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St Kilda Islands

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St Kilda Islands are 44 miles off the northwest coast of Scotland from Leverburgh on the Isle of Harris. There are other places in Scotland you can take boat trips from such as the Isles of Skye and Lewis. See the Websites below for links to the Boat Trips.

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This is one of the hardest to reach attractions in Scotland, also one of the top attractions.

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It takes about 2 and a half hours for the Boats to travel out to St Kilda, then you are allowed a few hours on the main Island named Hirta, so a long day.

There are three larger Islands, Hirta, Soay and Boreray, that were used for Sheep, Cattle, Barley, Potatoes, and Hunting Seabirds.

Seabirds and their Eggs were plentiful from April - September, with the Gannet Eggs being the size of large Chicken Eggs.

Gannets are about 2 - 4 kg / 5 - 8 lb, the size of a Goose, said to taste like a salty Goose.

St Kilda has about 60,000 Gannets.

Hirta has the highest Sea Cliffs in the UK, where you can take a walk.

People have lived on the Islands for thousands of years, with the Village on Hirta being the only large settlement.

The Village on Hirta seen today was built in the 1800s, with the remains of buildings from many hundreds of years further back seen here and there.

The population peaked at 180 in the 1600s, with the last residents of Hirta being taken off the Island in 1930.

The Military has some people on the Islands all year, also Conservation workers and Scientists often visit the Islands.

1300s? - the Islands were under the control of Clan MacLeod of Harris with the Islanders religion being Druidism, worshiping Nature.

1615 - Clan MacDonald raided Hirta taking 30 Sheep and Barley.

1700s - visiting ships led to loss of life on the Islands due to illnesses such as Cholera and Smallpox.

1758 - the Reverend Kenneth Macaulay was one of the first tourists to visit the Island.

1822 - Rev John MacDonald began visiting the Islands to convert the Islanders to Christianity and provide Education.

1834 - the first Steamship named Glenalbyn visited St Kilda, leading to an increase in Tourism.

1877 - the Steamer Dunara Castle from Glasgow arrived at St Kilda with 40 passengers, the first of many scheduled visits for Tourists over the next 40 years.

1914 - 1918 - World War One led to the end of Steamers visiting St Kilda.

1930 - the last people from the Islands were relocated to larger Islands or the Mainland.

1957 - a Military Base was set up at St Kilda for Radars on the Islands.

The Base had a Pub named the Puffin Inn, claimed to be the most remote pub in Europe.

1958 - Conservation parties began visiting St Kilda.

1960s - Cruise Ships began visiting St Kilda. Small local boats from the Islands of Harris, Lewis and Skye also began providing tours from that time.

1986 - the Islands were taken over by the National Trust for Scotland.

2017 - the old original Military Buildings were removed with new buildings being built that blend in with the environment more.

2019 - the Puffin Inn on St Kilda was closed, then demolished.

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