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. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. Trumland Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Rousay

    Welcome to Trumland Nature Reserve.

  5. Gight Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pitmedden

    Gight Wood lies on the steep, south facing slopes of the Ythan valley, forming the easternmost part of a series of woodlands and river grasslands.

  6. Royal Highland Show

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Edinburgh Airport

    World class Show of cattle, light horse and heavy horse, sheep, goats, poultry. The largest display of agricultural machinery in the UK, a Forestry arena with competitions and demonstrations, Countryside Arena and a massive Food & Drink Hall.

  7. West Island Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Bute

  8. Gradings

    Tobermory & North Mull

    chance to immerse yourself in the fabulously variant fauna and flora of the Isle of Mull and enjoy wonderful opportunities to see the wide variety of wildlife found on this beautiful island. Includes a day's whale-watching, where you'll have the ch

  9. Western Isles Wildlife

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    North Uist

    Western Isles Wildlife run specialist trips to see birds, otters, flora or general wildlife excursions throughout Uist and Benbecula on a daily basis. We also provide longer all-inclusive trips throughout the islands

  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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