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Hunting for the Staffin dinosaurs

One of the good things about the Lealt Falls (9), Kilt Rock (10) and Staffin Beach (11) is that they are all easily accessible, and you don’t have to waste time on trying to find them. On top of that, each location has a small car park. All of them are also going to be very interesting for all of you history fans out there but we will get to that later.

Lealt Falls.. what can I say.. The first impression when you get out of the car is a bit disappointing. The waterfall is rather far away from the viewpoint, so you can’t really admire and appreciate it properly. However, the view of the whole area does compensate for this inconvenience.

The stunning mountain range, the massive canyon, the cliffs and the sea make this place simply epic. For all the tourists that forgot to pack their lunch, have no fear, usually there is a charming little food van on the car park serving hot dogs and hot tea.

When you reach the viewpoint, near the cliffs edge, you will notice the remains of some old buildings lurking below. They look absolutely fascinating as you would not expect anything like this in that area. The ruins are the remains of a diatomite grinding facility. The diatomite is a white deposit made of the microscopic diatoms shells and can be used in insulation, filtration for beer, in production of polishes and paints but most importantly it can be used to manufacture dynamite.

The Isle of Skye was supplying this precious resource not only to the European countries but also it was exporting it as far as South Africa. If you fancy a history hike, you can follow the trail of the diatomite workers, which starts at one of the viewpoints at Lealt Falls and finishes at Loch Culthir. The walk takes about 2 hours.

Just a short drive away was our next stop, Kilt Rock and the Mealt Falls. The Kilt Rock cliffs are the most unusual cliffs I have seen in my life. They are so even and straight as if someone would just chop square blocks of their edges with high-tech machinery. The cliff got its name from the dolerite horizontal layers forming together with the vertical basalt columns a pattern similar to the one which can be found on kilts.

Here you can also compare your footprints with the footprint of the local celebrities, the Staffin dinosaurs. At the viewpoint you can find a large stone with the footprints of the dinosaurs discovered in Staffin and if you are more interested in the subject you can also visit the small Staffin Museum (IV519JE), which is opened from Monday to Saturday, 09:30 – 17:00. If you enjoy lakes, right across the road you can visit the Loch Mealt. The lake maybe isn’t big but certainly has its own charm.

According to our plan, our next stop was to be Quiraing, however, intrigued by all the information boards and signs, we decided to take a small detour and visit the Staffin Beach. Fun fact, the name Staffin was given to the area by the Vikings and in translation means ‘the place of pillars’ (referring to the basalt columns of the cliffs).

The Staffin Slipway Beach (IV519JT), is one of those hidden gems which is still not very popular with the tourists. You can straight away feel the Nordic spirit in the area and with some luck you may find some more dinosaur footprints on the ground. This is not one of those sandy, sunbathing beaches. It resembles more the Iron Islands from Game of Thrones than anything else. Personally, I absolutely loved this place. The road there maybe isn’t great, but if you drive carefully, it shouldn’t cause you too many problems. There are 2 parking options available, the An Corran Beach car park (where we stopped) and one more car park further down the road. We didn’t manage to find the dinosaur footprints but we sure did enjoy the place.


You may also be interested in our previous blog entries about the Isle of Skye:

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