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. Ailnack Gorge

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Tomintoul

    At 600 ft wide, 300 ft deep and 6 miles long, the Ailnack Gorge is Scotland's largest glacial melt water channel.

  2. Shian Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    East Lochaber

    Shian Wood is an ancient semi-natural woodland typical of the Atlantic coast of Scotland

  3. Glencripesdale

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ardnamurchan

    The remote Glencripesdale on the shores of Loch Sunart combines woodland, shoreline, heaths and moorland.

  4. Ariundle Oakwood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ardnamurchan

    Ariundle Oakwood is an ancient mossy oakwood, typical of the woodlands which were once widespread along the Atlantic coast.

  5. Rob Roy Tours Ltd

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    North Berwick

    Walking and Cultural Tours in Scotland - ENGLISH und DEUTSCHsprachig - have fun and make friends while discovering the Highlands, Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland, their people, history, culture and wildlife.

  6. Nature Watch Orkney

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Kirkwall

    Welcome to Nature Watch Orkney

  7. St Cyrus National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    St Cyrus

    The cliffs and dunes of St Cyrus support a distinctive range of plants, including many southern species.

  8. St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    St Abbs

    Formed by an extinct volcano, the St Abb’s Head is the best known landmark along the magnificent Berwickshire coast.

  9. Hoy Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hoy

    Welcome to Hoy Nature Reserve.

  10. Troup Head

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pennan

    This massive landmark of red cliffs rises to 365 ft and is run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

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