These distinctive islands 10 miles off the coast of Lewis have three claims to fame. Their great cliffs over 120m high of columnar basalt are even more impressive than the similar rock formations on the Isle of Staffa and the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.
The Shiants have one of the largest colonies of puffins in the world – estimated at 240,000 birds. It was here in 2009 that Europe’s oldest puffin was caught – a bird that had been ringed on the same spot 35 years previously.
The islands are one of the only places in Britain to have a flourishing colony of black rats or ships rats – rattus rattus – a one time carrier of the fleas that caused the bubonic plague.
Access by charter boat
Find out more on the Shiant Isles from the Shiant Isles website