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St Kilda

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom Scotland Scottish Islands Outer Hebrides St Kilda

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Introduction

St Kilda, one of the Outer Hebrides, is the most isolated part of the United Kingdom, now having no permanent population. It had a population until 1930. Until the 20th century life was very hard but the population was able to sustain itself at a near subsistence level. Then it became dependent on tourism and imports. During the First World War supplies were maintained by the Royal Navy and when this stopped the feeling of isolation was heightened. After some major epidemics they applied to be repatriated to the mainland.

The island now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland and is a major wildlife reserve. It can be reached by helicopter from Benbecula in 20 minutes or by boat from Harris in a few hours - a difficult crossing over the open Atlantic.

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Sights and Activities

St Kilda is placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has plenty of sights:

  • The cliffs, both above and below water, are the highest in the United Kingdom.
  • There is plenty of wildlife including Puffins, St Kilda Wren, St Kilda Field Mouse, Fulmars etc.
  • The village bay collection of houses, and the Cleits everywhere.
  • There is a museum in one of the restored houses in Village Bay.

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Weather

A typical maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Spring is the driest time, but rain is common throughout the year. It rarely freezes in winter, but summer sees highs of below 20 °C almost every day.

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Getting There

By Boat

Day trips are possible from Harris or North Uist. Sea Harris has daily boat trips to St Kilda. Kilda Cruises is another option, starting from Leverburgh.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 9:00 on Aug 15, 12 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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