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. Cottascarth & Rendall Moss Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Rendall

    Welcome to Cottascarth & Rendall Moss Nature Reserve.

  2. Gradings

    Cuillins & central Skye

    Expert local guiding and instruction is available for all mountaineering pursuits: Skye scrambles, Skye Munros, Cuillin Ridge Traverse, Rock Climbing, Scrambling, Abseiling, Ice climbing, Alpine training courses. All safety equipment is provided.

  3. Loch Muick Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ballater

    Loch Muick Reserve is located 8 miles south west of Ballater in Aberdeenshire, and is part of the Balmoral Estate.

  4. Balranald - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Outer Hebrides

    Balranald RSPB is a beautiful Hebridean reserve which has sandy beaches, rocky foreshore, marshes and sand dunes.

  5. Gradings

    Dunvegan

    Take an exhilarating 25 minute boat trip to see the seal colony and observe these playful sea mammals at close quarters.

  6. Rassal Ashwood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Kishorn

    Rassal Ashwood is a woodland which grows on a rare outcrop of limestone in Wester Ross.

  7. 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.

  8. Deeside Safaris

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Logie Coldstone

    This family-run provider with many years of experience offers guided hiking and walking holidays in Scotland and specializes in outdoor activities.

  9. 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.

  10. Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Stirling

    Scotland’s safari park is located between Stirling and Doune, and is the only place in the country where you can see elephants and giraffes.

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