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. The Nadurra Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Acharacle

    The Nàdurra Centre provides an introduction to the natural environment of Ardnamurchan, the most westerly part of the British mainland.

  2. Gradings

    Anstruther

    Welcome to Isle of May Boat Trips a thrilling fast boat excursion to and around the Isle Of May at the mouth of the Firth of Forth to view stunning scenery, seals, seabirds (including the puffins) and dolphins if we are lucky.

  3. Arbroath Sea Safari

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Arbroath

    Welcome to Arbroath Sea Safari. Choose from our 1 hour or 2 hour boat tours exploring the Arbroath coastline and Bell Rock Lighthouse situated on the Inchcape Reef. The Boat Our boat is a custom built 10m RIB, capable of tacking all weathers

  4. Knoydart

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Knoydart

    The Knoydart peninsula is one of the wildest parts of Scotland.

  5. Gradings

    Halistra

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

  6. Hebrides Cruises

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Oban

    Welcome to Hebrides Cruises

  7. The Cowal Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Kames

    A new 47-mile footpath running the length of the beautiful Cowal Peninsula, starting at Portavadie, and ending at Ardgartan.

  8. Scottish Wildlife Trust

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Grangemouth

    Welcome to Scottish Wildlife Trust

  9. The Scottish Dolphin Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Buckie

    With free entry, a visit to the WDC, Scottish Dolphin Centre is a great day out and gives you the chance to meet the WDC team and find out how you can support their work to protect Scotland's whales and dolphins.

  10. Deep Sea World

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    North Queensferry

    Come face to face with one of Europe's largest collections of sharks in one of the world's longest underwater tunnels at Deep Sea World, Scotland's National Aquarium.

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