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The Islands at the Edge of the World (St Kilda) Traditional Cache

This cache has been archived.

Simply Paul: After a period of reflection I've decided to let this cache go to the great archive in the sky as it's clearly gone and I've little chance of getting it replaced in a reasonable timescale. That's not to say I won't get back to St Kilda some time to set a replacement, but I've another St Kilda on my scopes for now... Thanks for all the photos and logs. It was fun while it lasted [:)]

1.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

The islands of Hirta, Dun, Soay and Boreray make up one of the most remote locations in Britain, St Kilda. 50 miles west of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, and in the harsh North Atlantic, just getting to the islands is very difficult. Fortunately, finding this geocache has been made easy with the very clear instructions below!

This cache was set with the agreement and help of the National Trust for Scotland, who are thanked for their kindness and assistance.

The cache is here. Come and find it!Please note, getting to the island is dangerous in poor weather, and dogs and other domestic animals are banned from landing. Please leave all pets at home, and only attempt this cache when it is safe to do so! Typically this will be during settled weather between April and September, when a NTS warden is stationed on Hirta. Click here to read of the visitor's information pages on their web site before attempting a landing.

On June the 22nd 2007 a group of cachers visited St Kilda for Britain's Most Remote Event Cache and this physical cache was left behind, partly to celebrate this 'unique event adventure', and partly to bring more cachers to these wild and beautiful islands 'at the edge of the world'.

St Kilda supported a population of up to 200 people from c.3000BC, but growing contact with the mainland from Victorian times destabilised the fragile economy and culture of the island as well as its population. The last 36 inhabitants of Hirta (the main island of the St Kilda archipelago) were evacuated to the mainland, at their own request, in August 1930.

They left a remarkable legacy, in the archaeology of the island, and in a social structure of shared community which is still viewed as a utopian ideal (albeit one in a harsh environment where survival required co-operation and produced interdependency) by many. Living on a mixture of seabirds and the basic crops they grew, the St Kildans survived Smallpox epidemics, near starvation and the attack of a German U-boat. Some might say it was the 20th century itself which ultimately made their life on Hirta too remote and fragile to sustain.

Finding the cache:
As St Kilda is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a National Nature Reserve and was Scotland's first World Heritage Site (it's now one of very few dual-status WHSs) needless to say there's no need to move, damage or even touch anything but the cache itself to get it! The co-ords should take you right to it -it's hidden at chest height- and the clue has already been decoded for you - please make use of it rather than risk interfering with the delicate balance and fragile history of this island. Thanks!

Given the low number of finds this cache is expected to have, I don't suggest leaving any sort of (micro) TB or geocoin in it - even if it is your own!

Some selected facts about St Kilda:
i) There never was a Saint Kilda. The name comes from elsewhere!
ii) The UK's highest cliffs surround the islands, with some reaching over 1000ft (300m)
iii) St Kilda is one of only 24 places on Earth awarded dual World Heritage Status for both its cultural and natural significance.
iv) The St Kilda House Mouse (a subspecies of the smaller mainland House Mouse) died out after 1930, when the islanders left.
v) TP6131 is the most isolated Trig Point in the UK, being almost 64km (40m) from its closest neighbour, TP2274 on the Monarch Isles.
vi) Half the UK's Puffin population are on the islands - 300,000 birds.
vii) Some wag painted a Zebra crossing on the little-used road at the top of the island. The Belisha Beacons have since vanished though. ;)
viii) There's only one surviving islander now, Norman John Gillies. It was the death of his mother when he was a toddler in 1930 which proved the final straw for the St Kildans. They requested evacuation shortly afterwards.

Learn more about St Kilda on the NTS site dedicated to this amazing group of islands.

22nd June 2017: Today is this cache's 10th birthday! Thank you to all 90 past finders for looking after it. Here's to another 10 years of happy caching!

Read more about The Historic Geocaches' campaign.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[Disturb nothing! The cache is tucked behind the downpipe at the corner of the village school building, attached to the church]

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)