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. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Greenock

    Do one of the top 50 walks in Scotland - the circular 11km walk is reasonably level, with panoramic views of the Clyde. Start at Drumfrochar Station and then stop half way at the Visitor Centre for coffee and see the exhibition.

  2. World Horse Welfare's Belwade Farm

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kincardine O'Neil

    Join one of our guided tours and learn all about World Horse Welfare's work at Belwade Farm.

  3. Cragbank Woods

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hawick

    Cragbank Woods boast a beautiful mix of native trees that cloak the steep gorge slopes.

  4. Carstramon Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Gatehouse-of-Fleet

    This ancient deciduous woodland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a treasure trove of natural wonders.

  5. St Cyrus National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    St Cyrus

    The cliffs and dunes of St Cyrus support a distinctive range of plants, including many southern species.

  6. Hospitality Plus Scotland

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Dalbeattie

    Welcome to Hospitality Plus Scotland

  7. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Kyleakin

    Learn about the local and natural history of Kyleakin and Eilen Ban at the Bright Water Visitor Centre and discover the diverse wildlife that dwells there.

  8. 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.

  9. Edinburgh Zoo

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Edinburgh

    The wildest visitor attraction in Scotland. Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and beautiful animals from around the world and home to the UK's only giant pandas and koalas.

  10. Gradings

    Kippford

    Explore the quiet roads, and beautiful scenery of Scotland in a stylish 1960's convertible!

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