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. Almond Valley Heritage Centre

    Type

    Children's Attractions

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Livingston

    Friendly farm animals, play areas, green spaces and an innovative museum packed full of things to prod, sniff, shake and discover.

  2. Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 2 Visitor Attraction
    2 Visitor Attraction

    Kirkcudbright

    Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park has a fantastic collection of native and exotic animals amongst 27 acres of mixed woodland.

  3. 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.

  4. Isle of May

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Anstruther

    Anchored on the edge of the Firth of Forth, the Isle of May is a magical mix of seabirds, seals and smugglers.

  5. Clyde Valley Woodlands

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Carluke

    Clyde Valley Woodlands is a National Nature Reserve composed of six separate sites, each unique and together representing the finest examples of ancient woodland in this area.

  6. Hermaness National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Shetland

    Overlooking Muckle Flugga, Britain's most northerly point, the Hermaness National Nature Reserve provides a haven for thousands of seabirds.

  7. John Muir Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Haddington

    The John Muir Way offers 215 km of walking, as well as many opportunities to savour some magnificent views and to see Scotland's natural and cultural heritage.

  8. Deep Sea World

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    North Queensferry

    Come face to face with one of Europe's largest collections of sharks in one of the world's longest underwater tunnels at Deep Sea World, Scotland's National Aquarium.

  9. Bucinch & Ceardach

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Luss

    Two small uninhabited islands, between Luss and Balmaha, in Loch Lomond.

  10. Gradings

    Ullapool

    Corrieshalloch Gorge and Falls Of Measach are a spectacular mile-long gorge and waterfall.

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