St Kilda National Nature Reserve

A Beauty Spots in Outer Hebrides

Photo - St Kilda National Nature Reserve

Lying 41 miles west of North Uist, St Kilda is home to the largest colony of seabirds in northern Europe, including a quarter of the world's population of northern gannets.

The majestic scenery above water is mirrored by cliffs, caves and reefs plunging into the far depths of the ocean. This, and the extraordinary clarity of the water, has made St Kilda renowned as one of the foremost dive sites in Europe.

St Kilda is no less famous for its human history. A fragile community clung on for at least 4,000 years in this most remote of places. It's almost unimaginable how the islanders existed in this harsh environment, catching gannets, fulmars and puffins for food, feathers and oil, and farming some meagre crops. The village on the main island of Hirta was laid out in the 1830s and consists of a crescent of houses with cultivated plots. On 29 August 1930, the remaining 36 islanders were evacuated to the mainland.

In addition to its dual World Heritage status, St Kilda has been designated a National Nature Reserve, a National Scenic Area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Community Special Protection Area. The village has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

St Kilda National Nature Reserve

St Kilda
Outer Hebrides
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The Private House Stay's Guide

Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides is a chain of islands over 100 miles long, (the Inner hebrides are islands between the Outer Hebrides and the mainland of Scotland). They have west coast beaches that rival the Caribbean - as highlighted in the Sunday Times when Luskentrye beach on Harris was considered to be in the top 10 of beaches in the world. There are also many sites of international archaeological significance such as the Callinish Stones on Lewis which are over 5000 years old and some believe older and more relevant than Stonehenge. The Outer Hebrides are the last bastion of the old Highland life. Though newer industries such as fish farming have been introduced, the traditional occupations of crofting, fishing and weaving still dominate, and outside Stornoway on Lewis (the largest town within the islands) life is very much a traditional one, revolving around the seasons and the tides.