Wildlife holidays in Scotland
Tell me about Scotland …
Within the UK, Scotland offers arguably some of the best opportunities for wildlife watching. Scotland’s landscapes encompass a huge array of habitats from mountains, lakes, forests and lochs, to seemingly endless coastlines, lowland moors, offshore islands, ‘machair’ (green sward habitat) and heaths.
With truly unspoilt settings, white-sand beaches, breathtaking sunsets, Neolithic sites and a vibrant Gaelic culture including bagpipe-playing and ceilidhs, plus excellent malt whisky and hospitable people, wildlife holidays in Scotland have a unique charm.
Our Scotland specialist recommends...
"I recommend our new ‘Scotland’s Mammals & Highlights of the Highlands’ tour on which we go in search of some of the UK’s most elusive wildlife, Wildcat and Pine Marten. Possible highlights include a boat trip to Coll and Muck looking for cetaceans and seabirds."
What’s special about Scotland’s wildlife?
Scotland is home to some of the British Isles’ most iconic bird and mammal species, as well as being the setting for many of their top wildlife spectacles. When it comes to wildlife holidays, Scotland is a fantastic destination.
Rugged peninsulas and forests are home to elusive mammals such as Pine Marten and Scottish Wildcat, while its highland areas provide habitat for Red, Roe and Sika Deer, and rarities such as Mountain Hare. There is plenty to reward a day spent wildlife watching. Scotland’s coastal seas host a variety of whale and dolphin species, with the west coast being especially rewarding.
The mainland, Outer Hebrides and Inner Hebrides are all bird watcher’s havens. Just some of Scotland’s birding highlights include spectacular gatherings of waterfowl in winter, exciting autumn and spring bird migrations, Capercaillie and Black Grouse, plus breeding raptors and rarities in the Outer Hebrides.
Wild flowers abound on rich machair habitat in the Uists, while Ben Lawers is acknowledged among botanists as one of the foremost sites in Britain for alpine plants.
NATURETREK WILDLIFE HOLIDAYS IN SCOTLAND
Why book one of Naturetrek’s Scotland wildlife holidays?
We offer six wildlife holidays to Scotland, from week-long birding and natural history holidays on Shetland, Orkney and the Uists, to a dedicated botanical tour in search of alpine flora.
All of our tours are led by an expert naturalist and consist of small groups, with people of all expertise levels welcome.
What wildlife might I see?
When wildlife watching in Scotland, we go in search of an exciting range of bird, mammal and plant life including:
- Otter, plus Grey & Common seals, in coastal inlets and islands
- Golden & White-tailed Sea Eagles on Mull
- Corncrakes calling in hay meadows on South Uist
- Vast winter congregations of Barnacle and Greenland White-fronted Geese on Islay & Jura, plus a chance of rarity or two!
- Minke Whale, Harbour Porpoise & a variety of dolphin species
- A wide range of wild flowers, including Bog Asphodel, Snow Gentian, Dropping Saxifrage, Hair Sedge and Moonwort, at Ben Lawers
- Teeming seabird colonies – Kittiwake, Gannet, Razorbill, Black Guillemot and more – and a 5,000-year-old tomb for bishop-princes on the Orkneys
- Charismatic nesting puffins – just metres away!
- Red-throated Diver & Red-necked Phalarope on the Shetland Islands
- Eider, Great & Arctic Terns, plus possible sightings of up to 4 species of Skua
Find out more!
View all of our Scotland wildlife holidays or call us now on +44 1962 733051 to find out more.
WHAT YOU'VE BEEN SAYING ABOUT OUR Scotland
The outdoor activity centre accomodation was more than adequate for this trip. Excellent area for drying coats and boots if necessary. Food very good and the catering staff were very obliging to try and satisfy everyone's needs.
Peter Clements was obviously an experienced leader, with an intimate knowledge of Islay and Jura from previous trips. He was excellent at keeping us all to time and to the planned schedule, but at the same time made quick decisions and changed plans in response to the weather. He was a good driver of the minivan, and, of course, very knowledgeable about the birdlife. Mike Youdale was a good teacher and communicator, explaining things in a systematic way, and wanted to make sure we had seen specific birds or other animals. He was enthusiastic about wildlife, and has a deep and detailed knowledge of birds - both identification and life histories. He enjoyed talking to people of different backgrounds over meals. Like Peter, he was a safe and reliable driver.
I really enjoyed this trip, even the wet bits! We did view an amazing number of birds (and deer) largely due to Peter Clement's outstanding leadership. The most successful part was when he proposed we return to Islay on the last full day to cover the Oa, which we missed owing to bad weather and the potential cancellation of the Islay/Jura ferry. We saw birds we did not expect and an uncountable number of rainbows.