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The islands of Mingulay
The islands of Mingulay
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The islands of Mingulay, Berneray and Pabbay lie at the southern end of the chain of the Outer Hebrides.

They are uninhabited, having been evacuated in 1912 when the remaining inhabitants found that they were unable to continue eeking out their subsistence in the harsh conditions.

The ruined village on Mingulay, slowly being engulfed by the advancing sand dunes, stands as a testament to this unequal struggle. The bay, from which the sands are blowing, provides the only landing place; it is sheltered enough in calm weather but provides no protection when the wind is from the east.

Berneray retained some residents for longer in the keepers of the Barra Head lighthouse but even this is now unmanned. The western cliffs plunge with giddying suddenness from the lighthouse walls.

Because of their similar form and human history, these islands are sometimes referred to as the "near St Kilda".

Mingulay has become very popular as a destination for rock climbers. In general the climbs avoid the areas favoured by the nesting birds (for obvious reasons) but climbers are asked to avoid disturbing nesting colonies during the breeding season.

Map of Mingulay© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100023880.

How to Get there

Day trips to Mingulay can be arranged. The current licensed boatmen are:

Donald B MacLeod 243 Bruernish Isle of Barra HS9 5XJ who runs barrafishingcharters and has his own website and John MacDougall 29 St Brendan Road Castlebay Isle of Barra HS9 5UY who runs a large RIB out to Mingulay.

Further information is available at the tourist office in Castlebay.