Holidays in Glenlivet

Visitor Guide

Wildlife and other Animals


Wildlife and other Animals

 in Glenlivet and the Cairngorms, Aberdeenshire, Grampian,

Moray, Nairn and Inverness-shire


Reviewed Jan-Feb 2018

Please e-mail us with any comments, reports on broken links, suggestions or questions

We have included links to many other websites.  We shall eventually get round to informing all of these about our links, but if we haven't yet been in touch and you would prefer us to remove the link to your site, then please let us know.


Birdwatchers might be interested in the following website which gives a brief introduction to what can be seen in Moray.  Feel free to let us know about any other useful websites. Fatbirder Website


Also check out the Ranger Services in the Walking Section - some of these have Centres illustrating local wildlife, and guided walks are sometimes focussed on viewing wildlife.

The section on Boat Trips and Guided Tours gives further options.




Cairngorm Reindeer Herd                                                   1.02   TA

Bing Images of Cairngrom Reindeer

The main herd is kept near Aviemore on the way to the ski slope where they

are either roaming free or in paddocks.  There are daily hill visits which involve a

walk of about 30 minutes to reach the herd.  A second herd is kept near

Tomintoul along with other species of deer, Soay sheep and wild boar.

Contact 01479 861228 to confirm tour times and charges

Aviemore - daily hill visits at 11 am (weather permitting in winter) - also at

2.30 from May-Sept and 3.30 during July and August.

Tours start mid February,


Loch Garten Nature Reserve  (Near Nethy Bridge)                    0.41   TA

Bing Images of Loch Garten Nature Reserve

RSPB nature reserve focussing on Ospreys

Open daily 10 am-6 pm from April to the first Sunday in September.

Last entry is at 5 pm.

Check website

01479 821 409

01479 831 476



Cairngorm Sleddog Centre (near Aviemore)                                 1.02   TA

Bing Images of Cairngorm Sleddog Centre

Around thirty sleddogs from all over the world.  Kennel and museum trips

available all year round.  Sled trips also offered.

Contact 07767 270526 – pre-booking essential



Leault Working Sheepdogs (near Kincraig )                                    0.57   TA

45 minute demonstrations held at 4 pm every afternoon except Saturday from June to October.  Check website for demonstrations available at other times of the year .

01540 651 402



Highland Wildlife Park (near Kincraig)                                           1.09   TA

Bing Images of Highland Wildlife Park

The Park was opened in 1972 and is now run by the Royal Zoological Society

of Scotland.  Collections of Scottish wildlife as well as internationally endangered animals of mountains and tundra.  Drive around the Main Reserve in your own

car and then investigate the walk-round area by foot.

Contact 01540 651270 – telephone to check open on days with deep snow

and ice!

Opens daily at 10.00 am


6pm July and August

4pm November to March

5pm all other months

Last entry one hour before closing



Loch Ruthven Nature Reserve  (to the east of Loch Ness)               1.21

Bing Images of Loch Ruthven Nature Reserve

The most important site in the UK for breeding Slavonian grebes (mid-March

through to autumn) and a chance to see ospreys and red-throated and

black-throated divers.

Viewing hide.

The moorland area to the east of Loch Ness is well off the beaten track and

rarely visited, but fascinating to drive through – even if you don’t see any grebes.  The east side of Loch Ness is much quieter than the west side, and its worth doing

a circular trip of the loch if you want to spend a day going down as far as Fort Augustus – much more chance of stopping on this side if you do happen to spot

the monster!  The following websites give some information about Fort Augustus

and the village of Foyers about half way down the loch.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Foyers

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Fort Augustus


Chanonry Point (Black Isle)                                                                     1.33   TA

If you want to see dolphins, one of the best places to view is at Chanonry Point, near  Fortrose in the Black Isle.  This is the narrowest point of the Moray Firth, and the best time to view is from about half an hour after low tide.  The following websites will give you information about Chanonry Point, tides and recent sightings.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Chanonry Point

Fortrose Tide Times (Seven Days)

Seawatch Foundation Website

Bing Images of Chanonry Point



Alpaca Days Out  (near Elgin)                                                                                      0.59   TA

An Alpaca farm near Elgin where you can get up close to over fifty animals and learn all about them.

Booking essential - probably best through their website, but they do give a couple of mobile numbers - 07773 968 979  or  07817 863 375


Scottish Dolphin Centre - Spey Bay                                   0.49   TA

Bing Images of Scottish Dolphin Centre

Run by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, it also has very good displays about whales and dolphins and the work of the Society along with information about all the other wildlife that inhabits the area.  The Centre was converted from a former salmon fishing station that has existed on the site since 1768.

The neighbouring Tugnet Ice House, the largest remaining industrial ice house in Scotland, is also worth a visit.

Tea room (last orders 4pm) and shop.

There’s a chance of viewing feeding osprey in the summer along with many

other birds.

Contact 01343 820339

Opening times 10.30 to 5pm

March: weekends only

April 1st to October 31st: daily


The right bank of the Spey is very flat, but across the river, there’s an excellent view of the estuary from the School Brae Walk that runs between Garmouth and Kingston on the other side of the river.  The following websites give information about all three villages.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Spey Bay

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Kingston

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Garmouth



Troup Head Nature Reserve (between Banff & Fraserburgh)   1.28   TA

Bing Images of Troup Head

The cliffs of Troup Head now host a major colony of gannets – one of the few mainland colonies in the UK.  Along with the usual complement of fulmars,

shags, kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills and some puffins, there are over

150,000 breeding seabirds here during the summer months.  Check the website to see when the different species are likely to be in residence.

The views from the clifftops are quite dramatic and you get a good close-up

views of the gannets, but be careful – there are no barriers to stop you falling

off the edge!  If you want an easier view, there’s a webcam link to the Macduff Marine Aquarium.




Macduff Marine Aquarium (Macduff)                                               1.10   TA
Hundreds of fish and invertebrates native to the Moray Firth and a webcam
link to the Troup Head Bird Sanctuary.

Opening hours:
Until 27th March - Saturday to Wednesday from 11.00 until 4.00 pm
30th March - 31st October - Monday to Friday from 10.00 until 5.00 pm - Weekends from 11.00 until 5.00 pm

01261 833 369

Macduff is still very much a fishing and commercial port with an active shipyard.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Macduff


North East Falconry Centre (near Huntly)                                   0.35   TA

Bing Images of Falconry Centre

Visitor centre and flying demonstrations – café – shop

Contact 07717 705 994

Open daily from April to October

Flying demonstrations at 11.00, 12.45 and 2.30





Home      Visitor Guide