Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Slightly odd, maybe even worrying – St Kilda named by ‘leading travel bible’

While it’s never going to be the easiest place to get to, St Kilda is a place I tend to think of as being protected, if not subject to visitor restrictions.

It’s not very big either, and the ‘Points of Interest’ are few, meaning that any visitors (tourists) will tend to tread the same path, so the arrival of increased numbers could lead to serious damage and erosion. And, while NOBODY does it (aye, right), it would take many people collecting some little a souvenir of their visit to leave the place looking pretty poor.

I don’t pay any attention to social media, or online reviews, but that doesn’t mean I’m not aware that many thousands of people do, virtually worship the people or sites that they follow, and mindlessly following any recommendation they make.

I hope this accolade doesn’t turn into a Death Note for St Kilda.

St Kilda, the remote cluster of islands lying more than 40 miles off the coast of the Outer Hebrides, have been named one of the most beautiful places in Europe by one of the world’s leading travel bibles.

Conde Nast Traveler has hailed the “unforgettable ocean views and unique ecosystem” of the Unesco World Heritage Site, which is 100 miles from mainland Scotland and was evacuated by its last permanent residents in 1930.

However an estimated 5000 visitors now flocking to the largest island each year thanks to the growing popularity of boat trips from Skye and Harris, the quickest of which still take nearly three hours.

They are drawn to an abandoned village dating back to the 19th century, its spectacular coastline, the highest sea stacks and cliffs in Britain, and Europe’s most important seabird colony.

St Kilda, which has been owned by the National Trust For Scotland since 1957, is the UK’s only dual World Heritage Site, recognised for its cultural and natural significance.

The archipelago, which lies 40 miles west of North Uist, has now been rated alongside Biarritz, in France, the Dolomites in Italy, Lapland in Finland, and the Swiss Alps by Conde Nast Traveler, which has showcased what it describes of 20 of the most breathtaking landscapes across Europe.

The travel website states: “This cliff-dotted archipelago along the western coast of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides has unforgettable ocean views and a unique ecosystem.

“Visitors can encounter hoards marine life on one of the many ocean tours offered by local boating companies, while those without sea legs can also explore the area’s ancient ruins.”

St Kilda named one of ‘the most beautiful places in Europe’

Pity Conde Nast Traveller doesn’t have a proofreader checking their article.

Two absolute howlers are immediately obvious – not only did they use the wrong word hoards (stuff that’s been gathered or collected, possibly in secret) instead of hordes (a vast multitude), the didn’t notice they’d missed out the word ‘of’ after it!

Then they managed to misspell the name of the very archipelago they were featuring.

It’s name really is St Kilda *with no full stop after the St), rather than St. Kilda, which they unfortunately used.

This screen grab of their entry shows…

Conde Nast Traveller St Kilda name error

Conde Nast Traveller St Kilda name error

Probably better to go see the display in Kelvingrove, and not to any damage to the site.

Easier to get to as well.

St Kilda Goat

St Kilda

16/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Cold War, military, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Will the forgotten tourist target be met?

50% by 2016Ever since I first saw the decree being handed down from on high (possibly back in 2007), I’ve kept an eye on any stories that refer to tourism in Scotland.

While I wish I did, I don’t have a link to the original source as I wasn’t writing quite as carefully back in 2008, and that order for a 50% increase in tourism (revenue) by 2015 seems to have changed to 2016, so it’s still there, but has apparently gained an extra year along the way. Maybe it was quietly slipped in while no-one was looking, in case there was a recession.

I haven’t seen “50% by 2015 (or 2016)” mentioned by anyone for a while, but I’m going to stick with it until 2015 (or 2016), just to satisfy my curiosity and see if anyone stands up and takes ownership on the day, and announces that the target was (or was not) met.

Given the recent publication of the following figures, it’s odd that there was no reference to the decree, since the numbers appear to be positive:

Tourists visiting Scotland spent 20% more last year than in 2012 – a bigger hike than London and the UK as a whole.

The number of visitors was also up by 9.8% to 2.44m, spending a total of £1.68bn

Edinburgh was the biggest draw with 1.3m people staying one night or more in the city – second only to London.

Glasgow was sixth in the UK league with 515,000 visits, Aberdeen attracted 241,000 overnight tourists and Inverness 226,000.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, hailed the “spectacular” results following a 4% rise the previous year and predicted a further increase in 2014.

Via: Tourist spend in Scotland up by 20% to £1.68bn

Despite making that impressive spend claim and percentage increase figure for only one year, that story notably omits any reference to “50% by 2015 (or 2016)”.


09/06/2014 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment


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