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. AboveWater/UnderWater Shetland

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Lerwick

    Above the water AND below, get the best of both worlds! Join the most experienced Marine & Nature Guide team, Shetlander Alan Longmuir & Biologist Robbi ShoafEnge, on a wildlife boat tour around Bressay & Noss: seals, seabirds & spectacular sea life!

  2. Uniquely Scotland

    Type

    Self Drive

    Gradings

    Dunblane

    Uniquely Scotland is a bespoke tour operator providing our clients with top quality, tailor-made, self-drive holiday packages around Scotland.

  3. Erraid Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Erraid Wood is a small woodland on the slopes of the Pentland Hills to the south of Edinburgh.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Copinsay Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Orkney

    The RSPB nature reserve of Copinsay has a vast seabird colony that includes guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins and razorbills.

  7. Gradings

    Lerwick

    Above water and underwater, get the best of both worlds! Join a Shetlander and a Biologist on a wildlife boat tour around Bressay & Noss to see seals, seabirds, scenery and spectacular underwater sea life. History, culture, geology, nature and more!

  8. Kilminning Coast

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Crail

    Kilminning Coast Wildlife Reserve, near the Fife village of Crail, consists of a strip of coastland that attracts plenty of birdlife.

  9. Gradings

    Mull

    Isle of Mull Wildlife Expeditions is the longest established land based operation of its kind in Scotland.

  10. Edinburgh Zoo

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Edinburgh

    The wildest visitor attraction in Scotland. Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and beautiful animals from around the world and home to the UK's only giant pandas and koalas.

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