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. 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.

  2. Keen Of Hamar

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Resembling a lunar landscape, explore this remarkable nature reserve on Unst, home to some of the rarest plants in Britain.

  3. Ardnadam Heritage Trail

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Dunoon

    Excellent walk including a climb to the Dunan viewpoint, approximately 2 miles long.

  4. Western Isles Wildlife

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    North Uist

    Western Isles Wildlife run specialist trips to see birds, otters, flora or general wildlife excursions throughout Uist and Benbecula on a daily basis. We also provide longer all-inclusive trips throughout the islands

  5. Gradings

    • 5 Wildlife Experience
    5 Wildlife Experience

    Aviemore

    Guided wildlife excursions, in small, friendly groups with an experienced local nature watcher, in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

  6. 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.

  7. Glen Nant

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Taynuilt

    Glen Nant is a nature reserve located 3 miles south of Taynuilt, in Argyll, on the B845.

  8. St Hilda Sea Adventures

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Dunoon

    Welcome to St Hilda Sea Adventures

  9. Trumland Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Rousay

    Welcome to Trumland Nature Reserve.

  10. Timberbush Tours

    Type

    Tour Operators

    Gradings

    • 5 Tour
    5 Tour

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Scotland At Its Best: 1, 2 and 3 day tours for groups and independent travellers, with daily departures from Edinburgh and Glasgow departing all year round.

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