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. Scottish Beaver Trial

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Lochgilphead

    The Scottish Beaver Trial has been responsible for reintroducing beavers 400 years after being hunted to extinction.

  2. Kirkconnell Flow

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Dumfries and Surrounding Area

    This National Nature Reserve is a classic example of an ancient raised bog and is one of the most threatened habitats in the world.

  3. Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Balloch

    At The Loch Lomond SEA LIFE centre, dive in and be wowed by the many strange, beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep.

  4. Glenmore

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aviemore and the Cairngorms

    Glenmore is a National Nature Reserve run by Camping in the Forest, in partnership with the Forestry commission and encompasses Glenmore Forest Park.

  5. Brightwater Scotland

    Type

    Tour Operators

    Gradings

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Brightwater Scotland presents a collection of quality holidays that celebrate the very best that Scotland has to offer. The wonderful islands that lie off our coast feature strongly, as well as garden holidays and special interest tours.

  6. John Muir Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Haddington

    The John Muir Way offers 215 km of walking, as well as many opportunities to savour some magnificent views and to see Scotland's natural and cultural heritage.

  7. Highland Coo Guided Walks

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Gradings

    Alloa

    Highland Coo Guided Walks know the importance of getting out and enjoying the great outdoors. We offer packages which not only gets you out into the hills but creates an experience you will never forget.

  8. Glencripesdale

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ardnamurchan

    The remote Glencripesdale on the shores of Loch Sunart combines woodland, shoreline, heaths and moorland.

  9. C-N-Do Argyll & Stirling

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Stirling

    Independent and guided walking holidays, tours and courses to suit most aspirations from trail walking to mountain bagging.

  10. Cumbernauld Glen

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cumbernauld

    This reserve’s ancient woodland is a haven for wildlife and, in early summer, there are vast carpets of bluebells.

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