A deserted Scottish island and a spooky castle on the side of the loch make our list of “Most Splendid Desolate Places.”

Sometimes there’s beauty in ruin, and two Scottish websites prove the point after making a list compiled by a Brazilian publication. Hirtha Island, part of the St Kilda archipelago, and Kilchorn Castle on the shores of Loch Awe are ranked among the top 12 “magnificent desolate corners of the planet” by the Jornal da Frontera website.

Hirta is the largest island on St Kilda, located 40 miles from the nearest land. It was inhabited for at least 2,000 years, but in 1930, the remaining 36 residents were evacuated to the mainland at their request.




There are now no permanent residents although staff from the National Trust for Scotland and the Ministry of Defense facility on the island point out that it is not completely deserted. St Kilda is the UK’s only ‘mixed’ UNESCO World Heritage site, meaning it is seen as important for its cultural and natural attributes.

It features the highest cliffs in Europe as well as large colonies of endangered birds such as puffins and gannets. Archaeological finds on Hirtha, the largest island on St Kilda, include pottery from the Iron and Bronze Ages, while sites of interest include abandoned 19th-century houses.

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Jornal da Frontera calls it “the last Scottish stronghold”. She adds: “The island of Hirta in Scotland was abandoned in 1930 due to adverse weather conditions, and today it preserves an almost intact landscape, with traces of occupation that time has failed to completely erase.

Kilchorn is much less remote, lying on a peninsula adhering to Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute. It is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland and was built before the construction of nearby Fort William.

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