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. Abernethy

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Grantown on Spey

    Abernethy Forest is a remnant of the Caledonian Forest in Strathspey.

  2. Royal Highland Show

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Edinburgh Airport

    World class Show of cattle, light horse and heavy horse, sheep, goats, poultry. The largest display of agricultural machinery in the UK, a Forestry arena with competitions and demonstrations, Countryside Arena and a massive Food & Drink Hall.

  3. Orcadian Wildlife

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    South Ronaldsay

    Orcadian Wildlife offers tailor-made wildlife and archaeology tours to small groups of people up to a maximum of eight guests.

  4. 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"

  5. Glencripesdale

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ardnamurchan

    The remote Glencripesdale on the shores of Loch Sunart combines woodland, shoreline, heaths and moorland.

  6. Hoy Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hoy

    Welcome to Hoy Nature Reserve.

  7. John Muir Trust, Isle Of Skye

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Broadford

    The John Muir Trust’s care for three estates on Skye: Torrin, Strathaird and Sconser.

  8. Beinn Eighe

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Kinlochewe

    Beinn Eighe was Britain's first National Nature Reserve.

  9. Galloway Kite Trail

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    The trail is a great way to explore scenic, inner Galloway while looking for the spectacular red kite, a bird of prey reintroduced here since 2001. A 24 mile circular road trip, open all year round (plus 14 mile summer trail in Galloway Forest Park).

  10. Mar Lodge Estate

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Braemar

    This large estate is part of the core area of the Cairngorms, internationally recognised as the most important nature conservation landscape in the British Isles.

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