What one family does in Staffin
Staffin is without doubt one of the best places in the UK to bring up a family, the vast open wildernesses and having access to both the sea and the mountains create an unparalleled adventure playground.
As a family we try to make the most of weekends, getting out and about in all weather conditions is what makes us all happier, healthier people.
Some of our favourite walks are based in Staffin itself and some in further afield places on the boundaries of the Staffin township.
One of our favourite walks starts at Columba 1400 and takes you over the top of the hill above Columba 1400 down onto the slipway road and along to the beach. My two boys who are 5 and 7 absolutely love the climb up often splashing in the puddles and climbing the ladder over the wall.
The views on a clear day are far reaching; out towards the Trotternish Ridge and across to the Quiraing and beyond. As you ascend the sea views come into focus, often seeing across to the mainland and out towards Gairloch, if you take binoculars it’s sometimes possible to see dolphins and whales. In the summer, my boys like to have races and find streams they can jump in.
Once you reach the path going down the views are breathtaking, the path winds and bends and leads you down towards the slipway road.
It's a great spot to watch people and see the comings and goings of the community including the fish farm, local fishermen and others boats coming and going.
Once down onto the road we usually head onto the jetty where we often see seals, cormorants, shags, divers and the local heron. The seals are really inquisitive and often come close by to make a closer inspection of us watching them.
In the summer, the jetty is a great place to take crab lines and hunt for crabs off the pier. When the boys have had enough of the jetty we head back along the road towards the beach. Always looking for further adventures, the boys regularly climb the grassy slopes to the left hand side of the road or if the tide is low enough they venture down on the rocks on the right hand side of the road to look in the rockpools and hunt for fossils.
Once we reach the beach (An Corran) we head down the rocky slope and usually play catch the seaweed with our dog Poppy. The boys and I also look for treasures on the shore and in the surf, particularly crab shells, sea shells and pretty stones. My pockets are usually laden on the walk back towards Columba. The rocks above the beach beckon and my boys often spend quite a bit of time exploring and climbing on them.
It is easy to spot sea birds from here but also the occasional seal, dolphin or whale. We have also spotted otters and the dreaded mink on this beach too. In the spring the stones are covered in sea pinks, bladder campion and lots of other wild flowers which create a colourful backdrop for the stunning views that are all around the beach area. Sea Anemones, periwinkles, crabs, common gobies and a myriad of other species can be found in the rockpools and in the other shore habitats.