Ellishadder, Staffin.

All roads – or very famous footprints – lead to the acclaimed and fascinating Staffin Museum.

Known as the Dinosaur Capital of Scotland, Skye’s rich Jurassic past has been unearthed in the last few decades and new discoveries are still being made all the time, including a dolphin-like species which was announced earlier this year. For the first time in the Gaelic language, the species was given a Gaelic name, Dearcmhara Shawcrossi (lizard of the sea), by Staffin Museum owner Dugald Ross, who was involved in the research.

Staffin can lay claim to the most significant of those discoveries, including the discovery of dinosaur footprints at Staffin Beach which grabbed headlines around the world. Very often it is Elishadder and fossil enthusiast Dugald Ross who is interviewed about the finds.

The prints were left by a family of dinosaurs that walked across the sand here some 165 million years ago.

Dugald first established the Staffin Museum in 1976 when he was only a teenager and has had a lifelong interest in the district’s history, archaeology, landscape and geology. Since Skye’s first dinosaur find in 1982, Dugald has been involved with local research that continues to identify dinosaur remains.  In 2002, the discovery of Middle Jurassic tracks which showed the footprints of an adult dinosaur with young has attracted international interest.

Visitors to the museum from all over the world, particualry excited youngsters, are keen to tap into Dugald’s knowledge, which is internationally acclaimed.

Local woman Sylvia Porter also works exensively in the museum. The traditional stone building is contained within a converted byre and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world.

It also also has the world’s smallest dinosaur footprint and a dinosaur leg.

It is not all dinosaur related, as there are excellent examples of local geological and fossil specimens, as well as representative artefacts illustrating the prehistory and social history of the Trotternish peninsula. Staffin’s crofting heritage is on show with images of men and woman hard at work and a display of the tools they used to eke out a living from the land.

Opening Hours: Easter to October, Monday to Friday 10.30am to 3pm

Directions: The museum is located a stone’s throw away from the famous Kilt Rock viewpoint. Traveling north towards Staffin from Portree, the museum is about 25 minutes’ drive on the main A855 road, and is on the first left after the causeway, past the Kilt Rock turn-off. Coming from the north (Kilmuir), or via Uig, across the Quiraing road, the museum is about ½ miles north of the 40mph speed limit signs in Staffin, and is on the right-hand side before crossing the causeway.

Contact details:  Staffin Museum, Ellishadder, Staffin, Isle of Skye IV51 9JE. Phone 01470 562321, e-mail