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. Orcadian Wildlife

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    South Ronaldsay

    Orcadian Wildlife offers tailor-made wildlife and archaeology tours to small groups of people up to a maximum of eight guests.

  2. St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    St Abbs

    Formed by an extinct volcano, the St Abb’s Head is the best known landmark along the magnificent Berwickshire coast.

  3. Gradings

    Tiree

    Visit the Story of Skerryvore Lighthouse exhibition to find out how the heroic engineers and keepers built and maintained Scotland's tallest lighthouse, Skerryvore, on one of Britain's most dangerous rocks, over 10 nautical miles out to sea.

  4. AboveWater/UnderWater Shetland

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Lerwick

    Above the water AND below, get the best of both worlds! Join the most experienced Marine & Nature Guide team, Shetlander Alan Longmuir & Biologist Robbi ShoafEnge, on a wildlife boat tour around Bressay & Noss: seals, seabirds & spectacular sea life!

  5. Fleecefaulds Meadow

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cupar

    Fleecefaulds Meadow Wildlife Reserve is an area of flower-rich grassland, rich fen and lowland scrub near the village of Ceres.

  6. Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Selkirk

    Watch salmon swim upriver to spawn at the Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre.

  7. Geopark Shetland

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    From exploring an extinct volcano to walking across shifting sands, experience the variety of geology in Geopark Shetland.

  8. The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Aviemore

    Visit Britain's only herd of free-ranging reindeer.

  9. Great Orkney Tours

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Tankerness

    You want to see Orkney but don’t want to be lost in a crowd of other tourists: then a personal tour is just what you’re looking for

  10. Cragbank Woods

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hawick

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

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