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. Hobbister (Mainland) Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Orphir

    Welcome to Hobbister (Mainland) Nature Reserve.

  2. Handa Island

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Scourie

    Managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve, Handa Island is a beautiful place and a fantastic day trip.

  3. Troup Head

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pennan

    This massive landmark of red cliffs rises to 365 ft and is run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

  4. Rob Roy Tours Ltd

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    North Berwick

    Walking and Cultural Tours in Scotland - ENGLISH und DEUTSCHsprachig - have fun and make friends while discovering the Highlands, Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland, their people, history, culture and wildlife.

  5. Classic Tours Highlands

    Type

    Chauffeur Tour

    Gradings

    Grantown on Spey

    Welcome to Classic Tours Highlands

  6. Cumbernauld Glen

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cumbernauld

    This reserve’s ancient woodland is a haven for wildlife and, in early summer, there are vast carpets of bluebells.

  7. Ness Bus

    Type

    Coach Tour

    Gradings

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Scotland's ONLY Loch Ness, Highlands & Whisky tour...join Ness Bus for a MONSTER day out!

  8. Lower Nethan Gorge

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Carluke

    Lower Nethan Gorge is part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve and is one of the best examples of semi-natural woodland still surviving in the Clyde Valley.

  9. Gradings

    Drymen

    Visitor centre comprising exhibition on Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, geology and Highland Boundary Fault.

  10. Glen Nant

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Taynuilt

    Glen Nant is a nature reserve located 3 miles south of Taynuilt, in Argyll, on the B845.

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