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.

  • Dolphins breach the surface of the water with Codonas Amusement Park in the background
    Dolphins off the coast of Aberdeen - Image © Ian Hay (www.creativewildlife.co.uk)
  • 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

    Spean Bridge

    Join Wild West to look for Scotland's "Big Five" of red deer, golden eagle, otter, harbour seal and red squirrel. These can be found on a single day trip. Red deer safaris, searchlight safaris and tailor made private safaris also available.

  2. 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, one of the country’s aquariums.

  3. The Aros Experience

    Type

    Exhibitions

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Portree

    Located on the outskirts of Portree, Aros has a fascinating combination of music, wildlife, film and exhibitions.

  4. 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.

  5. Orkney Archaeology Tours

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Birsay

    Orkney Archaeology Tours - for your perfect Orkney holiday. All-inclusive small group holidays & private tours led by archaeologists. Friendly, fun & informative tours with a maximum of 8 participants, based at a comfortable seafront hotel.

  6. Camperdown Wildlife Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Dundee City

    Discover the wonderful world of animals at Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee. Highlights include European brown bears, ring-tailed lemurs, otters, snowy owls and much more......

  7. Loch Druidibeg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Lochmaddy

    Uncover stunning scenery and wonderful wildlife at Loch Druidibeg, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on South Uist.

  8. Keen Of Hamar

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Resembling a lunar landscape, explore this remarkable nature reserve on Unst, home to some of the rarest plants in Britain.

  9. Rona and Sula Sgier National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Lewis

    Look out for seabirds and seals at the Rona and Sula Sgeir National Nature Reserve islands in the Outer Hebrides.

  10. The Majestic Line

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Dunoon

    Escape to another world with the Majestic Line: cruise the beautiful coastline and islands of Argyll and the Hebrides.

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