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St Kilda

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Quick Guide
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"A World Heritage Site"

The archipelago of St Kilda is the remotest part of the British Isles, is made up of four main islands and sea stacs and lies 41 miles west of Benbecula in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. It is one of the best places in Britain for diving because of its clear water and its submerged caves, tunnels and arches. It has the highest seacliffs in Britain 1400ft (427m) and the highest sea stacs.

Its islands with their exceptional cliffs and sea stacs form the most important seabird breeding station in north-west Europe and is a National Nature Reserve.

St Kilda was bequeathed to The National Trust for Scotland by the 5th Marquess of Bute in 1957. In the same year, it was designated a National Nature Reserve by the Nature Conservancy (now Scottish Natural Heritage ). Just before his death, the Marquess of Bute agreed to lease a small area of land on Hirta to the MoD as a radar tracking station for its missile range on Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. (The lease was renewed in 1976 for a further 25 years.)

Today, these three organisations, The National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the MoD, who work in partnership to further a continuing programme of conservation and research on the islands and to ensure the care and protection of this World Heritage Site.

Other facilities include: TA small museum at House 3 in the village, and a shop and a WC in the village. A self-guiding walk leaflet around the village is also available.

What can you see and When is best to visit.

Spring: Seabirds arrive back to nest, gannets and fulmars arrive first in February, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes in March, in April the puffins (roughly 270,000 birds visit) and great skuas. The Soay sheep lamb in April with a few early arrivals in March.

April is also a good time to hear the St Kilda wren.

May: Storm petrels arrive, at night you can hear them calling. A good month for watching for spotting whales.

June: Razorbill and guillemot chicks, a good month for spotting whales.

July: Kittiwake chicks, a good month for spotting cetaceans and basking sharks

August: Puffins leave to spend the winter out at sea. Fulmar chicks visible on their nests.

September: A good month to spot migrant birds passing through: geese, waders and passerines.

October and November: Male Soay sheep rutting. Grey seals have pups.

Village Bay, St Kilda Bob Jones

Location: St Kilda, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Grid Reference: Ceremonial County: Inverness-shire

Map Link:

Aerial photo:

Getting there: Via boat only various trips are available from Mallaig, Oban and the Western Isles. A number of cruise ships also call.

Access: via boat and tender. Access to old village is along an unpaved and uneven path. Paved road from slipway leads to top of hill and is steep in places.
Website: www.kilda.org.uk

Other Useful Websites:  www.nts.org.uk/Property/55/      www.visithebrides.com

www.kilda.org.uk/weekildaguide/guide02.htm (a children's guide)

Address: St Kilda National Nature Reserve, St Kilda, West-coast Islands
Postcode: Telephone: 0844 4932237
Opening Times: All year - daily

Charges: Free - although there will be boat charges by the companies operating services

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages: World Heritage Sites World Heritage Sites - Further Information

World Heritage Sites in the UK

Notes: No Dogs allowed. WC in the village.





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By: Tracey Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: st_kilda Topic: Birds  Last Updated: 07/2009

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