Go on an adventure and visit the islands of Mingulay, Berneray and Pabbay in the Outer Hebrides.
Until the last of the population left in 1912, crofting, fishing and fowling were central to the lives of the inhabitants of this island group. As on St Kilda, the islanders used the seabirds and eggs for food and trade the feathers.
Mingualy (12 miles south of Barra) and Berneray together were made a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1983 for the maritime vegetation, rock shore and cliff habitats found there, as well as for the seabird population.
In 1994 the islands were made a Special Protection Area in recognition of the internationally important populations of breeding species of seabirds, particularly razorbill, guillemot, fulmar, kittiewake and shag. Storm petrel, common and Arctic terns, great skua, black gillemot, puffin and four species of gull also breed on the islands. These birds are attracted not only by the cliffs, coastal rocks and caves for nesting sites, but also by the fish supply in the area.
All the islands have significant archaeological sites, with several designated Scheduled Ancient Monuments, including the village area on Mingulay. The most northerly of the three islands, Pabby, is separated from the smaller island of Rosinish by a tidal channel.
The only way to get to Mingulay, Berneray and Pabbay is by boat.
Most boats leave from Castlebay, Barra; the Tourist Information Centre in Castlebay (01871 810336) can provide you with information.
The islands are often a stopping point on chartered cruises around the Western Isles, with many boats leaving from Oban and Mallaig