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Wildlife Locations

5 recommended locations:

Cairngorms National Park

More than double the size of the Lake District, Cairngorms National Park is the largest protected area in the United Kingdom. The Cairngorms covers a substantial swathe of the Scottish Highlands, encompassing a range of habitats and a home to a wide array of wildlife including the captivating red squirrel.

  • Where: The Scottish Highlands
  • Ideal for viewing: red squirrel, Scottish wildcat, golden eagle, pine marten, crested tit
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography

Exmoor National Park

Situated in the south west of Britain, Exmoor National Park is home to a fantastic array of wildlife and many diverse habitats. Well-known for the native British ponies that roam its moorland, and red deer in its woodland, the park is also host to a great diversity of bats, birds and butterflies.

  • Where: Devon
  • Ideal for viewing: Exmoor pony, red deer, badger, brown big-eared bat, heath fritillary butterfly
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt

Orkney Islands

This peaceful archipelago, ten kilometres off the northern coast of Scotland, is a magical place of low-lying rocky islets, sandy beaches and blue seas – a great place to walk and see seabirds, birds of prey, whales and dolphins, along with fascinating prehistoric archaeological sites.

  • Where: Scotland
  • Ideal for viewing: orca, minke whale, hen harrier, short-eared owl, Arctic skua
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching

Skomer Island

Skomer Island - Ynys Sgomer in Welsh - is situated off the lovely Pembrokeshire coast, and is famed for its wildlife. Some 50% of the world population of Manx shearwaters nests here, and the colony of Atlantic puffins is the largest in southern Britain, while its one unique mammal - the Skomer vole - is endemic.

  • Where: Wales
  • Ideal for viewing: Atlantic puffin, Manx shearwater, short-eared owl, Skomer vole, grey seal
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Birdwatching

The Shetland Islands

The beauty and charm of this rugged land and seascapes are breathtaking. The region has an astonishing variety of animal and plant life, and the surrounding waters are one of the best places in the British Isles to see marine mammals. The islands are also renowned as a paradise for birdwatchers.

  • Where: Scotland
  • Ideal for viewing: common seal, grey seal, harbour porpoise, otter, storm petrel
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching, Dolphin watching

View trips to these locations

Wildlife trips

Avid wildlife enthusiasts don’t need to stray far from home to see wildlife. Across the UK our national parks, national nature reserves, RSPB reserves and WWT (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) reserves, as well as many other undesignated spots, are simply great places to watch our rich population of wildlife.

7 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Skomer’s Perfect Puffins

The Welsh island of Skomer off the Pembrokeshire coast is home to one of the UK’s largest breeding colonies of Atlantic puffins and Manx shearwaters. Join award-winning photographer Bret Charman on this three-day trip to photograph these seabirds trip at the height of the breeding season.

  • When to go: May-Jul
  • Duration exc. flights: 3 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £545 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

The Shetland Islands

This small group trip explores the Shetland Islands from two bases: Sumburgh in the south and Baltasound on Unst – the most northerly populated island of the British Isles. Boat trips and daily wildlife walks, accompanied by an expert naturalist guide, reveal an astounding diversity of flora, fauna and marine life.

  • When to go: May-Jul
  • Duration exc. flights: 8 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £1,395 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Badger Photography Workshop

For this workshop with wildlife photographer Nick Garbutt we have exclusive use of a purpose-built hide in a secluded valley in the mid-Devon countryside. This gives us intimate access to the badgers that inhabit an extensive and long-established sett – it has been there for well over 20 years.

  • When to go: May-Jul
  • Duration exc. flights: 2 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £395 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Scotland’s Wild Coast

From the windswept Hebrides to the intriguing diversity of the Orkney and Shetland Islands, this voyage visits remote crofting communities, picturesque villages and some of the world’s largest seabird colonies. Excursions by Zodiac allow you to get close to seals in waters patrolled by whales and dolphins.

  • When to go: Jun
  • Duration exc. flights: 11 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £5,245 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Red Squirrel Photography

Based in a comfortable rural lodge in Cairngorms National Park and accompanied by award-winning photographer James Shooter, this trip offers excellent opportunities to photograph the charismatic red squirrels who are surely one of the most endearing animals in the British Isles.

  • When to go: Feb-Mar
  • Duration exc. flights: 5 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £795 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Dorset’s Spring Treasures: Photography Workshop

Set amongst the ancient landscape of Dorset's Kingcombe Meadows nature reserve, the Kingcombe Centre will be our base for a weekend of nature photography. The emphasis of the workshop, led by Nick Garbutt and Alex Hyde, will be on techniques for photographing wildflowers and insect life in the field.

  • When to go: May
  • Duration exc. flights: 3 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £595 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Bugs ‘n’ Beasts Indoors: Photography Workshop

Using captive-bred subjects like mantids, scorpions and spiders, this workshop recreates the experience of photography in a rainforest or tropical habitat. Join award-winning wildlife photographers Alex Hyde and Bret Charman in in Worcestershire as they introduce and explain the principles and techniques.

  • When to go: Jan
  • Duration exc. flights: 2 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £450 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

When to go

The original ‘four seasons in a day’ destination, you need only wait 10 minutes for the weather to turn bad to good and visa versa! Dolphins are best viewed from May to September.


  • Winter

    Nov to Feb: Short days, getting gradually colder over this period
  • Spring

    Mar to May: summer months
  • Summer

    Jun to Aug: The warmest time of year with long daylight hours; busy
  • Autumn

    Sep to Oct: If settled, may be a fine time of year

Wildlife events

  • May to Sep: Bottlenose dolphins hunting off Chanonry Point

Where to stay