St Kilda Island
I often develop a theme for my travel photography. For instance, when I went to France for my 50th birthday, I took pictures of the numbers from 1 through to 50. In Italy, it was doors. In New York, it was taking photos of photographers taking photos.
St Kilda is a dual World Heritage site and managed by the National Trust of Scotland. It is listed for both its historical value and its wildlife. It has a fascinating history. Now abandoned, it was once a small community of only 36 people. These hardy souls were evacuated in 1930 because they had no food and no way of supporting themselves.
I took a trip out to St Kilda with Kilda Cruises. Kilda Cruises takes small groups (max 12) out to the island from Leverburg, on Harris Island, a few times a week, depending on the weather. When you book, you need to make allowances for a two-day travel window. If the seas are too rough for travel on one day, you need to be available the next day. If it is still too rough, you will get a refund.
It takes about 2 and ½ hours cruising to get to the island. If you are prone to seasickness, I suggest you stay out on the back deck. Here you will be able to watch the sea birds following the wake and breathe in the fresh sea air. It is, however, noisy, so you may want to consider noise-cancelling headphones. You may catch sight of puffins diving into the water and coming up with mouthfuls of small, silver fish. You might also be lucky to see some whales or dolphins.
The boat leaves Leverburg at 7:45AM and returns at around 7:30PM. You can get a great cup of tea and a bacon butty at the Butty Bus before you depart. The Kilda crew will drop you off at St Kilda’s little harbour where you will transfer to the island in a small dingy. A ranger from the National Trust will give you a run-down on the island and its history. After this introduction, you’ll have around 5 hours to explore, walk and take in the scenery on your own.
There is no place to buy food, so you need to take your own food and water for the whole day. There is a toilet in the village, near the museum, but away from there, it is a matter of “hide and squat” behind one of the many stone walls!
This video shows some of the histories of the island and is obviously (!!!!) not made by me!