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. Explorer

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Gardenstown

    Sightseeing trips to RSPB Troup Head Nature Reserve. Fishing trips also available.

  2. Explore Orkney

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Finstown

    Enjoy the wonders of holidays in Orkney with these all-inclusive structured day trips. Uncover fascinating tombs, learn about the Vikings and explore Neolithic sites.

  3. Loch Of The Lowes Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dunkeld

    Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve covers 98 hectares near Dunkeld. The star attraction is a pair of breeding ospreys who nest here over the summer.

  4. St Andrews Aquarium

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    St Andrews

    St Andrews Aquarium is an underwater world of adventure with amphibians, fish and seals alongside reptiles, arachnids, seals, penguins, baby alligators and even meerkats!

  5. Basking Shark Scotland

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    South Queensferry

    Welcome to Basking Shark Scotland

  6. Ridgway Adventure

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Rhiconich

    A timeless and truly wild natural environment where mountains rise majestically from intricate coves and bays of sheltered sea lochs. Join us here, a family home and Adventure School for over 40 years. Holidays and courses for many ages.

  7. Gradings

    Aviemore and the Cairngorms

    Wilderness Scotland is a 5 Star, award-winning adventure travel and ecotourism company specialising in walking holidays in the Highlands and Islands.

  8. Macduff Marine Aquarium

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Banff

    On the beautiful Moray Firth coast, this fascinating aquarium features hundreds of local sea creatures from the rocky shores to the kelp reefs and beyond.

  9. Tentsmuir Point

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cupar

    This large area of sand dunes and beach at the mouth of the Tay estuary forms an important roosting and feeding area for huge gatherings of seaducks, waders and wildfowl.

  10. Invereshie & Inshriach

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Feshiebridge

    Invereshie & Inshriach Invereshie is a National Nature Reserve managed by Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland.

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