We have been planning a visit to St. Kilda for quite a while. The weather will not always be on your side! It may be sunny and calm where you are, but St Kilda is about 85 miles away from Skye. If the conditions at Village Bay are unfavourible it can be too dangerous to transfer over and the trip will be rescheduled.
Our trip with Go to St Kilda leaves from Stein which is just 20 minutes up the road from Millburn Bed & Breakfast, so very convenient. You will need to take your waterproofs and a packed lunch. If you think a choppy sea may affect you, a sea sickness tablet too. Getting there can take 3-4 hours we didn’t notice the time.
Our crew were Willy our skipper, and Gordon. They had a wealth of knowledge about St. Kilda, the families who had lived there and the eco system on the islands.
We sailed around the Stacs and saw lots of birds nesting. We could also see the changes to the rocks caused by hot lava that had forced its’ way through, million of years ago.
It was hard to imagine that for thousands of years people lived on Hirta. That they used rowing boats to get to the stacs, jumping ashore between the crashing waves. Climbing up the cliffs to collect birds eggs and seabirds to eat during the winter months.
The Ranger met us on the quay and told us about UNESCO’s work on the island. She also gave us a map showing how the Main Street was layed out.
There is a guided tour offered by Go With St Kilda . Our tour was led by Gordon, who gave us a sense of what life on the island would be like. He also gave us interesting facts about the biodiversity of the island and its’ significance as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The hillsides are covered with cleits, stone storage buildings. Here families would keep crops and dried food for the winter. They would also be used for drying out any wood found on the beach.
It was a trip we will definitely remember. It is hard to imagine people living here until the 1930s, it could not have been easy.
On the way back we got a hot drink and a piece of cake, and were escorted by dolphins as we came in toward Stein.
We would definitely recommend Go With St Kilda and advise you to book well in advance as slots go quickly, especially if it has to fit in with your visit to Skye.
Book directly for the best rates.