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. Scottish Wildlife Trust Headquarters

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Manages over 125 Wildlife reserves throughout Scotland.

  2. Geopark Shetland

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    From exploring an extinct volcano to walking across shifting sands, experience the variety of geology in Geopark Shetland.

  3. Gradings

    Fochabers

    Quarrelwood commands a hilltop position overlooking Elgin, the Moray Firth and the surrounding countryside.

  4. Highland & Rare Breeds Park

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Fort Augustus

    See traditional Highland farm animals at Highland & Rare Breeds Park.

  5. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Lochwinnoch

    Glasgows nearest big countryside attraction for a healthy family fun day out or outdoor activities in Scotlands largest Regional Park.

  6. Applegarthtown Wildlife Sanctuary

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 2 Wildlife Experience
    2 Wildlife Experience

    Lockerbie

    Applegarthtown, with its wetland habitat, is internationally recognised for its highly successful artificial sand martin nesting banks.

  7. Handa Island

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Scourie

    Managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve, Handa Island is a beautiful place and a fantastic day trip.

  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. Loch Lomond Shooting School, Balloch

    Type

    Clay Pigeon Shooting/Air Rifle Shooting

    Gradings

    Balloch

    Welcome to Loch Lomond Shooting School - one of the best ranges for Clay Pigeon Shooting in Scotland. We also provide air rifle, archery and crossbow activities at our new purpose built "covered" shooting range.

  10. GoForth Tours

    Type

    Tour Operators

    Gradings

    North Berwick

    Welcome to Go Forth Tours. We take a very comfortable vehicle and chauffeur you around the secrets all around North Berwick, jewel of Edinburgh's Golf Coast in Scotland.

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