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. See Orkney Tours

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Kirkwall

  2. Scot-Trek

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Glasgow West End

    Scot-Trek organises a series of guided walks, treks and rambles round the Scottish countryside throughout the year.

  3. Spey Bay

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Buckie

    Spey Bay is a popular area of shingle beach and river estuary and is part of the largest vegetated shingle complex in Scotland.

  4. Isle Of Eigg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Small Isles - Eigg, Rhum, Muck, Canna

    A lush island lying of the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, Eigg is sometimes described as ‘the emerald of the Inner Hebrides’.

  5. Cragbank Woods

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hawick

    Cragbank Woods boast a beautiful mix of native trees that cloak the steep gorge slopes.

  6. Skye Guides Ltd

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Cuillins & central Skye

    Expert local guiding and instruction is available for all mountaineering pursuits: Skye scrambles, Skye Munros, Cuillin Ridge Traverse, Rock Climbing, Scrambling, Abseiling, Ice climbing, Alpine training courses. All safety equipment is provided.

  7. Mar Lodge Estate

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Braemar

    This large estate is part of the core area of the Cairngorms, internationally recognised as the most important nature conservation landscape in the British Isles.

  8. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Greenock

    Do one of the top 50 walks in Scotland - the circular 11km walk is reasonably level, with panoramic views of the Clyde. Start at Drumfrochar Station and then stop half way at the Visitor Centre for coffee and see the exhibition.

  9. 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.

  10. Montrose Basin Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Montrose

    Montrose Basin is the enclosed estuary of the South Esk River. The reserve includes a 4-star visitor centre along with four remote bird hides.

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