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. Pease Dean

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cockburnspath

    This nature reserve is one of the few areas where native woodland can be found. It comprises of two parts, Pease Burn and Tower Burn.

  2. Visual Nature - Wild Skye

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Skye

    Welcome to Visual Nature - Wild Skye. Fantastic boat trip to see stunning wildlife and scenery. Fishing trips available as well.

  3. Gradings

    Portree

    Welcome aboard the MV Stardust for an unforgettable experience with our 1-2 hour trips. See Skye from the sea, fabulous views and unbelievable wildlife.

  4. Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Innerleithen

    Visit Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve for fantastic walking and wildlife spotting opportunities.

  5. Heads Of Ayr Farm Park

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Alloway

    Whatever the weather, there is fun for all the family at Heads of Ayr Farm Park.

  6. C-N-Do Aberdeen & Grampian

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Aberdeen

    Great rolling giants of the Eastern Cairngorm mountains, the source of the majestic and endlessly scenic River Dee, provide walking opportunities of all lengths, grades and temptation.

  7. Gordon Grant Marine

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Isle of Iona

  8. Cragbank Woods

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hawick

    Cragbank Woods boast a beautiful mix of native trees that cloak the steep gorge slopes.

  9. Edinburgh Zoo

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Edinburgh

    The wildest visitor attraction in Scotland. Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and beautiful animals from around the world and home to the UK's only giant pandas and koalas.

  10. Ailnack Gorge

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Tomintoul

    At 600 ft wide, 300 ft deep and 6 miles long, the Ailnack Gorge is Scotland's largest glacial melt water channel.

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