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Abandoned island St Kilda wins award for responsible tourism

ST KILDA – the remotest outpost of the British Isles – has won a major international accolade recognising the restoration of historic buildings on the tourist attraction.

The famous Hebridean island, lying 41 miles west of the Isle of Benbecula, has been named the best destination for conserving architectural heritage in the Responsible Tourism Awards.

The National Trust for Scotland, to which it was bequeathed in 1957, has been rewarded for its work in preserving the environment and buildings of the archipelago.

The St Kilda islands were famously abandoned in 1930 at the request of the remaining 36 islanders when life on the edge of Britain in the Atlantic became unsustainable.

They now get 4,000 tourists a year, double the number from five years ago.

 The buildings rapidly fell into disrepair but, since 2008, the NTS has carried out a sympathetic restoration – particularly on a manse built in the 1820s by Robert Stevenson, one of the famous “lighthouse” Stevenson family.

 The judges decided St Kilda beat hundreds of other nominations as the work was a good example of the maintenance of built cultural heritage in remote areas. NTS’ Western Isles manager Susan Bain said: “We are absolutely delighted to win such an internationally-recognised accolade.”  Read more...


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