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. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Loch Lomond Bird Of Prey Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Balloch

    See Birds of Prey up close in magnificent surroundings. Learn about our rehabilitation work with the Scottish SPCA. Gain an insight into the secret world of Owls, and wonder at the power and grace of Birds of Prey.

  5. St Kilda National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Outer Hebrides

    Remote, spectacular, and a designated World Heritage Site, the St Kilda National Nature Reserve archipelago lies 41 miles west of Benbecula.

  6. Glen Affric

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cannich

    A magical mix of native pinewoods, glistening lochs and haunting moorland.

  7. 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.'

  8. Willows Animal Sanctuary

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Mintlaw

    Willows Animal Sanctuary provides a lifetime home for over 300 rescued horses and other animals.

  9. Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    One of the few water-powered sawmills in Scotland - and possibly the only one still in working condition - the Kirkdale sawmill is driven by an overshot 19th century water-wheel.

  10. Big Sky Scotland

    Type

    Food & Drink Tour

    Gradings

    Freuchie

    From history tours to playing a round of golf at St Andrews, Big Sky Scotland’s luxury Scottish experiences are built around you.

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