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 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.

  2. Grampian & Cairngorms Wildlife Services

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Ellon

    Welcome to Grampian & Cairngorms Wildlife Services.

  3. St Andrews Aquarium

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    St Andrews

    St Andrews Aquarium is an underwater world of adventure with amphibians, fish and seals alongside reptiles, arachnids, seals, penguins, baby alligators and even meerkats!

  4. Highland & Rare Breeds Park

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Fort Augustus

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

  5. Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Golspie

    Loch Fleet is a reserve on a stunning coastal location where a river flows through a tidal basin.

  6. Aigas Field Centre

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Beauly

    Welcome to Aigas Field Centre - awarded 'Best Nature Based Experience' by Visit Scotland. Learning holidays at Aigas are a unique and unforgettable experience for anybody who wants to learn more about Scotland's superb natural history.

  7. RSPB Ken-Dee Marshes

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    A peaceful site with plenty to see at any time of year and a real treat for nature lovers.Look out for rare Greenland white-fronted geese in winter or take a stroll to our hides for a close hand views of red squirrels, ducks and other birds.

  8. Lower Nethan Gorge

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Carluke

    Lower Nethan Gorge is part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve and is one of the best examples of semi-natural woodland still surviving in the Clyde Valley.

  9. Ness Battery

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Stromness

    Now open for guided tours, Ness Battery is a remarkable relic of Orkney's wartime past. The tour includes the the mess hall, featuring the famous painted mural. This is a brand new attraction for Orkney, and one not to be missed!

  10. C-N-Do Argyll & Stirling

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Stirling

    Independent and guided walking holidays, tours and courses to suit most aspirations from trail walking to mountain bagging.

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