Staffin Beach is one of the most popular beaches to visit on the Isle of Skye due to its incredible black sand and the famous dinosaur footprints that are revealed here at low tide. Staffin Beach is also relatively easy to get to in comparison to some of the other beaches on the Isle of Skye which makes it appealing to tourists. 

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Staffin Beach (An Corran) - Where to Find Dinosaur Footprints on the Isle of Skye

Staffin Beach is a great family friendly beach on the Isle of Skye. Visit at low tide and look out for the dinosaur footprints to relish in a bit of Skye history.  In this guide, we will discuss the best time to go to Staffin Beach as well as the following

  • What is Staffin Beach?
  • Where is Staffin Beach?
  • How to get to Staffin Beach?
  • Why Should I go to Staffin Beach?
  • When Should I go to Staffin Beach?
  • Preparing for your trip to the Isle of Skye.

What is Staffin Beach?

Staffin Beach is a black sand beach, surrounded by rocky outcrops on the Trotternish peninsula on the Isle of Skye, also known an An Corran. It is well known for dinosaur footprints that were discovered on a stone slab here in 2002 and are exposed at low tide. Tourists flock to the area at low tide to hunt for the dinosaur footprints which have been en

A recent discovery of fossilised dinosaur footprints in a stone slab in 2002 has really put this beach on the map. They can be seen on a flat mudstone to the right of the large boulders on the beach and were identified as those of a three-toed Hadrosaur.

Where is Staffin Beach?

Staffin Beach is located on the Trotternish peninsula on the north east coast of Skye. Surrounded by rugged scenery and incredible sea views, Staffin Beach is a must visit on the Isle of Skye. Due to it’s close proximity to the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock, it is one of the more popular beaches on the island. We would recommend visiting at low tide to get the most out of your visit to Staffin Beach.

How to get to Staffin Beach?

From Portree, leave the village past the highstreet Co-op and head towards the Old Man of Storr. Continue to follow this road for around 17 miles until you reach the small village of Staffin. Turn right down a single track road down to the boating slipway, this road is well sign posted from the main road. Staffin Beach is easily accessible from here. 

Staffin Beach can also be accessed by walking from Staffin down the single track road. Parking is available at the Columbia 1400 Community Centre.

staffin beach

Why Should I Visit Staffin Beach?

Staffin Beach is a rare find on the Isle of Skye, if not Scotland. The black sand that is revealed at low tide gives this beach an incredible moody feel, especially on a cloudy day. Not only does Staffin Beach itself look beautiful, but the stunning backdrop overlooking the beach is breathtaking. 

Staffin Beach is relatively central and close to many of the popular tourist attractions on the Isle of Skye. There is also a small amount of parking making it easily accessible if you are short on time.

When you visit, don’t forget to look out for the dinosaur footprint that is revealed at low tide. 

When Should I Visit Staffin Beach?

It would be common to think that the best time to visit a beach would be on a summers day when the sun is shining, however, we felt that visiting on a cloudy winters morning gave this beach the moody vibe that we were looking for. Another benefit to visiting in the off season is that it won’t be as busy and you can enjoy the beautiful views and the sounds of the crashing waves against the shore in peace. If you have your heart set on finding the dinosaur footprints you may be more likely to see them after a winter storm as any sand that has gathered there will be removed exposing the footprints. In the small village of Staffin there is a museum where you can learn more about the dinosaurs that once roamed here. 

Before You Leave on Your Trip to the Isle of Skye

Before you leave on your trip to the Isle of Skye there are a few things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. These include how to get there and around the island, what to pack and where to stay, all of which are discussed below.


How to Get to the Isle of Skye


The Isle of Skye is connected to mainland Scotland by the Skye Bridge, a free road bridge, from Kyle of Lochalsh to the village of Kyleakin on the island. In high winds, the bridge will close to high vehicles and on days of particularly extreme weather, the bridge may close to all vehicles.



Another option is to get the ferry over to Skye which typically takes around 30 minutes, leaving from Mallaig on the mainland to Armadale. You can check the timetables online as there is typically only a morning and afternoon ferry running.



If you are travelling to Skye without a vehicle, buses run from Scotland’s major cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh direct to Isle of Skye’s capital, Portree. Buses to the Isle of Skye run from other areas in Scotland and you can plan your bus journey to Skye here.

Once you are on the island, you can book onto a tour that departs from Portree and takes you around the best sights that there are to see on the island. Read more about this tour and book your place right here.


old man of storr isle of skye

Where to Stay on the Isle of Skye

These recommendations may vary depending on what activities you are wanting to do whilst on the island. We have based these accommodations close to the centre of the island and near Portree. In the summer Portree is extremely busy and we would recommend that you look to stay elsewhere if you want to avoid the crowds and traffic.

In the winter months, however, Portree is a pleasant and central location from which it is easy to get to many of the sights around the island.

Luxury – If you are looking for a comfortable apartment stay to come home to after a day exploring, Quayside Apartment is the perfect place for you. With spectacular views and a good central location, this accommodation is comfort plus for your next trip to Skye.

Book your stay at the Quayside Apartments right here.

Mid-range – The Portree Hotel is a great central location for your stay in Skye. This hotel overlooks the main square in Portree and during the winter months, there are wood-burning stoves to keep you warm after a day of exploring.

Book your stay at the Portree Hotel right here.

Budget – If you are looking for a budget place to rest your head but still have a great view, The Pink House is the place to stay just for that. A continental breakfast is included in your stay and you can book a room with a great view out to sea.

Book your stay at the Pink House right here.

If hostels are more your scene, you can check out the hostels available in Isle of Skye here.


What to Pack for the Isle of Skye

When it comes to packing for a trip to Scotland there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your trip to the Isle of Skye in winter, you can expect rain at some point. Due to this, the number one item on your packing list is a good waterproof jacket.

Second to that, another item to not leave home without is a good pair of warm and, if possible, waterproof boots. A lot of the best sights on Skye require a bit of walking to reach them and the conditions underfoot can become very muddy. You do not want to ruin a good pair of white trainers so pack some sturdy boots.

You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the winter months as the wind chill can be bitter.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around the Isle of Skye, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

Photography Equipment

Main Photography CameraSony A7v Mirrorless Camera and  Sony A7iii Mirrorless Camera

MicrophoneShure VP83 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

Main LensTamron 17-28mm f/2.8

Zoom LensTamron 70-180mm f/2.8

Camera TripodZOMEI Z669C Camera Tripod

Gorilla PodJOBY JB01507-BWW GorillaPod

Action CameraGo Pro Hero 11 and Insta 360 One RS

Drone CameraDJI Mavic Pro 3

Camera BagWandrd PRVKE 41L and The Nest by Tropicfeel

Phone TripodManfrotto MKPIXICLAMP-BK, Mini Tripod with Universal Smartphone Clamp

Sturdy Phone Tripod & Selfie StickATUMTEK 61″ Selfie Stick Tripod, Sturdy Phone Tripod Stand with Wireless Remote

Hard DrivesLaCie Rugged Mini, 5TB, 2.5″, Portable External Hard Drive

SSDSanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB Portable NVMe SSD

Travel AdapterWorldwide Travel Adapter Universal Travel Plug with 4 USB Ports+Universal AC Socket

What is the Best Travel Insurance for Scotland

We know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

old man of storr isle of skye

So there you have it, your guide to Staffin Beach on the Isle of Skye. If you are visiting this incredible place and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was! Did you get a clear day to see the sights? Did you manage the trip without getting caught in the rain? Let us know in the comments below!

Also, remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience completing this stunning walk.

If you are planning a Scotland trip soon then check out our other Scotland content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your stay and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.

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