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Where Eagles Dare, and Seals Just Stare

The sheer number of national and local nature and wildlife reserves found here are one of the most notable features of the Highlands and Islands.

From Beinn Eighe to Ben Wyvis, Loch Lomond to Loch Fleet, Hermaness to Taynish, the stunning natural environment of this wonderful area is protected, celebrated and, most importantly, enjoyed by visitors of all ages in all seasons and in all weathers.

For it’s true that any day spent out among nature in the Highlands and Islands is never a day wasted. Whether it’s opportunities to go whale watching off the Inner Hebrides, to see seabirds on the cliffs of Orkney, to search for otters along the shorelines of Skye, or to enjoy the quizzical looks from the seals of the Cromarty Firth, the joys of wildlife watching extend from coast to coast. While inland, among the hills and forests, the roar of red deer, the sight of a soaring golden eagle, or the merest glimpse of an elusive pine marten can all transform the moment into something truly memorable.

Seal in Lerwick Harbour (Credit: VisitScotland)
Puffin on Dunnet Head. (Credit: Alex Mohun)
Local wildlife on Skye. (Credit: Sophie Gartshore)
Black lambs at Tarbert, Kintyre. (Credit: VisitScotland/ Paul Tomkins)
Whale sightings are rare in the Highlands and Islands but every so often you can spot a fin! Bonar Bridge, 1927. (Credit: Tain & District Museum)
The Highlands and Islands are well known for these furry creatures! Elgol, Skye. (Credit: VisitScotland/ Kenny Lam)
The Cairngorms National Park offers lots of opportunities for outdoor adventure including horse riding through the forest. (Credit: VisitScotland/ Airborne Lens)
Inquisitive locals on Shetland! (Credit: VisitScotland/ Paul Tomkins)