Forty one miles west of the Outer Hebrides lie the spectacular and isolated islands of St Kilda, Scotland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the largest colony of seabirds in northern Europe. St Kilda consists of several islands, remnants of an ancient volcano, and manages to capture the imagination of most visitors to the Outer Hebrides, whether they actually get there or just dream about romantic voyages to mysterious lands across perilous seas. Inhabited for almost 4000 years until evacuated by its remaining 36 islanders on 29 August 1930, the isles which are also a National Nature Reserve were bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1957. Each year, during the brief summer months teams of volunteers work on Hirta, maintaining what remains of the abandoned houses, studying the wildlife and glorying in the peace and isolation of a dramatic island group inhabited by a million seabirds and where the Soay sheep has bred for thousands of years.
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