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. River Ayr Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Muirkirk

    Scotland's first source-to-sea path network is now open! This much-anticipated route has been under construction for two years as part of East Ayrshire Council's Coalfield Access Project which is a £2.

  2. Ness Battery

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Stromness

    Now open for guided tours, Ness Battery is a remarkable relic of Orkney's wartime past. The tour includes the the mess hall, featuring the famous painted mural. This is a brand new attraction for Orkney, and one not to be missed!

  3. Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Killin

    Famed for its botanical riches, the rare mixture of lime-rich underlying rocks, high altitude and climate mean Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve is home to a wide array of plants.

  4. Loch Maree Islands

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Gairloch

    The Loch Maree Islands are a group of scattered islands on Loch Maree.

  5. Castle Kennedy Gardens

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    • 4 Garden
    4 Garden

    Stranraer

    Magnificent Castle Kennedy Gardens are among the most famous and the most child friendly in Scotland

  6. Noss National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Noss National Nature Reserve is a spectacular island reserve which is home to vast colonies of nesting seabirds.

  7. WDC - Whale and Dolphin Conservation

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Buckie

    Whale and Dolphin Conservation has two wildlife centres in Scotland, the Scottish Dolphin Centre located at Spey Bay in Moray and the Dolphin and Seal Centre in North Kessock. Both are free to visit.

  8. 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.

  9. Mull Of Galloway Lighthouse

    Type

    Historic Buildings & Homes

    Gradings

    Drummore

    Climb the 114 steps of Scotland’s most southerly lighthouse for some of the best view s in south west Scotland, and explore the lighthouse exhibition.

  10. RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Lochwinnoch

    This wetland reserve is ideal for all the family as the trails, birdwatching hides and visitor centre are all easily accessible.

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