This site uses cookies, by continuing to use this site you are agreeing to their use


free hit counter

Click on the thumbnails to get a larger picture, then on on the top LHS of the screen to return to this page.


The islands of St. Kilda are the remotest of the Outer Hebrides, lying some forty miles to the west of North Uist.  With dramatic cliffs and sea stacks, large seabird colonies and remarkable history, I had long been keen to go there and was able to do so in May 2017.  

On the day of our trip the sea was calm, making matters easy for the sea crossing and landing.  St. Kilda can bare its teeth in much more dramatic ways of course, but difficult conditions could result in an aborted trip.

 More information about St. Kilda can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Kilda,_Scotland


1. Approaching the main island of Hirta. 

2. The smaller island of Boreray, flanked by the sea stacks of Stac an Armin on the left and Stac Lee on the right.

The islands had been inhabited for centuries or even millennia, but during the 19th century tourists began to visit Hirta and the islanders’ isolation was no longer something that could be considered inevitable.  Their way of life was also becoming increasingly hard to sustain and in 1930 the remaining population made the decision to leave the islands.  

Today the principal residents are seabirds, with human presence limited to the main island of Hirta where National Trust volunteers work in summer and there is a small military base.  In the late spring and summer months day trips are available for visitors.

3.  The village street with refurbished cottages in the foreground and ruins of others in the distance.

4.  A ‘vintage’ black & white treatment of village ruins.

5. Interior of the church on Hirta.

6. Two Soay lambs.  The Soay sheep on Hirta are a hardy breed descended from a feral population originally kept on the island of Soay. (Note: the animals have ear tags but I have amended the image for aesthetic reasons).

9.  Fulmars nested on the cliffs; one flies past Boreray. 


7. Looking back to Village Bay on Hirta. In the foreground is a cleit, originally used to store a variety of produce.

8.  A view from a cliff edge at a point known as ‘The Gap’, 535 ft above the sea.  The island is Boreray, with Stac Lee visible and Stac an Armin partly hidden (see also Images 12 & 13).



10. A fulmar flies between the stacks and Boreray.

11.  A fulmar seems to be about to land.

12.   Stac an Armin

13.   Stac Lee


12. & 13.    Boreray and the stacks are home to large gannet colonies.  The images show the stacks with numerous gannets in the sky above; many are small dots but can be picked out when clicking on the larger image.  

When St. Kilda was inhabited both stacks were regularly climbed to harvest gannets and fulmars and their eggs.  Remarkably a bothy was constructed on the stacks so that the islanders could remain on a stack if needed or conditions prevented leaving.  

Today hunting the birds is prohibited and climbing the stacks not permitted unless special permission is granted.

14.  A gannet in flight.

15.  Coming close to the cliffs and gannets and their nests can be seen.