Various fossils, such as belemnites and bivalves, can be found along the beautiful and unspoilt coastline to the southeast of Kilmarie. Views from the beach are magnificent.
♦ The hamlet of Kilmarie is situated between Elgol and Torrin on the B8083 road.
♦ If you are coming from Torrin, turn left along a small lane when you get to Kilmarie and carry on until you can see the sea. Follow this road until you come to a sign saying you can go no further. Park next to the house. From here the beach is easily accessed by some steps.
♦ Once on the beach, walk south.
♦ Ref: 57.18270°N, 6.05603°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – Once you have your eye in, fossil finds should be fairly frequent. However, it is easy to be confused by the many igneous rocks present on the beach at this location, which can look very much like fossiliferous rocks
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦ – This location is suitable for children. There is plenty of exploring to do, and the water here is crystal clear and excellent for paddling in. The hazards along this stretch of coast are minimal.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – Although this location is remote, the beach is easily accessed and fairly obstacle free. At high tide, some areas may become inaccessible.
TYPE: – Fossils are most commonly found within the pebbles and cobbles on the beach. Also, look in the cliffs and rock outcrops for belemnites.
Fossil belemnites are fairly abundant and can be found mainly in section in the beach pebbles, and within the rocky outcrops and ledges. Also present are blocks that contain bivalves and brachiopods, as well as pebbles containing various other fossils.
Some of the volcanic rocks to be found on this beach draw the eye, as they can look very similar to other fossiliferous rocks. However, fossils can be found all along the beach, with no particular area proving to be more productive than others. The majority will be found in the pebbles and the cobbles on the beach, although in places, some may be observed in situ in rock outcrops.
The fossil hunting area consists of the stretch of coastline between where cars are parked and a headland pierced by a large hole. After this point, the beach becomes harder to navigate and is more susceptible to the tides.
The rocks here are Jurassic in age and are 160myrs old.
The Jurassic formation at Kilmarie consists of the Elgol Sandstone Formation (Bajocian – Bathonian) from 165 – 172 mya. comprising bioturbated, clay-rich sandstone intercalated with silty fissile mudstone, overlain by coarsening-upwards white, pure, non-calcareous sandstone.
North and south of the river the Jurassic rocks are from the Dun Cain Shale Member, now part of the Druim An Fhurain Sandstone Member (Toarcian age)from 168-183 mya,
There are some nice wave cut platforms to examine, as well as plenty of beach boulders.
Kilmarie beach is very remote. If visiting this stretch of coastline, do so in a group or at least a pair. Do not attempt it alone. Mobile phone signals can be lost here, so it is especially important that you inform someone of where you are going and what time you expect to return.
A big hammer is required here, as the rocks are large and very hard. Some smaller rocks can be found, but, at the very least, a lump hammer is required. You can also collect fossils from the beach pebbles, which does not require any tools, but these will not be as good as the ones in boulders. Take a camera for the views.
Skye has a rich fossil heritage with particularly important fossils of Jurassic age. In addition to being Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) some areas of Skye’s coastline have added protection under a Nature Conservation Order (NCO). This Order seeks to protect vertebrate fossils that include the remains of dinosaurs. This guidance outlines how fossil collectors, visitors to the island and the general public have an important role in helping to look after these important fossils.
Scotland’s fossil resource is at risk of abuse and damage, and so we must all safeguard and managed fossil collecting to ensure its survival for future generations. For this reason it is VITAL you read and adhere to the Scottish Fossil Code for ALL sites in Scotland.
It is important to follow our ‘Code of Conduct’ when collecting fossils or visiting any site. Please also read our ‘Terms and Conditions‘