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13. Dinosaurs and fossils (Isle of Sky, North West Highlands)

An exciting day awaits us today, we are going in search of dinosaur tracks! Here no detailed plan, little information, we will have to search for ourselves and obviously, the network works very poorly, which limits our searches on the internet.


Route : 50 km from Edinbane and around an hour's drive through incredible landscapes to reach the north of the Isle of Sky where the main footprints were discovered.


SCORE BAY & DUNTULM CASTLE

On Score Bay Beach, beneath the ruins of Duntulm Castle, there are dozens of dinosaur tracks, so much so that the place is nicknamed the Disco. It's not easy to find them, the tide doesn't help and the rocks are very slippery. Furthermore, the largest is 70 cm, which is enormous (large round holes, with three fingers), we tend to look for smaller traces while they are before our eyes. Look on the flat blocks of rock that jut out into the sea.


The place is magical, with incredible views, large dark pebbles, volcanic rocks and other pink pebbles. It's just superb! If you don't find any dinosaur traces, fall back on mussels. They are small, their shells are thick and they need to be cooked longer than farmed ones. On the other hand, they are very tasty and their harvest will make you happy. There are only one or two parking spaces on site and no amenities. Also bring clothing suited to the conditions. The wind is strong and the climate humid.


AN CORRAN BEACH

The place is 1 km from Staffin, on the east coast of the Isle of Sky. The discovery of the footprints is recent (2001) and was made thanks to dog walkers, who found them by chance. They date back 170 million years, to the middle of the Jurassic era. You can park nearby. No amenities on site.


Info: the place is frequented in all seasons, you will easily find the traces (there are 17) on the block of rocks which jut out into the sea. Make sure of the tide times, otherwise you will not find not the footprints, submerged in water.


A little further on your route, in Ellishader, don't miss the museum dedicated to fossils, dinosaurs and other ancient remains. Unfortunately, photos are prohibited. There is parking right outside. The museum is located in a former school, it is not big, but you can find various local curiosities there. The entry fee is 4 pounds.


KILT ROCK & MEALT FALLS

On the A855 towards Portree, stop to admire the impressive cliffs of Kilt Rock (90 m high), which look like a kilt, hence their name and the Mealt Falls (60 m).

Info : the site is magnificent. On site you will find ample parking for 6 pounds, as well as very comprehensive information on dinosaur tracks, as well as a repository of different footprints to help you spot them in the field. No amenities on site and lots of visitors.


OLD MAN OF STORR

Still on the A855, towards Portree, the Old Man of Storr rock python will undoubtedly attract your attention. This 55m high ancient volcanic rock sits on the Trotternish Ridge and is one of the busiest walks on the island.

Info : to reach it, it takes an hour of walking, on a sometimes very steep path. There is ample parking on site at a cost of £6.


PORTREE

For the evening, we stopped at Portree, the hotspot of the island. The place is charming, with a port and pretty colorful houses. You will find many shops there. This is the ideal place to do your souvenir shopping.


For the evening meal, we had reservations at Sea Breezes, overlooking the pier. The restaurant is very small, it serves 3 courses in the evening and the menu is slim. The products there, on the other hand, are succulent and local. A reservation well in advance is essential.


BALMORAL SKY

For the night, we stopped in Braes, 15 minutes from Portree, in a B&B, the Balmoral Sky. The view of the sea is incredible and the garden, with the sheep in the background, guarantees a dreamy and relaxing night. You will benefit from a king size bed, an independent bathroom, everything you need to make tea or coffee, as well as TV. The owners are very friendly and warm.





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