Visiting Detaille Hut

Detaille Island, Base W, was established in 1956 as a British science base primarily for survey, geology and meteorology and to contribute to the science programmes of the International Geophysical Year in 1957. Located in the Lallemand Fjord, off the Loubet Coast this small island (66°52’S, 66°38’W) south of the Antarctic Circle is in an area most commonly referred to as Crystal Sound.

Building guide

The main building is kept unlocked and can be accessed by the main porch on the west side of the building. The side door at the SE side of the building can also be opened and used as the main exit to allow traffic flow through the building.

The building is shuttered to protect the windows from the weather. The shutters can be removed for the duration of the visit to allow light into the building. This is a two person job and requires the use of a ladder. A ladder has been fixed to the wall outside the main side entrance to the West of the hut. It is recommended that you remove only some of the shutters to allow enough light into the building.

What's inside?

Detaille Hut is made up of a hall, bunkroom, lounge, kitchen and radio room.

The two smaller structures on the island are the emergency store (north of the island) and the pup pens (east of the island). Other structures include the anemometer tower and two radio masts (one of which has recently collapsed).

Click here to view the floor plan.

Please take note of the following during your visit:

  1. Ensure all outdoor clothing and boots are clean before entering the building. Please use the boot scrubber provided.
  2. The site is a historic site and monument and therefore overnight stays should not be made. Please do not handle, use or remove any artefacts or sit on chairs and other furniture.
  3. Please do not smoke or use matches, candles or stoves in or around the building.
  4. Leave a record of your visit in the visitor book and please report any damage to the hut or its contents or maintenance required to the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust:
  5. A designated cleaning kit is kept in the porch. Please ensure that the hut is clean on your departure and that snow/water is mopped up from the floors.
  6. Please ensure that the windows are properly shuttered and the ladder left in place before you leave.
  7. Please ensure that the doors are securely closed when you leave.

For all official guidelines and specific instructions please refer to the Detaille Island Antarctic Treaty Visitor Site Guide.

Discover Detaille

Find out the history of the Detaille Hut

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