Awe-inspiring archipelago with UK's largest colony of Atlantic puffins
The UK’s only dual UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of only 35 in the world.
Home to nearly 1 million seabirds, including the UK’s largest colony of Atlantic puffins.
Evacuated on 29 August 1930 after the remaining 36 islanders voted to leave as their way of life was no longer sustainable.
St Kilda has its own unique wren, as well as a sub-species of mouse which is twice the size of a British fieldmouse.
There is no place like St Kilda. Towering out from the storm-tossed waters of the Atlantic Ocean, its cliffs and sea stacs clamour with the cries of nearly a million seabirds.
Internationally recognised for its birdlife, St Kilda is no less famous for its human history. A community existed here for at least 4,000 years, exploiting the dense colonies of gannets, fulmars and puffins for food, feathers and oil.
The final 36 islanders were evacuated almost 90 years ago. Now uninhabited, visitors can brave the weather to sail to the ‘islands at the edge of the world’ for the experience of a lifetime.
St Kilda can be visited all year round, but is a challenging place to reach. There are no scheduled ferries to St Kilda but a number of companies offer day trips that leave from various ports in the Western Isles and Skye. Alternatively, you could visit as part of a cruise or sail there on your own boat.
The archipelago of St Kilda is located 41 miles west of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. It is made up of the islands of Hirta, Dun, Soay and Boreray, as well as Britain’s highest sea stacs – Stac Lee and Stac an Armin.
The St Kilda Club runs a small souvenir shop, which is open on request, but there are no food shops or cafés.
Dogs are not allowed on St Kilda.
In summer 2017 works will begin on improvements to the Ministry of Defence facility on St Kilda. The works will not affect access to the village or any of the historical buildings, find out more here.
The village on the main island of Hirta was laid out in the 1830s and has been carefully preserved – a self-guided leaflet is available. A row of cottages, the church and school can be explored by visitors and there is a small museum at House 3 in the village which contains information about the St Kildans’ way of life.
All access to St Kilda is by boat and tender and there are uneven path surfaces, therefore access is difficult for visitors with mobility problems and not advised for wheelchairs.
A paved road from the slipway leads to the top of the hill and is very steep in places. Access to the village of Hirta, where the toilet is located, is along an unpaved and uneven path. The souvenir shop is accessible along a paved surface.
National Trust for Scotland does not allow the use of drones (UAV’s) on St Kilda as there is a risk to people, wildlife and property.
Below outlines in detail some of the reasons:
There is an impact on other visitor’s enjoyment and expectations of tranquillity and privacy
Much of our wildlife is sensitive to disturbance and drones can be seen as a threat by many birds
Amateur users are unlikely to meet the Civil Aviation Authority requirements for insurance and safe operation
If you are a commercial operator you must have been commissioned or authorised by the National Trust for Scotland for a specific purpose and met CAA criteria and insurance requirements. For further information please contact the Filming Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Property Manager (StKildaInfo@nts.org.uk).
The only way to get to St Kilda is by boat. A number of companies offer trips to St Kilda, leaving from various ports in the Western Isles, Skye and the mainland, including Oban.