'s-A-Stage

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Balmy December Days....

Paradise, Painting, Beach, Vacation, Sea
Who says Scotland's cold in winter......

15+ degrees in Aberdeen today thanks to the Foehn effect

Calling all FY2s! Have you applied for GP Training?

Are you an FY2? Have you applied for GP training? Do you want to know more about the selection process?

If so, this session is for you!!

We are running an afternoon session to tell you more about what to expect at the Stage 3 Selection Centre of GP Recruitment. This will be a fun interactive session where you will get the opportunity to do some hands-on practice in a safe and supportive environment. The session will include a mock paper and a number of clinical scenarios.

The session is facilitated by GP Advisors from the local Deanery Office who have experience of real life recruitment.

The session will be held in Tutorial Room 4, MacGillivray Centre (within Aberdeen Maternity Hospital) on Wednesday 18th January from 2-4.30pm.

If you are interested in attending please e-mail Naomi Will at

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

One Day Left!

You have just one day left to apply for the August 2017 start to GP Training in the North of Scotland! So make that all important decision of a lifetime and complete your application to GP training. Trainees in the North of Scotland have consistently rated it as one of the best schemes in the UK as evidenced by the GMC survey.  The hospital component, so often the Achilles heal of GP training schemes  was rated highest in the UK in the 2016 GMC survey.

Despite the recent downturn in the oil industry the North East of Scotland continues to rate highly in quality of life surveys and with fantastic outdoor opportunities for all.  Don't be put off by the house prices either, the downturn in oil has had a very positive effect in making the north east more affordable to those moving in to the area.

So get that last minute application in and we will see you  in August 2017!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Life on The Scottish Rural Track Program.

Roberta Lindeman is a trainee on our Rural Track program in Fort Wiliam and is now in her final year of training having spent her elective year working on the Scottish Leadership Fellowship. Here she talks about her experiences on the Rural Track Program and what attracted her to it.

Interested?  Here is another article Roberta wrote a couple of years ago:- Life on The Rural Track Program
Scottish Rural Track Program
Scottish Rural Track Program rotations

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

GP Training Applications for 2017 Now Open

Applications for August 2017 GP Specialty Training are now open!.  You have until 4pm on 1st December 2016 to make that all important decision to apply for training for a life in general practice and all that that offers. And where better to apply for that training than the North of Scotland, our three programs offer unrivaled training as evidenced by the results of the GMC survey with trainees rating their experience in their hospital posts as best in the UK.  The lifestyle opportunities are likewise unparalleled in all three programs.

Still not convinced?  Why not read about the experiences of some of our trainees in our trainee blogs or watch the videos on this blog to get a feel for what is on offer in the North of Scotland.

Programs and Rotations for August 2017 Now Available

Provisional programs and rotations for August 2017 Round 1 GPST recruitment have been announced. There have been significant changes to GP Specialty Training in Scotland for the August 2017 intake. There will no longer be any 4 year programs, all GP training will be in 3 year programs. As well as this, the 4 month rotations that we used to offer in ST2 have now been changed to 6 month rotations in all our programs.

These changes have caused significant upheaval to our programs and hence we wanted to let you have sight of our provisional rotations for 2017. Please be aware, they are provisional and may be subject to change and should only be taken as an indication of what is on offer. As things become clearer we will update them.

For more information on specific programs follow the links below.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Living and Working As A GP In Shetland

Shetland is one of the hubs in our rural Track Program.  This short video has been created by the Shetland GPs including Catherine Brown, one of our trainee bloggers who has just comlpeted her training and taken up a substantive post in Lerwick.  Also featured is Dylan Murphy the educational supervisor for GP Training in Shetland.

Interested?  Then have a look at Catherine's blog on life as a trainee in Shetland and give some serious thought to joining the Scottish Rural Track Program!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Scotland Tops Home Nations Life Study

A European study has suggested that Scotland has the best quality of life among the home nations.

The findings - based on data from 37 regions of the UK - considered factors such as health, safety, access to education and personal rights.

Scotland came top of the UK index - scoring 74 out of a possible 100. Wales came bottom with 72 points.

The study which features 50 separate indicators, was compiled as part of the EU Regional Social Progress Index.

The initiative is a new EU project spearheaded by the European Commission and the Social Progress Imperative, a Brussels-based think tank.

Regions' overall scores and scores for the different aspects of social progress data were graded on a scale of 1 - 100.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Psychiatry Component of Grampian GP Training Receives Recognition

The psychiatry component of the Grampian GP Specialty Training scheme has received recognition of its consistently positive feedback in the annual GMC trainee survey.  We take the results of this survey very seriously, it is an important opportunity for our trainees to let us know how we are doing so it's great to receive this very positive message from our trainees.

"Richard Coleman
Director of Medical Education
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
AB25 3ZN

Dear Dr Coleman,

Recognition of important, positive feedback from doctors in training about the quality of training and the training environment in Psychiatry posts in Royal Cornhill Hospital, NHS Grampian.

Following the Scotland Deanery GP, Public Health & Occupational Medicine Quality Review Panel that was held on 17 August 2016, I write on behalf of the GP PH OM Quality Management Group to congratulate you and the trainers associated with GP training in Psychiatry in Royal Cornhill Hospital, on the very positive feedback that trainees have provided on their experience of training.

The feedback that we have been particularly impressed with relates to:

NTS - Quadruple green in consecutive yearly data.
NTS – 4 or more green flags in a single year and absence of red flags.

We appreciate your leadership of training for your Health Board, but also recognise the valuable contribution made by your trainers, and we are delighted to be able share our awareness of the positive feedback that we have received about the training you provide.

Yours sincerely

 Professor Moya Kelly
Lead Dean – Director

GP PH OM Quality Management Group"

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

General Practice ST1, August 2017 Round 1, National Recruitment Timetable

I know that it probably feels like you have only just started FY2 but the start of Round 1 recruitment for the August 2017 start for GP Specialty Training is fast approaching.  As you can see from the timeline below applications open on the 9th November and close 1st December.  So why not make that all important decision and choose a career in general practice and even more importantly in the North of Scotland, first for lifestyle and first for training!
  • Advert
  • BMJ, NHS Jobs, Oriel
  • Advert Appears
  • 03-Nov-16
  • Apply from
  • 9 November 2016 {10:00am UK Time}
  • Closing Date
  • 1 December 2016 {4:00pm UK Time}
  • Invitations to Specialty Recruitment Assessment Expected by
  • No later than 20 December 2016
  • Specialty Recruitment Assessment
  • 7-14 January 2017
  • Specialty Recruitment Assessment Results Expected by
  • No later than 27 January 2017
  • Invitations to Selection Centre (Interview) Expected by
  • No later than 27 January 2017
  • Selection Centre Window
  • 6-17 February 2017
  • First offers from (n.b. by 5:00pm)
  • 28-Feb-17
  • Hold Deadline
  • 9 March 2017 {1:00pm UK time}
  • Upgrade Deadline
  • 16 March 2017 {5:00pm UK time}

Think GP

The RCGP has produced a series of short videos to  promote careers in general practice.  They give a flavour of the variety that a career in general practice can provide.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Orkney, Shetland & Western Isles Are Best Places To Raise Children

In the recent 2016 Royal Bank Of Scotland Children's Quality of Life Survey, Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles have been voted as the best places in the UK to bring up children.

So what makes the northern tip of Scotland Islands such a good place to bring up children?
  • The average primary school class size (17.0) and pupil to teacher ratio (PTR) in secondary schools (10.0) in the Western Islands are the lowest in Britain (national averages of 26.9 and 20.9 respectively). The Orkneys follow with primary class sizes of 18.1 and a PTR of 9.3.
  • An average school spend in the Orkneys of £9,281 per pupil is the highest in the survey – just over twice the national average of £4,623. The spending ratio in the Western Islands and Shetlands follow at £9,095 and £8,844 per pupil respectively.
  • These factors appear to help secondary school children achieve excellent exam results, with over 90% of pupils in the Islands getting 5 awards at SCQF 4 or better (69.7% GB average1)
  • The Western Islands have the lowest population densities in Britain with just 9 people per square kilometre – compared to the national average of 276. The Shetlands and Orkneys also have equally low population densities with 16 and 22 people/square km respectively.
  • Children can walk about in relative freedom with an average of 71 vehicles per square kilometre in the Western Islands, 142 in the Orkneys and 145 in the Shetlands, compared to 9,587 in Britain as a whole.
  • Importantly, the ONS survey on personal wellbeing indicates the Orkney and Western Island adult populations are among the happiest, most satisfied, least anxious and content in Britain. This bodes well for those growing up on the isles.
So why not give a thought to applying to our Scottish Rural Track GP Training Program?  We have rotations based in all three areas with the hospital component being based in the local Rural General hospitals whilst the GP components are based in the local GP practices.  

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

North of Scotland Ranked as Top in UK for Experience in Secondary Care Posts

In the recent GMC Trainee Survey the North of Scotland GP Specialty Trainees ranked their experience of their secondary care posts the highest of all the UK deaneries.

UK Mean
UK Ranking
North Region
1st of 20
East Region
6th of 20
South-East Region
7th of 20
NHS Education for Scotland
11th of 20
West Region
19th of 20

So why not come and train in the UKs top ranking schemes, first for training and first for lifestyle!  It's not us saying that, it is our trainees.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Another view from the other end...

Another view from the other end...

It was an ordinary Friday afternoon in an ordinary surgery in the North of Scotland. I looked down to the latter part of the surgery list and just knew that Tony (not his real name) would be a DNA. Now, just to avoid confusion with acronyms, I mean “Did Not Attend” rather than Deoxyribonucleic Acid. Often, the very mention of DNA raises howls of indignation and tabloid accusations of ingratitude but Tony had a very good reason for not attending. He was dead. He’d died 2 weeks before and this was a legacy appointment, made some 4 weeks ago. Somewhat selfishly, I left the appointment in place (given that it was only 20 minutes away at the time) and used the time to think of Tony. He and I go back a long, long way. In fact I first met him when I was in my hospital training as an SHO (the old equivalent of a GPST2) in 1984 and I still have a letter from myself in his GP notes to prove it. It was fascinating to pause and think of how much our world has changed in a generation and a half, both medically and socially.

I knew that Tony would thoroughly approve of the fact that he’s inadvertently given me a “flanker”* and a wee bit of extra time to cope with my notoriously over-running surgeries. He was always one to champion the “wee man” in life, not in a rebellious flag bearing way, but if he could stick two fingers up at overbearing self-important authority, he would. Interestingly, he always counted me amongst those who stood up for the angry, the lonely and the dispossessed. I valued that greatly. He even forgave me being an Aberdeen supporter against his own background of a diehard “Sellick”** supporter. Tony was no angel and had a pretty chequered history in his younger days but had mellowed substantially with age and wisdom. Happily, for him, his death was sudden and unpredicted, exactly how he’s told me he wanted it. Out of respect for Tony, I did take the time to think back over such a long association rather than catch up. It’s one of those moments which define General Practice and what makes it so special. I’ve been immensely privileged to be part of his life rather than simply his medical adviser.

I’ll miss him.

*“Flanker”- In Scots slang- it’s generally a non-malicious trick or sleight to gain a small advantage.

**”Sellick”- the West of Scotland phonetic pronunciation of Glasgow Celtic FC, where the letter T is routinely dropped from words.

Alex Thain (older GP...)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

GPST Recruitment Round 2 For February 2017 Start

Scotland is offering approximately 100 places in Round 2 of GPST recruitment for a February 2017 start to training.  Of these 100 places 6 are in the North of Scotland, 3 in the Caledonian Program and 3 in the Grampian Program.  We are currently finalising these rotations and will publish details as soon as we have them.

The timeline for recruitment is as follows:-

Apply from 9 August 2016 {10:00am UK Time}
Closing Date 25 August 2016 {4:00pm UK Time}
Invitations to Specialty Recruitment Assessment Expected by No later than 2 September 2016
Specialty Recruitment Assessment 10-13 September 2016
Specialty Recruitment Assessment Results Expected by No later than 16 September 2016
Invitations to Selection Centre (Interview) Expected by No later than 16 September 2016
Selection Centre Window 26-27 September 2016
First offers from (n.b. by 5:00pm) 03-Oct-16
Hold Deadline 6 October 2016 {1:00pm UK time}
Upgrade Deadline 7 October 2016 {4:00pm UK time}

Further details on applications are available on

Friday, 8 July 2016

Scotland's Winter Playground

Fancy having this on your doorstep?  Glenccoe is just along the road from both Oban and Fort William two centres on our Rural Track GP training scheme. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Summer In Shetland

Catherine Brown has shared her thoughts about her decision to join the Rural Track GP Training Scheme on Shetland and about her life there. Follow the link to her blog to read more.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


The Aviemore practice on Speyside is one of the training practices on our Caledonian program, and don't worry, they don't all cycle like this!  If you are into the outdoors, whether it be cycling, hill walking, climbing or skiing, Aviemore has it all.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Life As A Shetland GP

Susan Bowie is a GP in Hillswick, Northmavine. Here’s a short video portrait of her everyday life and work in one of the most beautiful parts of the North of Scotland As she says, while navigating her way from patient to patient past Shetland ponies and extraordinary views: “I came here for six months. I ended up staying 32 years.”  So why not consider taking that same leap and join the Scottish Rural Track Program.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Scottish Rural Track GP Training Scheme

Stuck in clearing? Well this blog (hopefully) will give a view on Scotland’s Rural Track GP training scheme.

Usually its 4 year long package, but can be reduced to 3 ½ (if you lose the OOPE – out of practice experience), my training will however be 4 ½ years as I’m planning for a year in Africa. Some people might be put off by the extra time, but it gives you longer to pass the exams and I think more experience in training will only make you a better GP. Personal things do happen, and we’re lucky to have a very understanding deanery.

GPs in Scotland (I think) have more options than GPs in England, I am very interested in the role of RPs (rural practitioners) that provide an A+E service in some of the rural hospitals, I have already made a good network of doctors in this field and as such know how to get the most out of my training to prepare for this. I have already completed ALS, ATLS, PILS, NILS, 2 x Basics (Pre hospital care) courses, and am lining up for a TEAMS (intubation and RSI) course next year. My next 3 GP placement days will include a day with the contraception nurse, a day with the ambulance service and a day in the rescue helicopter.

I also know many other doctors that have interests in Diving Medicine, Mountain rescue, Coastguard and even Dolphin Rescue (... if that’s your thing!).

The main attraction for me would be that as a rural GP in Scotland you’re a real part of the community, and can provide a good service to those needing it. Continuity of care seems to be easier to achieve than in the rest of the UK which is the real charm of the job.

The community life is wonderful. It’s still possible to hitch a lift up here (why can’t you do this in England?). Once I was offered a lift and in the first 15 minutes, was offered Sunday lunch, an invitation to church and also to meet the guy’s daughter. I also think it’s very funny when the ferry gets cancelled due to bad weather, and every one panic buys as if nuclear war was about to break out! ( sense of humour is weird). I would suggest an ability to mix in outside of the job is very important, (...for me, this is fiddling).

This aside – life is relaxed, and the staff up here reflect this (most of the time!). Some of your time will be spent at Raigmore Hospital Inverness, not perfect, but a very friendly place to work in. At least you won’t be on a picket line, as no one is trying to impose any contract in Scotland.

Rural Scotland isn't the most lively of places all the time. If your idea of heaven is an afternoon shopping followed by a visit to the theatre, then this probably isn't for you. But, we have the famous Heb Celt festival, Up Helly Aa, Belladrome, The Feis and the less famous music sessions at the Criterion Pub (Stornoway) which equals sessions anywhere in the world.

If your passion is the outdoors then you should have applied already!

A balanced view must include everything, and as much as I love the outdoors, the weather is usually bad to very bad, and on occasion dangerous. The A+E rota at Raigmore isn't life friendly (but where is?) and the reflection aspect of the GP portfolio doesn't suit me.

However, the rural track program is still a very good package, I have met people who I’ll probably keep in touch with the rest of my life. It allows you to play a real part in a real community, and also provides an insight to some of the more adrenaline charged branches of being a GP.

In short – medicine, with a twist.

(See you soon?)

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Life As A Fort William GP

Whoever said General Practice was “boring” ?!  I have been doing it for 35 years in the Highland town of Fort William and I still enjoy life, medicine and the variety.  I am looking out of my consulting room window and I can see the summit of Ben Nevis.  Well not actually today – more like gorillas in the mist today.  I get a grandstand view of mountain rescue helicopters and the ski slopes at Nevis Range.  The Mountain Bike downhill World cup weekend is in 2 weeks time. A sort of Eco F1 for adrenalin junkies.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Round 1 Re-advert Posts Finalised.

Round 1 re-advert posts are now finalised. Please go to our programs section at for details of all the posts available. In brief, Grampian 3 year program filled at the first round, Grampian 4 year program has two rotations available. Both Caledonian programs still have rotations available with six in the 3 year program and five in the 4 year program. The Rural Track program has 9 rotations available.

Good Luck!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Round 1 Re-advert for August 2016

We have just received our final figures for applications in Round 1.  We can now therefore announce that we have the following vacancies available in Round 1 Re-advert.

  • Grampian, 2 places, both four year programs
  • Caledonian, 11 places, 6 three year programs and 5 four year programs.
  • Rural Track, 9 places, all four year programs

We hope to be able to publish the detail of which rotations are on offer in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Rural Track Trainee Workshop 2016

Trainees on our rural track program get to meet together once a year for a 2 day conference, the venue rotating around our rural track centers.  Catherine Brown, an ST4 trainee on Shetland writes about this years conference:-

This two-day event, which is held annually in different Rural Track locations, was held here in Shetland this year. I was slightly apprehensive ahead of it, as I had organised it!! Much to my relief, the event seemed to be enjoyed by one and all. Fourteen trainees in total managed to attend. Before the formal start on the Thursday morning, quite a few of us managed to gather for a meal on the Wednesday evening. And a trip to one of our local pubs for some traditional music.

Thursday morning arrived a few of us ventured into the North Sea for a refreshing morning dip, joined by a few selkie (seal) friends. Needless to say, it was a truly invigorating experience!!

We had a GPwSI theme for the workshop, covering obstetrics, paediatrics, dermatology, women's health and voluntary work abroad. The talks were all given by local GPs. One of our community nursing colleagues spoke to us about healthcare on non-doctor islands, and the role of the intermediate care team. An hour's tour of The Shetland Museum provided us all with a succinct (if compact!) history of the islands, knowledge of the community and appreciation of what life has been like here through the ages.

On the Thursday evening we attended our local GP and hospital consultant educational evening, before thirty of us headed out for dinner. It was really great to see a mix of trainees, GPs and hospital specialists mingling and exchanging stories.

The following day we focussed on rural recruitment and retainment, and video conferenced two of our colleagues in Oban who gave a presentation on their OOPE in Uganda. We then visited our local coastguard station for a tour and talk about what HM Coastguard does in the community here. 

On the Friday evening, those of us remaining headed out to the South Mainland Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival. A real spectacle! Not only is there a torchlit procession, but then an evening of acts/ sketches and dancing in local village halls across the region.

This was the first time that I had organised anything like this. It was a big learning curve, and I am pleased that it seems to have been a worthwhile event for those attending.

Here's to the next one!


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

GP Recruitment, Round 1 Re-advertisement Timeline

For those considering putting in an application for the Round 1 Re advertisement of GP recruitment for August 2016 start date here are the important dates.  At the present time we do not have final figures for the current recruitment round so are unable to give an idea of how many posts we will be offering in the re-advertisement round.  As soon as we have finalised the posts taken up in the present round we will post those available in the re-advertisement round.  This will not be before the Upgrade deadline of 24th March 2016.

ST1 Recruitment for August 2016 

Advert appears Thursday 10th March 2016 
Applications open  (10am, UK time) Tuesday 22nd March 2016
Applications close (4pm, UK time) Thursday 7th April 2016 
Longlisting completed by Wednesday 13th April 2016 
Stage 2 invitations sent out   No later than Monday 18th April 2016
Stage 2 Assessment Window  Saturday 23rd – Tuesday 26th April 2016 
Stage 3 invitations sent out   No later than Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Stage 3 Selection Centre Window  Tuesday 10th – Thursday 12th May 2016 
First Offers released  Thursday 19th May 2016 
Holding deadline (1pm, UK time) Wednesday 25th May 2016 
Upgrading deadline  (4pm, UK time) Friday 27th May 2016 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016


Inverness by Night
Groupwork is an integral part of GP training.  Here, a group of our ST1s who started in August 2015 and currently in general practice talk about their experiences of  groupwork.

"We have thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of GP training. The day release sessions have been both helpful and enjoyable. These sessions take part on a Wednesday morning where we chat in small groups of around 5. We organise the sessions ourselves and pick interesting or challenging topics. In the first half we organise a PBSGL module. These modules are specifically designed for GP trainees including cases and references to up to date guidelines. The second half is facilitated by a local GP who has been very approachable with a relaxed manner. This is a fantastic opportunity to discuss difficulties in a safe environment. The peer support is invaluable and comparing and contrasting our practices has been interesting. There is a great camaraderie within the group where we can be honest about our difficulties and feel we are safely supported throughout our training."

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

On call in Shetland: a cliff-hanging GP at the NHS's northern limits

The Guardian featured this excellent article on dr Susan Bowie, a GP in Hillswick on Shetland.  It explains why our Rural Track program is so important and can be so rewarding. Take 5 minutes out from your hectic day and see what life can be like as a remote and rural GP.

On call in Shetland: a cliff-hanging GP at the NHS's northern limits

North of Scotland, Winter Sports Capital!

For all you winter sports enthusiasts, why would you not want this on your doorstep?  This was the Lecht ski area at 9.30 on Sunday morning, the sun had just come up, fantastic views across the Cairngorms and barely a person to be seen.

So why not come and train in the North of Scotland.  Our training practices in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are within an easy drive of the Lecht and Glenshee whilst the Caledonian scheme practices are within easy reach of Aviemore and the Lecht.  Alternatively you can head westwards and join the Rural Track program with centres in Oban, handy for Glencoe, and Fort William which has Aonach Mor on its doorstep.

So if its winter sports that are your passion, there is only one destination for your training!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

August 2016 Rotations Now Published

Sunrise From Aberdeen Beach
We have now published the rotations for GP Specialty Training in the North of Scotland.  We have 58 posts available this year with 12 in the Rural Track Program and 23 in each of the Grampian and Caledonian programs.

So why not come and join us in the North of Scotland and see the sun rise on your career in general practice!

August 2016 Rotations

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Life As A Rural GP On The Western Isles

What do you want from life? Less stress? More time to think? More time to look after your patients? A chance to connect with a small tight knit community? A chance to live closer to nature…. and further away from the traffic jams and frenetic lifestyles of modern existence?

Then why not consider our Rural track GP Specialty Training program.  Based around our rural general hospitals in Kirkwall, Lerwick, Stornoway, Oban, Wick and Fort William this program offers a fantastic opportunity to experience the rewards of rural general practice.

This video was produced by Dr Gerry Wheeler a GP on North Uist to promote their partnership post and gives a great feel for the Outer Isles and what they have to offer.