OPEN! Staffin businesses gear up for visitor season start as Easter looms

STAFFIN’S business community is preparing for another hectic tourism season after a bumper 2016 which saw a record number of people visit Skye’s premier destination.

Cafes, restaurants, shops, craft outlets, B&Bs, self-catering owners and other accommodation providers had reported an exceptionally busy season while Staffin has continued to welcome visitors during the shoulder months, which are now getting shorter.

At the Old Man of Storr there were 150,000 visitors recorded, and 70% of that annual total is estimated to visit Staffin. The numbers of visitors to Skye prompted a heated political debate about investment in Skye’s infrastructure including concerns about the condition of roads and congestion, transport links and shortage of public conveniences. Staffin business owners are not resting on their laurels and have been busy preparing for the new season.

Staffin is part of the Trotternish peninsula in the north-east of the island and has unrivalled scenery and attractions. They include the famous dinosaur footprints at Staffin Beach to the dramatic Trotternish Ridge, which includes the Old Man of Storr, the Hill of the Red Fox and Quiraing. There is also the waterfall at Lealt Gorge, the Kilt Rock, Brothers’ Point, Loch Langaig etc etc

There are a wealth of different businesses and services when you get to Staffin including shops, cafes, small businesses, a gym, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation. More details can be accessed through the online listings pages, here:

SKYELIGHT CANDLES will re-open to the public on Monday 3rd April”, writes owner Nick Wakeham. “As well as the usual large selection of candles in very many different scents and colours along with fragrance tins, there are also hand knitted items, bags, cards and printed mugs. The special Northern Lights candle that changes colours within the candle is a huge seller and something that has to be seen! Remember, that candle making classes are also available and more information regarding those can be found on the website: On the site you’ll also find details of the personalised candles and mugs which can be ordered for special occasions.”

“After a busy summer in the ELLISHADDER ART CAFE, the winter months have been spent at the loom, busily weaving fabric to make stock for the coming season”, writes owner Maggie Williams. “I’ve been concentrating on a technique called ‘doubleweave’, which produces a wonderfully thick fabric, with a different pattern on the front and reverse – perfect for blankets and throws. I also thought it was about time I picked my paintbrushes up again – I’ve especially enjoyed painting seascapes! We’re opening again for the season just before Easter, with the same hours as last year, Monday – Friday 12noon – 4.30pm. As always we’ll be serving our light lunches, soups and salads, using herbs and produce picked daily from our garden, along with our award-winning home baking.

THE WEE QUILTER – “I am opening at the beginning of April and have been busy making up children’s quilts, and other stock for the studio, which anybody came come in to see for themselves. I have been busy doing a lot of commissions, mostly memory quilts.” Wendy Higgins. See some of The Wee Quilter’s latest designs below. Wendy’s workshop/shop at Trotternish Avenue is open Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 5pm, April to October.

  • MACKENZIE STORES – From April, soft whippy ice cream will be available from our store…perfect for a long hot summer.
  • STAFFIN STORES – There is a range of quality meat, dairy and bakery produce, fresh fruit and veg, confectionery and soft drinks in the well-stocked shop, which is open six days a week. The shop is fully licensed and sells tobacco, newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, wrapping paper, gifts, souvenirs etc, etc
  • KILMARTIN RESTAURANT – Morag MackKenzie and her team will be trading again from Good Friday (April 14) onwards.
  • SKYE PIE CAFE – is already open and next month is running an exhibition for the whole of May called ‘Imprints of Time’. The inspiration being the Glenview Inn and surrounding area.
  • STAFFIN MUSEUM – will open again on Monday, April 10 from 9.30am to 5pm. The museum will also be open by appointment from April 3.
  • STAFFIN CAMPSITE – re-opens in mid-April
  • STAFFIN GYM – extends a warm welcome to visitors and locals. More information on online listings. Saturday 6th April, a new 6 week block of classes begins- £55 for 6 weeks of unlimited classes. Those not wanting 6 weeks, are welcome to pay per class £3.50 or £5 for 2 back to back classes.

******IMPORTANT NOTICE: Staffin’s crofters are currently busy tending their livestock as lambing is now in full swing. If you are out enjoying a walk please make sure your pet dog is under control at all times when you are out walking in the hills or near crofts. Staffin is an active crofting district made up of 23 townships and there is little in the way of public land where dogs can roam freely.

If you set off at the foot of a hill with your dog on a lead but then let your pet off a leash further up, please don’t, as there will undoubtedly be livestock nearby. The townships have sheep who are hefted on important grazing pastures and do not want their livestock continually scared off the prime agricultural ground. Crofters work hard all year round, often on top of full-time jobs, trying to make economic gains in a challenging industry. A little bit of courtesy and responsible behaviour in the countryside will go a long way and be fully appreciated.