You are here: Visiting St Kilda> Advice for visitors


Advice for visitors

  • On arrival please contact the St Kilda Ranger by using your vesselís radio - call sign "Kilda Warden". 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 the information panel and leaflet dispensers on the jetty.
  • To ensure rats and other predators are kept off the islands all visitors must come ashore by tender or dinghy. This helps protect the internationally important seabird colonies and the indigenous St Kilda mouse.
  • Due to the risk of introducing mainland parasites to the unique and isolated Soay sheep population, no dogs, cats or other pets are allowed ashore at any time.
  • Take great care when stepping ashore. Wear stout footwear with good, non-slip soles but be prepared to get your feet wet!
  • The public toilet facilities are limited on St Kilda - take advantage of the facilities on board your own vessel before landing.
  • Please note that the MoD/QinetiQ facility is not open to the public. Puff Inn statement
  • Many other buildings are private accommodation for staff and researchers and are not open to the public.
  • The St Kilda Club shop opens for visitors by prior arrangement with the Ranger or NTS work parties. The shop sells postcards and other souvenirs. We cannot guarantee the shop will be open during your visit
  • For safety reasons, if you want to walk outside the Village Bay area we recommend you go with someone else and inform someone of your route. Please remember the weather can change suddenly, make sure you have the skills and equipment with you to guide your return in low cloud or mist
  • 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 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.
  • If you want to visit the other islands in the archipelago please get in touch with the National Trust for Scotland who can give you advice on how this can be done safely and responsibly. Our guidelines are available here.

© The National Trust for Scotland