Staffin businesses cracking into new season as Easter approaches

DISCOUNT cafe vouchers for hungry holidaymakers, revamped and improved menus and extended opening hours – Staffin businesses are well and truly geared up for Easter and the coming visitor season. 

The days are stretching after the clocks changed last weekend, the weather is improving (some days) and the lambing is about to commence. Staffin is by no means a closed shop during the so-called “shoulder months” between October and March, with people still coming to see the dinosaur footprints at An Corran, the Kilt Rock, Quirang, Storr, Brother’s Point and Lealt, and all the other Taobh Sear attractions but the A855 is already noticeably busier with traffic of all shape and sizes – and speeds!  

Staffin has an impressive range of businesses and services and you can find out more about them all in more detail by clicking on the online business directory page: http://staffin-trust.co.uk/staffin-directory

As a snapshot… 

  • Staffin Stores is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm. The Hungry Gull, a pop-up cafe in the Staffin Hall, will be open until Saturday night (31) when it will shut for the season. Proprietor Allan MacDonald and his staff are marking the short trip across the Bealach to a new home at the Uig Filling Station. On Easter Monday, Morag MacKenzie and her staff will re-open the Kilmartin Restaurant for the season and will be open from Monday to Saturdays. 
  • As previously intimated, the Staffin Hall public toilets will now be open seven-days-a-week. These well maintained facilities are based within the Staffin Hall complex, approximately 1/4 of mile south of the 40pmh zone as you travel from Portree.
  • The Columba 1400 Cafe’s opening hours will be Monday to Saturday 10am – 8pm. New menu and discount voucher packs for B&Bs/self-catering homes/guesthouses are now ready and can be collected at the centre. If your B&B is outwith Staffin and you would like a menu pack with discount vouchers posted out, please email Karen MacDonald karen@columba1400.com 
  • In Stenscholl, MacKenzie Stores, which is open throughout the week, has launched a revamped takeaway menu. It includes everything from authentic home made curry dishes, hot dogs, Indian chai to hot drinks. Delicious Mr Whippy ice cream is also available! Please call your order through on 01470 562 234. 
  • The Staffin Museum in Ellishadder is open on Easter Monday. The museum doors will be open at 10am to 1pm Monday to Friday. Entry is £2 per adult, £1 per child and £5 family (two adults, two children). 
  • Wendy Higgins at the Wee Quilter in Trotternish Avenue is also opening on the same day from 10.30am to 5pm, other times by appointment. Wendy has been working on a lot of quilts during the winter and her stock currently includes plenty of children and baby quilts. The brand new Wee Quilter website will also be up and running in the next few weeks so watch out for that.
  • The Ellishadder Gallery and Tearoom was open Monday to Wednesday in the winter and is now open for the summer season.
  • The Skye Pie Cafe at Culnacnoc is also now open from 12 noon to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

If you are visiting Staffin please be aware that this is the start of the busy lambing season and dogs must be kept under control at all times. Staffin has a reputation among buyers at the autumn sales as a source of top quality store lambs. Local crofters already have to protect their stock at lambing time from predators such as crows, sea eagles and foxes so they can ensure a financial return later in the year for their efforts. Walkers looking to enjoy the spectacular scenery and fresh air are warmly welcomed but please use your common sense and be mindful of the heavily pregnant sheep.

Staffin lambing season underway.

The lambing season comes as a survey was published this week by NFU Mutual which found that more than 20 per cent of dog owners do not think their pets chasing sheep could lead to death or serious injury.

Sheep get anxious when they see dogs, who are descended from wolves and are their natural predators.  A sheep can’t tell whether a dog is on a lead or not, or if it is with a responsible owner. People walking in Staffin’s 23 crofting township’s hills and common grazing pastures, as well as the in-bye crofts, should be fully aware of the danger their pets can pose to livestock. There is very little public land in the community, almost all of it is part of the active crofting land.  Enjoy your walk, keep your dog under control at all times and everybody will be happy.