Tha thu an seo: A’ tadhal air Hiort > Advice for Visitors


      Advice for Visitors

  • On arrival please contact the St Kilda Ranger by using your vessel’s radio – call sign “Kilda Ranger”. The Ranger will normally welcome you when you come ashore and provide advice and information. If you fail to make contact further information is available on information panels at the top of the slipway and in leaflets in the museum – in House No 3 along the village street.
  • Please remember that there are no public toilet facilities on these remote islands (even Hirta) so take advantage of the facilities on board before landing.
  • Due to the risk of introducing mainland parasites to the unique and isolated Soay sheep population, no dogs or cats are allowed ashore at any time. In addition, no firearms should be taken ashore.
  • The small pier/breakwater in Village Bay, Hirta is not safe for even small vessels to tie alongside. Passengers must be ferried ashore by dinghy or small tender. This practice ensures rats are kept off the islands, thereby avoiding a threat to the seabird colonies.
  • Take great care when stepping ashore. Wear stout footwear with good, non-slip soles but be prepared to get your feet wet!
  • It is requested that visitors do not wander into or through the MoD Base, or the NTS restored cottages, without invitation as these buildings are used for private accommodation.
  • Please note that no part of the MoD/QinetiQ facility is open to the public. Puff Inn statement
  • The St Kilda Club shop opens for visitors, usually for a short time in the evening, by prior arrangement with the ranger or NTS work parties.
  • For safety reasons, please do not wander around the islands unaccompanied and, if your group does go beyond Village Bay, make sure you have the skills and equipment with you to guide your return in low cloud or mist – the weather does change rapidly on Hirta.
  • Please do not venture too close to the cliff edges. The cliffs can be unstable in places and strong winds or sudden gusts make them even more dangerous. Boots with non-slip treads are essential, but even then wet grass makes the slopes very slippery and waterproof trousers or oilskins can make it especially difficult to stop a fall. It should also be remembered that there are no cliff-rescue facilities based on the islands.
  • Please respect the historic buildings, ruins, graveslabs and archaeological structures, much of which are protected by law as Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Historic objects, such as glass bottles or stoneware jars are sometimes seen in structures and dykes. Please leave them where you see them and inform the St Kilda archaeologist or ranger of what you have seen.
  • The islands are famed for the richness and diversity of their wildlife and have attracted a host of national and international designations. We wish you to gain as much enjoyment and interest as possible from your visit but please remember that the wildlife and environment should be respected. Please do not pick flowers, or take any plants, rocks or other specimens away with you.
  • Sheep with young lambs, nesting birds and breeding seals are especially vulnerable to disturbance. Please avoid them or leave the area immediately should they be disturbed.
  • Gulls, terns and skuas, in particular, are very protective of their nests. The birds may dive-bomb or hit visitors who venture too close, so do take care.
  • As St Kilda is a National Nature Reserve, bird ringing on requires prior approval from SNH.
  • The weather around St Kilda is unpredictable and may be subject to sudden change. Please be aware that the anchorage is not secure and that a change in wind direction may cause your boat to drag its anchor. Keep within reasonable distance of Village Bay so that you can swiftly return to your vessel if necessary. Low cloud and mist can be very disorientating, making the landing place difficult to locate.
  • Take great care leaving the island. Leave no litter and take away only photos and memories. We hope your visit is enjoyable.

© The National Trust for Scotland