Walking with dinosaurs - where to find dinosaur footprints on the Isle of Skye
While other guides to the Isle of Skye talk about the Quiraing, the Fairy Pools and the Old Man of Storr (all amazing and well worth visiting), something you might not have known is that you can see massive dinosaur footprints on Skye! In fact this little island off the west coast of Scotland has one of the most significant collections of dinosaur tracks in the world.
166 million years ago, Skye was part of a sub tropical continent south of the equator with a similar climate to Florida. We are both massive dino fans and so were really excited to see what we could find during our Scottish road trip . The island itself has become an important site for palaeontologists and researchers - 15% of all mid-Jurassic discoveries in the world have been found on the Isle of Skye!
Where to find dinosaur footprints on the Isle of Skye
There are a few different places on Skye where you can see dino prints, we visited two of them.
An Corran Beach
The easiest place to look for dinosaur footprints on Skye is An Corran beach, a short distance north of Portree on the A855. You can park right next to the sand and a slipway leads down to the Jurassic rocks.
It was here in 2001 that two dogwalkers stumbled upon a big three toed footprint that turned out to be from a Megalosaurus, a meat eater similar to a T-Rex that would have been about 3m tall and 9m long! Dinosaur experts then found 17 more footprints in the nearby bed of sandstone rocks.
At low tide, take your time walking slowly over the flat rock (watch out for slippy seaweed!). It took us some time to find the first footprint, it looked more like a rockpool, but once you've seen one, you'll start spotting the rest more easily.
Duntulm Beach, Score Bay
20 minutes further along the A855 on a cliff overlooking the sea stand the crumbling ruins of Duntulm Castle. Leave your car in the layby near the castle, walk across the fields to the left of the cliff and at low tide you can access the rocky beach to the left.
Discovered in 2015 is a trail of some of the best examples of sauropod footprints in the world! These long necked herbivores were walking in the mud of a warm shallow lagoon, and their footprints are the size of a dustbin lid, which really makes you think how enormous the dinosaurs were - scientists have estimated that these particular beasts were 15m long!
To find the sauropod footprints, as you walk across the flat limestone/sandstone slabs, look out for a trail of round rock pools, each about half a metre across, heading out towards the sea in a zigzag pattern.
Rubha nam Braithrean (Brothers point) - we didn't visit here but have some information about the site if you'd like to tick it off!
Located about 5 miles south of An Corran beach, this is the newest dinosaur footprint site on the Isle of Skye, only discovered in 2018 and home to around 50 footprints in the tidal area belonging to sauropods and theropods.
While you can park close to An Corran beach and Score Bay, to get to Brother's Point you will need to take a short hike along the headland, around 1.5km, so be sure to time your visit with low tide or you won't be able to see anything!
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