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. Gight Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pitmedden

    Gight Wood lies on the steep, south facing slopes of the Ythan valley, forming the easternmost part of a series of woodlands and river grasslands.

  2. Timberbush Tours

    Type

    Tour Operators

    Gradings

    • 5 Tour
    5 Tour

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Scotland At Its Best: 1, 2 and 3 day tours for groups and independent travellers, with daily departures from Edinburgh and Glasgow departing all year round.

  3. Gradings

    Kippford

    Explore the quiet roads, and beautiful scenery of Scotland in a stylish 1960's convertible!

  4. Ridgway Adventure

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Rhiconich

    A timeless and truly wild natural environment where mountains rise majestically from intricate coves and bays of sheltered sea lochs. Join us here, a family home and Adventure School for over 40 years. Holidays and courses for many ages.

  5. Ecoventures

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Cromarty

    Experience the thrill aboard high speed, offshore RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) and share firsthand the unique scenery, wildlife and history of the Moray Firth.

  6. Deep Sea World

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    North Queensferry

    Come face to face with one of Europe's largest collections of sharks in one of the world's longest underwater tunnels at Deep Sea World, Scotland's National Aquarium.

  7. 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.

  8. Forsinard Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area

    RSPB Nature Reserve at Forsinard in the Flow Country ~ wildlife trails and guided walks with birds, animals and flowers in these extensive peatlands.

  9. Gradings

    • 5 Tour
    5 Tour

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Be a part of it and join a multi-award winning small group tour. Tour from 1-17 days throughout Scotland. Our friendly guides and small groups of 16 people maximum ensure an excellent customer experience. Guaranteed departures all year.

  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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