Presentation on the Islands

As the only island on which people are likely to set foot, presentation is focused on Hirta. SNH’s NNR sign is positioned near the top of the pier to provide visitors with basic information, maps and to direct them to the Warden’s office at the Factor’s House. NNR signThe preservation of the Village is in itself a presentational effort, but the remains are allowed to speak for themselves, and there is no open-air interpretation, other than the NNR sign. House No. 3, however, has been restored to house a small museum in which a few authentic St Kildan everyday artefacts are on show, and which contains a great deal of information, presented on information panels, about all aspects of the islands’ natural and cultural heritage. (The museum displays and interpretative resources are in the process of being updated and improved.) In addition, House No. 6 has been restored to the original room plan and external fittings and appearance, based on old photographs, oral history and documentary records.

A large proportion of visitors arrive at Hirta by cruise ship and therefore have only a few hours to spend on the island. Visitors on a guided tourFor their use there is an archaeological broadsheet for St Kilda, which includes a map of the main areas and brief descriptions of the principal features of interest. This can be supplemented by the numerous historical and contemporary accounts of the islands (available in the small shop run on a voluntary basis on behalf of the St Kilda Club), and in particular, for the casual visitor, the colour NNR leaflet and the illustrated popular guidebook by David Quine (Quine, 2000). In addition, from the late spring to early autumn months, both the St Kilda Warden (Natural Heritage) and the St Kilda Archaeologists take visitors on guided tours of the Village area and beyond. SNH has produced a Code of Conduct for visitors which is available to all cruise ships and boat charters, asking them to behave responsibly, and advising them of facilities available on the island. The warden is always on hand to answer queries and guide visitors around the important features of the Village. The warden also accompanies vessels on cruises around Boreray and the stacks if required.