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. Knockshinnoch Lagoons

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    New Cumnock

    Transformed from an industrial site, Knockshinnoch Lagoons is now an ideal spot for nature lovers.

  2. Fleecefaulds Meadow

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cupar

    Fleecefaulds Meadow Wildlife Reserve is an area of flower-rich grassland, rich fen and lowland scrub near the village of Ceres.

  3. Gradings

    Bonnyrigg

    Welcome to Dalhousie Castle Falconry! Join us for an exciting day of flying beautiful birds or prey to your gloved hand, or why not test your skills with some archery with recurve bows? Packages available for adults and children.

  4. 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.

  5. Gradings

    South Ronaldsay

    Why not join one of our daily boat trips when you visit Orkney? Leaving from Burwick Harbour, South Ronaldsay, the trip will incorporate a tour around some of the islands.

  6. Westraak Tours

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Westray

    Westraak Tours offer guided tours on the beautiful island of Westray.

  7. Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Dalkeith

    Visit the world's longest running indoor butterfly house with hundreds of free flying exotic butterflies in an indoor tropical rainforest. Daily animal handling and feeding sessions. Open all year, 7 days a week. Jungle Gift Shop. Free Parking.

  8. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Lochwinnoch

    Easily access to Great walking country plus wildlife watching of Hen Harriers by CCTV.

  9. Hebridean Whale Cruises

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Gairloch

    Welcome to Hebridean Whale Cruises. Operating whale watching and wildlife cruises from Gairloch, on Scotland's spectacular north west coast. We also offer Chandlery goods, fishing tackle and permits to fish in local rivers and lochs.

  10. Taynish

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Tayvallich

    Taynish is an ancient deciduous woodland and is one of the largest in Britain.

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