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. Isle Of Eigg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Small Isles - Eigg, Rhum, Muck, Canna

    A lush island lying of the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, Eigg is sometimes described as ‘the emerald of the Inner Hebrides’.

  2. Montrose Basin Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Montrose

    Montrose Basin is the enclosed estuary of the South Esk River. The reserve includes a 4-star visitor centre along with four remote bird hides.

  3. 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.

  4. Brightwater Scotland

    Type

    Tour Operators

    Gradings

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Brightwater Scotland presents a collection of quality holidays that celebrate the very best that Scotland has to offer. The wonderful islands that lie off our coast feature strongly, as well as garden holidays and special interest tours.

  5. Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    Nocturnal Wildlife Tours offer visitors a unique experience, allow them to see wildlife in a way they have never experienced before, using the latest thermal imaging cameras. We also offer wildlife day tours.

  6. Pease Dean

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cockburnspath

    This nature reserve is one of the few areas where native woodland can be found. It comprises of two parts, Pease Burn and Tower Burn.

  7. 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.

  8. Gradings

    Ullapool

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

  9. Wildlfe and Nature @ Castle Kennedy Gardens

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Stranraer

    Castle Kennedy Gardens near Stranraer create the perfect habitat for a fascinating range of species who find perfect sanctuary in the 75 acres of woodland, lochs and gardens

  10. Tollie Red Kites - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dingwall Area

    Welcome to Tollie Red Kites. Your chance to get close to one of the area's most iconic birds.

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