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St Kilda intro.

 

St Kilda

What is it that makes so many people want to visit St Kilda?

The outer-most island of the Western Isles of Scotland

Hirta

 

 

The village sheltering in the bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The famous "Main Street"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Main Street are a collection of cleats - these are scattered all over the island and were used for storage. To the right is one with Dun in the distance.

Soay sheep feed and live amongst the area around the village and are quite tame - they keep separate from the wilder soay population on the island.

 

 

 

 

There is still a considerable amount of investigation going on by  by the archaeologists from the NTS as they find more artefacts  amongst the houses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work goes on every summer - discovering new information not only about recent times but also the ancient history of the islands. Here working with Dun in the background, a work party excavates what was thought to be an early chapel. Recent research tend to indicate that it is more likely to be the remains of a farm dwelling!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking around the island can start with a steep stroll up Conachair - the highest hill.  Here Boreray can be seen in the distance.

 

 

On the way up you may come across more modern remains  such as this propeller left after a crash onto the hillside during World War II

 

 

 

 

 

One of the characteristics of the west coast of Scotland and the islands in particular is the speed at which the weather can change.  On this morning a beautiful day in village bay became cold and damp within the hour!

 

 


 

Walking over the hills to see the rest of the island and the plummeting cliffs needs time and hopefully good weather but is very much worth the time and effort.

 

 

Looking across across towards Dun you get a view of the almost vertical cliffs and the surging seas down below.

 

 

 

 

 

Further on it gets more difficult to walk along the steep slopes, but eventually you end up at the north west corner of Hirta - a place known as the Cambir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The Cambir you can look across the gap between Hirta and Soay while looking down on the stacs - seen here from the west.  We pass through the passage on the far right side between the island

 

 

 

There are also many stories of the "Lovers Stone" a slip of rock which projects out over a drop of many hundreds of feet.  Here prospective bridegrooms would stand on the edge, hovering on one foot, to prove their manhood and ability to stand the exposure of the cliffs in their struggle to make a living.

 

 

 

 

 

Boreray

Although uninhabited, it was to Boreray that the St Kildans' went to get their essential catch of "Guggas" or young gannets without which human life on the island would probably have failed.  This is a view of Boreray from Hirta similar to that which the wives and daughters would have had as they waited anxiously for the safe return of their menfolk. They may not have had such a lovely day!

We make sure we get to sail around Boreray, with the magnificent stacs and the wonderful gannets. We try to give ourselves enough time to really take in the atmosphere and enjoy the place and of course sometimes we return for a second look on another day.

 

The cliffs of Boreray can appear to be almost prehistoric - you almost expect to see Pterodactyls flying around, but in fact there are just hundreds of thousands of Gannets!

 

 

 

 

 

The two stacs can be seen here on the left - Stac Lee being the nearer with Stac an Armin behind it.

 

 

 

 

Here again we have Stac Lee on the left and Stac an Armin on the right - very different looking pieces of rock but both enormous lumps rising out of the sea!

 

 

 

 

 

Still adding pictures - please  come back shortly!!

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    2016Website David Leaver Northern Wanderer.   Images David Leaver