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. 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.

  2. Onziebust Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Orkney

    Welcome to Onziebust Nature Reserve.

  3. The Cowal Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Kames

    A new 47-mile footpath running the length of the beautiful Cowal Peninsula, starting at Portavadie, and ending at Ardgartan.

  4. Ocean Explorer Centre

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Oban

    Welcome to the new Ocean Explorer Centre! Let us take you on a journey of discovery into the sea to explore why author Arthur C Clark once said: 'How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.'

  5. C-N-Do Argyll & Stirling

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Stirling

    Independent and guided walking holidays, tours and courses to suit most aspirations from trail walking to mountain bagging.

  6. Kintail Ranger Service

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Gradings

    Lochalsh area

    The National Trust for Scotland rangers based at Kintail offer guided mountain walks and sea kayaking from their beautiful west coast location in the Highlands.

  7. Ariundle Oakwood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ardnamurchan

    Ariundle Oakwood is an ancient mossy oakwood, typical of the woodlands which were once widespread along the Atlantic coast.

  8. Cream O' Galloway

    Type

    Food & Drink Attraction

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Gatehouse-of-Fleet

    Cream o' Galloway is a deliciously good fun place to visit with its adventure playground, indoor visitor centre & play areas, daily events, exciting slides, rides and pedal kart track, and its miles of beautiful walks and nature trails.

  9. Glen Tanar

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aboyne

    Glen Tanar provides a great opportunity to explore Scotland's classic Caledonian pine forest in search of its elusive wildlife.

  10. St Hilda Sea Adventures

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Dunoon

    Welcome to St Hilda Sea Adventures

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