We will be opening many of our places over the coming months. Some places will remain closed.

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Northern Islands

Fair Isle

The most remote inhabited island in the UK, famed for its seabirds and fabulous knitwear

Planning your visit

If you’re thinking of visiting one of our island properties … please don’t. 

In the middle of this Public Health emergency, the idea of travelling to one of the Trust’s island properties may be very appealing. However, we respectfully ask you to think again.

As with any other part of the country, you should not travel at all if you have symptoms of Coronavirus infection or live in a household where someone else is showing symptoms. The Scottish Government has also asked that you avoid travelling to remote places altogether in the current emergency. Island communities are small and often include elderly people, so Coronavirus would be particularly devastating for them – please consider their wellbeing.

Island communities are also isolated from healthcare providers, so someone falling ill and passing the virus to local residents will put even more strain on the system with possibly fatal consequences.

As you may have seen in the media, transport to many islands has been restricted so it may therefore be hard to reach our islands and just as hard to leave, especially if an emergency situation develops.

We want everyone to take care and stay well. Once the crisis is over, you’ll be welcomed with open arms to enjoy some of the most amazing coastal and island settings in the world. Until then, there are plenty of images and other content on our website about places like Fair Isle, Canna, Iona and St Kilda so that you don’t have to miss out on their spectacular scenery.

Fair Isle can be visited all year round, although getting there can be weather-dependent.

Your first port of call should be Fair Isle Bird Observatory, which is home to the island’s visitor centre, as well as offering accommodation, meals and other facilities. It’s open from mid-April until the end of October and you can pick up factsheets, self-guiding leaflets, information on wildlife and maps of the island here. You can find out more about the island’s history at the George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum, located in Fair Isle’s former school and housing a collection of knitwear, artefacts, photographs and other historical memorabilia. The ranger service offers guided walks, talks and other events at the observatory.

Stackhoull Stores is the only shop on the island and is also the post office. It’s well-stocked and you can buy food, drink and other provisions here. There’s no bank on Fair Isle, but cash withdrawals can be made from the shop/post office.

For more information about planning your visit, please see the drop-down Facilities below or our frequently asked questions.

Facilities & access

We have an ongoing programme of accessible content development. Detailed accessibility guides for the most visited Trust places are available on our Accessibility pages as well as links to useful resources.

We’d love you to visit the Euan’s Guide website to review the accessibility of Trust places and tell us (and others) what’s good and where we need to do better.

Bike route

Fair Isle Bird Observatory offers a free ranger service from May to the end of October, including guided tours of the island.

By arrangement with the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Fair Isle Lighthouse Society, visitors can book an official guided tour of the South Lighthouse.

Public toilets are available at the Bird Observatory, at the airstrip waiting room, at the Hall and via an outside door at Stackhoull Stores.


Opening times

Fair Isle

Entry prices

One adult family

Members go free

At all Trust places, admission is free for members.

Join from £50