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. Bute Forest

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Bute

    Welcome to Bute Forest, a unique area of forest on the Isle of Bute with walks for all ages.

  2. Gradings

    Bonnyrigg

    Welcome to Dalhousie Castle Falconry! Join us for an exciting day of flying beautiful birds or prey to your gloved hand, or why not test your skills with some archery with recurve bows? Packages available for adults and children.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Ness Battery

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Stromness

    Now open for guided tours, Ness Battery is a remarkable relic of Orkney's wartime past. The tour includes the the mess hall, featuring the famous painted mural. This is a brand new attraction for Orkney, and one not to be missed!

  6. Macduff Marine Aquarium

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Banff

    On the beautiful Moray Firth coast, this fascinating aquarium features hundreds of local sea creatures from the rocky shores to the kelp reefs and beyond.

  7. Scottish Wildlife Trust

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Grangemouth

    Welcome to Scottish Wildlife Trust

  8. Camperdown Wildlife Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Dundee City

    Discover the wonderful world of animals at Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee. Highlights include European brown bears, ring-tailed lemurs, otters, snowy owls and much more......

  9. Canna

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Fort William & Lochaber

    The most westerly of the Small Isles, Canna is 5 miles long and 1.25 miles wide.

  10. Noss National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Noss National Nature Reserve is a spectacular island reserve which is home to vast colonies of nesting seabirds.

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