St Kilda National Nature Reserve / Isle of Hirta ***
Region: Western Isles (Outer Hebrides)
With its dramatic landscape of sheer cliffs and sea stacks, St Kilda National Nature Reserve feels like a place perched on the edge of the world. It is Europe's most important seabird breeding area and includes the world's largest northern gannet colony.
A community existed here for at least 4,000 years, exploiting the dense colonies of gannets, fulmars and puffins for food, feathers and oil. The final 36 islanders were evacuated almost 90 years ago. Facilities include a small museum in the 19th century village, and a shop which sells books, postcards and gifts.
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