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. Big Sky Scotland

    Type

    Food & Drink Tour

    Gradings

    Freuchie

    From history tours to playing a round of golf at St Andrews, Big Sky Scotland’s luxury Scottish experiences are built around you.

  2. Staffa National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Mull

    Staffa is an island found 10 km west of the Isle of Mull.

  3. Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aberdeen

    Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve (LNR) contains extensive areas of gorse scrub, heathland, young coniferous and broadleaved woodland.

  4. Glenlivet Wildlife

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Ballindalloch

    Off road Land Rover safaris in the Cairngorms National Park all year round. Discover iconic wildlife, stunning landscapes and fascinating heritage on a tour of Glenlivet Crown Estate with an expert local guide.

  5. Wild Highland Tours

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Acharacle

    Welcome to Wild Highland Tours

  6. Applegarthtown Wildlife Sanctuary

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 2 Wildlife Experience
    2 Wildlife Experience

    Lockerbie

    Applegarthtown, with its wetland habitat, is internationally recognised for its highly successful artificial sand martin nesting banks.

  7. River Ayr Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Muirkirk

    Scotland's first source-to-sea path network is now open! This much-anticipated route has been under construction for two years as part of East Ayrshire Council's Coalfield Access Project which is a £2.

  8. Loch Garten Osprey Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Nethy Bridge

    The Loch Garten Osprey Centre is the ideal spot to observe these magnificent birds.

  9. 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.

  10. Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Gairloch

    Unique to Gairloch 'Sealife' Glass Bottom Boat, the only cruise to combine looking below the waves while enjoying the magnificent wildlife and birdlife of Gairloch Bay.

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