Mingulay, Pabbay & Berneray

Eagles soar and dolphins splash around these Hebridean islands, also home to a rare Pictish stone

Planning your visit

Avian flu

We have a suspected outbreak of avian flu (H5N1) affecting seabirds on Mingulay, Pabbay & Berneray. The risk to human health is very low but you may see dead birds on your visit, so please follow these simple rules to keep yourself safe:

  • Do not touch any dead or dying bird
  • Wash your hands before eating, drinking or smoking
  • Report any dead birds to Trust staff (if they are marked with paint then these are ones we have already counted so there is no need to report)

What can you do to help?

H5N1 is a highly infectious disease in birds and can be spread through their faeces. You can help limit the spread to other places and species by keeping your distance from the birds.

If you have been to, or are going to, another seabird colony or have birds at home please:

  • Thoroughly clean your boots, especially the soles
  • Wash your outer clothing

Thank you for your support.

Read more: The impact of avian flu at our places

Your visit

Mingulay, Pabbay & Berneray are wild, uninhabited islands. All three islands have very high and dangerous cliffs.

Landing is from a small boat onto a rocky foreshore and can be difficult – please speak to your boat operator if you have concerns about this.

If you’re arriving in your own boat please note that you must come ashore in an open tender to avoid bringing unwanted animals, such as rats, onto the island. The hulls of all boats should be recently treated with anti-fouling treatment, and chains and anchors should be clean.

Please make sure that you have good walking shoes or boots and that they’re cleaned before you visit, paying particular attention to the soles.

The weather can be changeable and we recommend good walking shoes/boots and warm, waterproof clothing. All walking is over rough, uneven ground.

You should also bring food and drink with you as there are no cafés or shops on the island.

Camping is permitted but please read our guidance sheet.

Please note that there’s no mobile phone reception on any of the islands.

There are no toilet facilities on the islands.

Please give seabirds space

Visitors to the islands can help our seabirds by maintaining a good distance from nests and birds that are feeding. People and dogs may disturb or destroy the nests or burrows of birds that raise their young close to the shore. Dog owners are asked to leave their dogs at home if possible, especially during the breeding season (1 April to 30 September). If you do bring your dog, we ask that you keep your dog on a short lead.

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

If you’d like to speak to us, we can be contacted by telephone on 01463 732645.

Facilities & access

If you have mobility problems, visiting Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray is not advised – the islands can only be reached by boat, landing on rocky stretches of foreshore. There are no paths on the islands and any tracks are uneven. There is no wheelchair 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.

Explore the abandoned village on Mingulay, all that is left of a once-thriving community who farmed, fished and hunted seabirds.

On Pabbay you can see one of only two Pictish stones in the Western Isles.

Walk to the highest lighthouse in Britain, situated on top of a very steep cliff on Berneray.

There are no paths on the islands and any tracks are uneven.

Opening times

Mingulay, Pabbay & Berneray

Current period All year, daily

Entry prices

Mingulay, Pabbay & Berneray
One adult family

Members go free

At all Trust places, admission is free for members.

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