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Things to do in Scotland: Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs

Written by Fiona

August 09 2018

This summer sees the opening of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – another in the Jurassic Park film series – at UK cinemas. So there is no better time to follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs in Scotland.

Here are a few prehistoric attractions to check out.

Dinosaur footprints

Where: Staffin Dinosaur Museum, Portree, Isle of Skye.


Cost: Guided priced at £2 for adults and £1 for children.

Some 170 million years ago, shortly after the supercontinent Pangaea began to break up, the land that is now Skye was part of a smaller subtropical island.

Visitors to the island can explore traces of dinosaurs, including 50 recently discovered tracks, some as big as a car tyre, from dinosaurs that roamed the island during the middle Jurassic period.

The sauropod tracks, which are located on Staffin beach, build upon the discovery of other dinosaur footprints in 2015.

Start your journey at the Staffin Dinosaur Museum, which offers daily guided tours of the footprint sites.

Access to the footprints on the beach depends on time of day and tides, so consult with the museum before travelling.

Dinosaur footprint on Staffin. Credit: John Allan.

Dino Park

Where: Hetland Garden Centre, Carrutherstown, Dumfries.

Contact: See Dino Park.

Cost: From £2.50.

Dino Park is a year-round attraction for children with realistic-looking replicas of the beasts that once walked the earth.

A tour of the park includes heading through the Dino Mine, listening to stories in the Dino Den and a Dino Dig, which is a chance to unearth replica dinosaur fossils and bones.

Michaelswood Dinosaur Trail

Where: Aith, Shetland Isles


Cost: Donations welcomed.

The picnic spot in the village of Aith is located in woodland where you’ll discover The Dinosaur Trail with life-sized dinosaurs among the trees.

Visitors can storyboards about the dinosaurs.

The woodland area was developed in memory of Michael Ferrie, a young musician from the village who passed away from cancer in 1996.

T.rex at the National Museum of Scotland

Where: Chambers Street, Edinburgh


Cost: Free

See a cast of a T.rex, which was taken from one of the most complete T.rex specimens in the world.

This forms the centrepiece of the Animal World, an array of creatures from the past and the present day.

Peering out into the museum’s Grand Gallery, the T.rex draws people through into the six Natural World galleries, which tell the story of the formation of the earth and evolution of life on this planet.

Dinosaurs, Zombies and Dragons

Where: Bowhunter Archery, Balnagowan Woods, Ardersier, Inverness.


Cost: From £13 per person.

Bowhunter Archery offers a range of outdoor archery activities, including the chance to “hunt” dinosaurs, zombies and dragons in a 3D target area.

The activity is suitable for participants aged over eight and offers a fun day out for the family or for groups of friends, all in the great outdoors.

Visit Carsaig Bay. Credit: Anne Burgess

Fossil Hunting

Where: Carsaig Bay, Carsaig, Isle of Mull

Contact: for further information.

At the hidden cove of Carsaig Bay on the south of the island you can see traces of Jurassic activity.

On a rocky platform east of Carsaig Pier and accessible by a track, there are many ammonite casts, some fairly large.

Ammonites (marine molluscs), which are now extinct, were found at a time when the dinosaurs roamed the land.

Look closely at the rock formations further west within the bay and see that the beach is littered with examples of extinct Gryphaea (Oyster type mollusks) as well as Belemnites.

Access to some parts of the shore and rocks is dependent on the time of day and the tides.

Dinosaurs and fossils

Where: Hunterian Museum & Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow


Cost: Free

See Scotland’s first dinosaur print alongside with other dinosaur bones, including the Bearsden Shark. There is also a full size plesiosaur on display.

In addition, the museum showcases a multitude of dino relics in its Creatures of the Past Gallery.

The museum has 8,000 objects and dinosaur and fossil fans, including a 2.6m skeleton of Stenopterygius, crocodilian remains and an almost complete shell of a Jurassic turtle.

This article appeared in the Sunday Mail.

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