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. Glen Nevis Visitor Centre (ionad Nibheis)

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Fort William

    The Glen Nevis Visitor Centre is situated 1.5 miles along the Glen Nevis road from the Nevis bridge mini-roundabout.

  2. 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.

  3. Bucinch & Ceardach

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Luss

    Two small uninhabited islands, between Luss and Balmaha, in Loch Lomond.

  4. The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Aviemore

    Visit Britain's only herd of free-ranging reindeer.

  5. Tollie Red Kites - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dingwall Area

    Welcome to Tollie Red Kites

  6. Great Orkney Tours

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Tankerness

    You want to see Orkney but don’t want to be lost in a crowd of other tourists: then a personal tour is just what you’re looking for

  7. St Kilda National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Outer Hebrides

    Remote, spectacular, and a designated World Heritage Site, the St Kilda National Nature Reserve archipelago lies 41 miles west of Benbecula.

  8. Noup Cliffs Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Westray

    Welcome to Noup Cliffs Nature Reserve.

  9. 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!

  10. Monach Isles National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Grimsay

    Every autumn the five islands of the Monach Isles National Nature Reserve play host to one of the most important breeding colonies of Atlantic grey seals in the world.

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