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. Cragbank Woods

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hawick

    Cragbank Woods boast a beautiful mix of native trees that cloak the steep gorge slopes.

  2. Argyll Sea Tours

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Oban

    Sea and wildlife tours from Oban on board MV Creagallan. Relax and enjoy the scenery and keep an eye out for wildlife.

  3. Kilminning Coast

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Crail

    Kilminning Coast Wildlife Reserve, near the Fife village of Crail, consists of a strip of coastland that attracts plenty of birdlife.

  4. Gradings

    Dunoon

    Departing from Blairmore Pier, near Dunoon, this is a spectacular 2 hour West Coast Fjord-land tour, exploring the sheltered waters of Loch Long and Loch Goil.

  5. RSPB Wood of Cree Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    For a woodland walk, it's great place to visit. In spring & summer, the wood fills with a carpet of bluebells, other flowers and birdsong while red squirrels are busy in the trees. Visit the otter platform, where you may luckily see one in the river.

  6. Knockan Crag

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ullapool

    Knockan Crag is a series of cliffs designated as a National Nature Reserve.

  7. Islay Sea Adventure

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Islay

    Welcome to Islay Sea Adventure, Islay’s only 4* wildlife experience, a MUST DO whilst visiting.

  8. 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.

  9. RSPB Scotland Loch Leven nature reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kinross

    RSPB Scotland Loch Leven is part of Loch Leven National Nature Reserve. The loch is famous for its connections to Mary Queen of Scots and as Scotland’s largest lowland freshwater loch.

  10. 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.

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