St Kilda has won a major international accolade recognising the restoration of historic buildings on the island of Hirta. It was named the ‘best destination for conserving architectural heritage’ in the Responsible Tourism Awards.
Buildings on the island fell into disrepair after the last St Kildans left the island in 1930 but since 2008 the National Trust for Scotland has carried out sympathetic restoration – particularly on the Manse that was built in the 1920s by Robert Stevenson.
The judges of the Responsible Tourism Awards decided St Kilda beat hundreds of other nominations as the work was a good example of the maintenance of built cultural heritage in remote areas. They also said the National Trust for Scotland's work at St Kilda, the UK's only mixed-World Heritage site, was important to both the cultural and natural heritage of the World.
NTS’ Western Isles manager, Susan Bain, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win such an internationally recognised accolade. It is a reward for the work we do on conserving the architectural heritage. We have to get the balance right, as this is an abandoned landscape; it is a matter of conserving and not over-restoring.”