Wildlife attractions in Edinburgh & The Lothians

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  • Seagulls surrounding and covering the Bass Rock, East Lothian
    Bass Rock
  • A family at the edge of the loch at Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow
    The loch at Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow, West Lothian
  • A butterfly lands on a white flower at Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World
  • A boy enjoying a zoo-keeping experience with ring-tailed lemurs at the Five Sisters Zoo
    Lemurs at the Five Sister's Zoo

Discover the variety of wildlife in Edinburgh & The Lothians with a range of exciting attractions for you to visit.

City attractions

In Edinburgh itself, stroll through the world-famous Royal Botanic Garden where you can find many unusual and beautiful plants from around the world and a wide range of urban wildlife. Or visit the picturesque Water of Leith where you can spot a raft of native species of bird including the sparrow hawk and grey heron along its 12 miles of footpath. You can access the Water of Leith in many places such as near the Lanark Road or close to the city centre at Dean Village and Stockbridge.

Also in the city, hidden behind the slopes of Arthur's Seat, Duddingston Loch is a surprising, scenic oasis of nature within the city limits that's home to many species of breeding wildfowl.

The Lothians

There's a good scattering of country parks across the Lothians. Check them out to get the benefit of advice or guided tours from the knowledgeable countryside rangers. One of the most popular in East Lothian, John Muir Country Park, covers much of the scenic area of Tyninghame Bay, close to Dunbar.  The park's nature trail along the coastal grassland and cliffs provides access to many square miles of saltmarsh, shore and woodlands, and is very popular with birdwatchers, dog walkers and anyone who loves getting out in the great outdoors.

The East Lothian coast is also one of the best areas in Scotland to see seabirds, particularly at one of the region’s top attractions, the fantastic and informative Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick. You can view a huge number of puffins, guilliemots and other species offshore on the Bass Rock and the Isle of May, thanks to live video feeds in the Centre.

Zoos and other captive species attractions

For more exotic species, be sure to check out the world-famous Edinburgh Zoo with its equally world-famous pandas, Gorgie City Farm, West Calder's Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian and the Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World at Lasswade in Midlothian.

Browse the listings to plan your trip to Edinburgh & The Lothians wildlife attractions today.