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. Glen Nevis Visitor Centre (ionad Nibheis)

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Fort William

    The Glen Nevis Visitor Centre is situated 1.5 miles along the Glen Nevis road from the Nevis bridge mini-roundabout.

  2. Glen Donich Forest Walk

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Lochgoilhead

    Two mile forest walk from the village, with the option of continuing on hill paths to Coilessan Glen or Glen Croe.

  3. Insh Marshes Bird Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Kingussie

    The Inch Marches is a large wetland area designated as a RSPB Bird Reserve.

  4. Canna

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Fort William & Lochaber

    The most westerly of the Small Isles, Canna is 5 miles long and 1.25 miles wide.

  5. 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.

  6. Gradings

    Glasgow City Centre

    McKinlay Kidd offers award-winning, tailor-made holidays and short breaks across Scotland.

  7. Gradings

    Blair Atholl

    Explore the Ranger's waymarked trails, attend one of their nature events or visit the Information Centre to discover more about the wildlife on Atholl Estates before setting off on your own adventure.

  8. 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.

  9. Cream O' Galloway Dairy Co Ltd

    Type

    Food & Drink Attraction

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Gatehouse-of-Fleet

    Cream o' Galloway is a deliciously good fun place to visit with its adventure playground, indoor visitor centre & play areas, daily events, exciting slides, rides and pedal kart track, and its miles of beautiful walks and nature trails.

  10. Scot Mountain Holidays

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Boat of Garten

    We are a tour operator specialising in providing adventures for families and walking holidays for all. We use our home as our base - taking our home with us when we go mobile across the Highlands. Our trips have guaranteed departures.

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