Christmas is coming…so shop in Staffin!

A HECTIC 2017 continues apace for Staffin’s array of businesses, as Christmas fast approaches.

Local traders are working hard as we approach the final fortnight of a year which saw an unprecedented number of visitors come to Staffin and many of our businesses also do a roaring trade through online custom.

In Ellishadder, close to the Kilt Rock, there has been an exciting change. Ellishadder Art Café owner Maggie Williams said: “During the early autumn we had a re-brand and we’re now the Ellishadder Gallery and Tearoom. It co-incided with a lovely article about my work and weaving in “Coast” magazine, which I was super-pleased with! We’re now shifting the focus away from the ‘café’ side of things and more towards the weaving and painting.

“In December we’re open Monday – Wednesday, from 11.30am – 3.30pm serving home-made soup, cakes and drinks. And of course we have lots of cosy, supersoft lambs wool hand woven throws, cushions, scarves, bags and other home accessories, perfect for this weather!

“Visitors can now also see the 16 shaft dobby loom set up in the gallery/studio/tearoom and I’m always here to give weaving demonstrations to anyone who’s interested. I’ve developed a few new weaving patterns for this winter and there are lots more in the pipeline!

I’ve also been doing weaving workshops this autumn, with participants learning how to weave a scarf using a rigid heddle loom, which have been really popular. I’m just finalising dates for more workshops in January – these will be posted on our Facebook page or please sign up for our newsletter, which is at the bottom of the home page on our website and you’ll be among the first to hear when they are. Vouchers are also available for the workshops, which make a lovely Christmas present for someone who enjoys craft work, please get in touch if you’re interested!”

In Garafad, Nick Wakeham has a special offer for customers as the popular Staffin candle shop gets festive.

“Skyelight Candles will be open most days 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday in the lead up to Christmas,” he said. “However, we will only be opening as required. In other words, when you come up to the shop ring the house bell and we will be happy to come out and open up for you! If you want to give us a call first to make sure we are here, then please do so on 01470 562738.

“We have some Christmas themed candles, plus remember our personalised mug service – just give us the design or wording and we will put it on a mug for you! Hand-knitted hot water bottle covers (with the bottle!), hats and scarves are also available, and, not forgetting the colour-changing Northern Lights candle!

All purchases over £25, made between now and Christmas 2017, will receive two free Whisky Jar scented fragrance tin candles (worth £15) – all you have to do is mention our online business listing by the Staffin Community Trust. We hope, whatever you have planned, that you have a wonderful festive season this year.”

Columba 1400 is closed from December 15 until January 21 and manager Jackie Gillies said the team wished everybody in Staffin and everywhere else all the very best for the festive season.

Both local shops – Staffin Stores and MacKenzie Stores – are open in the run up to Christmas and in between Hogmanay, while accommodation is also available at the Quiraing View B&B/Self-Catering in Digg. The Staffin Museum will not be formally open but it can be opened on request if people get in touch via its Facebook page or by phoning Sylvia Porter on 01470 562 302. The Wee Quilter workshop/shop at Trotternish Avenue is not open but Wendy Higgins is still busy with online orders. Wendy’s Facebook page features Christmas products and she will be having a sale in the next couple of days. Wendy can be contacted via phone or email.

If you are wanting to workout before or after the festive season, or simply have fun, don’t forget about the Staffin Gym, which is open daily from 6am to 10pm. There is a varied range of classes and activities which are open to all. Tuesday: 6pm Fatburn Extreme; 6.30pm Abs; Wednesday: 7pm Boxing Skills; Thursday: 7pm DIY fitness; 7.30pm ABs; 8pm Badminton; Saturday: 9am Metafit.

Fourteen local businesses are all now featured on the Staffin Community Trust’s online directory. It provides helpful information for what is on offer in Staffin for both visitors and locals and SCT has recorded heavy website traffic to the site this year, particularly from other parts of the world. For more information on all of the businesses featured click here: