Finding wildlife in Scotland

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Watch this video and see some of Scotland's remarkable wildlife, from timourous red squirrels to playful dolphins.
Great Scottish wildlife

See some of Scotland's remarkable wildlife, from timourous red squirrels to playful dolphins.

  • A golden eagle.
    A golden eagle
  • Close up shot of puffins on the Pentland Skerries
    Puffins on the Pentland Skerries
  • A close up of a red kite soaring high above Bellymack Hill Farm in Dumfries & Galloway
    A red kite soaring high above Bellymack Hill Farm in Dumfries & Galloway
  • Seals in Loch Flodabay, Isle of Harris
    Seals in Loch Flodabay, Isle of Harris

Whether on a mountain or hill, in a glen, forest or along the shoreline, there’s a wealth of wildlife experiences to be had in Scotland. With such an array of diverse animals, including some of the most rare and endangered species on the British Isles, Scotland promises unforgettable encounters with wildlife.

Scotland’s regions vary greatly and it’s this diversity that attracts many different species to make Scotland their home. Along thousands of miles of coastline, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals and otters in quiet inlets, beaches and sea lochs.

Often spotted off the coast of Scotland’s many islands, orca and minke whales make an appearance in sight of the shore or if not, draw up close next to boats on wildlife cruises.  On just such a cruise, there are few natural sights more impressive than watching tens of thousands of seabirds congregating on sheer sea cliffs from below.

In dense forests, you may have to seek the helping hand of a knowledgeable, professional guide to find elusive mammals like pine martens. Birdlife is truly abundant across the rugged Scottish landscapes from wild fowl in wetland reserves to waders at the coast. In some cases, you'll have to crane your neck skywards to catch a glimpse of some of Scotland's majestic hunters; from ospreys to red kites and golden eagles to sea eagles.

With each new season brings a new incomparable sight, from red deer stags locking antlers in the annual autumnal rut or the arrival of pink-footed geese in the winter, migrating from the colder tundra landscapes of Greenland and Iceland.

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  1. Mountains Animal Sanctuary

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Kirriemuir

    Visit the largest re-homing and adoption centre for horses, ponies and donkeys in Scotland, set in beautiful surroundings.

  2. Glen Roy

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Glen Spean and the Great Glen area

    Glen Roy is a National Nature Reserve managed by Scottish Natural Heritage.

  3. Glenlivet Wildlife

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Ballindalloch

    Off road Land Rover safaris in the Cairngorms National Park all year round. Discover iconic wildlife, stunning landscapes and fascinating heritage on a tour of Glenlivet Crown Estate with an expert local guide.

  4. Summerhill

    Type

    Cycling Tour

    Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    Welcome to Summerhill

  5. Fossil Grove

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Glasgow

  6. Hoy Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hoy

    Welcome to Hoy Nature Reserve.

  7. Seaprobe Atlantis Glass Bottom Boat

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Kyle of Lochalsh

    Seaprobe Atlantis is Scotland's only semi-submersible glass bottom boat. Voted 'Best Wildlife Watching Experience in the Uk' Daily Telegraph 2010. We do our very best to show you as much wildlife as possible 'above & below the waves'..

  8. Gradings

    Halistra

    Let us welcome you aboard for a 'Seaskye Adventure' in the captivating North West coast of Skye.

  9. Kintail Ranger Service

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Gradings

    Lochalsh area

    The National Trust for Scotland rangers based at Kintail offer guided mountain walks and sea kayaking from their beautiful west coast location in the Highlands.

  10. Macduff Marine Aquarium

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Banff

    On the beautiful Moray Firth coast, this fascinating aquarium features hundreds of local sea creatures from the rocky shores to the kelp reefs and beyond.

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