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. Kilmun Arboretum

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Dunoon

    Kilmun Aboretum is a woodland circuit which is part of Argyll Forest Park near Dunoon in Argyll.

  2. The View & Co

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Appin

    Welcome to The View & Co overlooking Castle Stalker. Cafe & gift shop with panoramic views as well as our newly-opened wildlife hub where you can enjoy nest cameras and our highly-acclaimed Argyll wildlife film "In the View of Eagles"

  3. Erraid Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Erraid Wood is a small woodland on the slopes of the Pentland Hills to the south of Edinburgh.

  4. Noss National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Noss National Nature Reserve is a spectacular island reserve which is home to vast colonies of nesting seabirds.

  5. RSPB Loch Gruinart Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Bridgend

    Loch Gruinart Reserve and Visitor Centre is open all year round with beautiful trails and hides. Guided walks Apr-Oct. See website for details of our events. Great for corncrake, chough, deer, breeding waders, & wintering geese

  6. Walk'n Cowal

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Gradings

    Dunoon

    Welcome to Walk'n Cowal. We offer worry free access and directions to some of Scotland's beautiful coastal and forest walks just over an hour from the centre of Glasgow. Please contact us for further information

  7. Marwick Head Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Dounby

    The RSPB nature reserve of Marwick Head is home to the largest cliff nesting seabird colony on the Orkney mainland.

  8. Craignish Cruises

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Ardfern

    Craignish Cruises offer guided Corryvreckan Whirlpool, wildlife, and whale watching boat trips on the purpose built 12 meter catamaran Sea Leopard 11

  9. Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Guided walking tours to Skye and Mull. Self-guided walking breaks in the beautiful Scottish Borders' countryside. We also run guided Saturday walks once a month.

  10. Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    East Lochaber

    Creag Meagaidh at 1,128 m high is a Scottish Munro (a mountain over 3,000 ft or 914 m in height).

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