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. RSPB Mull of Galloway Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Stranraer

    Find out about the local birds and wildlife at the Mull of Galloway RSPB Reserve which is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

  2. 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.

  3. Geopark Shetland

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Welcome to Geopark Shetland.

  4. Rum

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Fort William & Lochaber

    Rum is an island of rugged mountains setting a dramatic stage for spectacular wildlife and archaeology.

  5. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    North Ronaldsay

    Welcome to North Ronaldsay Lighthouse and Visitor Centre - the oldest intact lighthouse in Scotland.

  6. Calum's Plockton Seal Trips

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Plockton

    Calum Mackenzie and the crew of the 'Sula Mhor' welcome you to Plockton, 'jewel of the Highlands', and home of Scotland's finest seal trips.

  7. Scottish Wildlife Trust

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Grangemouth

    Welcome to Scottish Wildlife Trust

  8. Gradings

    Lerwick

    Above water and underwater, get the best of both worlds! Join a Shetlander and a Biologist on a wildlife boat tour around Bressay & Noss to see seals, seabirds, scenery and spectacular underwater sea life. History, culture, geology, nature and more!

  9. Tour Orkney

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Kirkwall

    Welcome to Tour Orkney

  10. C-N-Do Borders

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Central Scottish Borders

    The most extensive area of rolling hill country in the UK is right here and just waiting to be explored. Join a trek along the Southern Uplands Way, Scotland's 'coast to coast' route, stretching across the country to end at Cockburnspath.

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