The Scottish countryside is home to a variety of indigenous wildlife. Several types of mammals, birdlife, and aquatic organisms flourish in the hills, woodlands, and marshes, as well as the unspoiled beaches and lush inland landscapes. Spotting them is not necessarily hard. All you need is your camera equipment and luggage, which can be hard to lumber round to and from these destinations. So if you think you’ll have your hands full as you fly into the capital, enquire about van hire at Edinburgh Airport, and make life a million times easier for yourself!
With that said, take a look at our checklist containing some of the most picturesque wildlife spots – can you tick them all off?
Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig
See Scottish wildlife and endangered animals of the world’s mountain and tundra regions in a spectacular Highland setting.
Cairngorms National Park, Highlands
The largest National Park in Britain is home to a wealth of wildlife. Spot red deer and keep a look-out for the elusive mountain hare and ptarmigan which live high in the hills.
Montrose Basin Visitor Centre, Angus
During November, the numbers of geese visiting this bird haven can swell up to 40,000. Rise early and arrive in time for the Goose Breakfast and watch as flocks of geese flood the sky upon their return to the basin.
Sumburgh Head, Shetland
Head to Shetland to see gannets and other waders in proximity along with guillemots, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes, and fulmars at the Noss and Hermaness National Nature Reserves.
Loch Leven, Perthshire
The largest lowland loch in Scotland and one of the most important sites for wildfowl in Europe. You also stand a good catch of spotting ospreys and white-tailed sea eagles soaring above, or playful otters and the water vole in the loch itself.
The Largest Colony of Puffins in the UK, Outer Hebrides
Throughout February and March see large colonies of puffins on St Kilda, the Shiants, the Flannan Isles, Mingulay and North Rona, where they live in burrows instead of nests.
Coastal Trail, Aberdeen City & Shire
With eight nature reserves, an aquarium and a wildlife centre you’ll be amazed at the amount of wildlife you can discover on the Aberdeen Coastal Trail.
Red Squirrels, Dumfries and Galloway
20% of the Scottish population of red squirrels thrive in Dumfries and Galloway’s quiet forests meaning you are more likely to see them here than anywhere else. Meanwhile, red kites have been reintroduced to the Loch Ken area, and through the power of CCTV you can see nesting ospreys, in Wigtown.
Did this help?
We certainly hope so! A Scottish wildlife holiday can include a wide variety of places and activities. Scotland’s wildlife offers something for everyone, from bird watching to seal sanctuaries and red squirrels.
We also don’t recommend throwing your morals and values aside – you may join one of the responsible wildlife tours listed here if you want to get up close and personal with Scotland’s wild creatures!