Reconnect with nature on a wildlife adventure amongst Scotland’s breathtaking landscapes. Self-catering cottages provide a portal to seeing magnificent wild animals in Scotland all-year-round – just remember to pack the binoculars!
Discover the greatest places to connect with these wonderful creatures while relaxing in the comfort of your home away from home. Whether it’s a flurry of birdlife at Little Puddockwells in Dunkeld, a fleeting visit from a Golden Eagle at Foresters Lodge, an evening visit from Pine Martens at Dubh Loch Cottage, or a calm haven for Red Squirrels and Woodpeckers at Craig Cottage in Banff, each retreat promises a true connection with wildlife in Scotland.
Why not even explore beyond our retreats to find other Scottish havens where these amazing animals thrive. There are numerous possibilities to see the “Big 5” in their natural habitats, ranging from the ancient woodlands of Abernethy Forest to the rugged landscapes of Assynt.
Little Puddockwells is a hidden gem – a two-bedroom cottage promising a tranquil self-catering stay!
Little Puddockwells stands out as one of EmbraceScotland’s top picks for a wildlife retreat. The owner’s thoughtful touch includes keeping the garden well-stocked, attracting a wide range of wildlife throughout the year. Regular visitors include Red Squirrels, Roe and Fallow Deer, Hedgehogs, Tawny Owls, and a range of birdlife!
Among the bird species that have been spotted so far:
Nuthatch, Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Kite, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Jays, Siskin, Greenfinch, Buzzard, Pheasant, Osprey (March to September), Sparrow-hawk, and Geese.
Which birds would you hope to spot?
Things to do nearby
For those seeking outdoor adventures, the owner recommends various nature walks from the cottage into the surrounding countryside where you can spot more wildlife. Explore The Hermitage in Dunkeld, walks to Loch Ordie, and countless trails around Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Blairgowrie, and Glenshee.
Just 2 miles away, the Scottish Wildlife Trust at Loch of Lowes features a visitor centre and excellent bird hides, offering a front-row seat to observe red squirrels, pine martens, and the returning ospreys.
Discover the enchanting wildlife sanctuary of Dubh Loch Cottage, nestled on the East bank of Loch Lomond. Built in 1750, this charming cottage, surrounded by an acre of stunning gardens, is frequently visited by delightful Pine Martens. The regular visits from these charming creatures add a dash of liveliness to the peaceful scenery.
Situated just moments away from the east shores of Loch Lomond with its sandy beaches, Dubh Loch Cottage is an ideal base for wildlife enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of this wildlife haven, relax to the sound of the nearby stream, while awaiting visits from the local wildlife.
Things to do nearby
Short winter breaks are available until the end of March 2024 at reduced rates.
Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature at Craig Cottage in Banff, a unique 3-bedroom retreat with a rich history. Located in the Duff House conservation area border, this secluded haven invites you to embrace the tranquillity of the countryside. Daily visits from Red Squirrels, Woodpeckers, and seasonal wildlife make the garden a haven for nature lovers.
Originally constructed as part of an addition to Duff House, Craig Cottage’s historical significance adds to its charm. Located just 2 miles from Banff on the Moray Firth coast, it offers prime opportunities for observing wildlife in its natural habitat. The south-facing patio overlooks woodland and countryside, providing a perfect vantage point for glimpses of Red Squirrels, Woodpeckers, and Pine Martens.
Things to do nearby
Doubling as an angler’s dream, Craig Cottage offers complimentary fishing from February to June, situated near a breathtaking river full of Salmon and Trout.
Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Foresters Lodge invites those in need of a romantic retreat to experience the sereneness of nature. Overlooking the historic Loch Shiel and surrounded by mountains, the covered veranda offers a panoramic view, making it the ideal spot for birdwatching and soaking up the winter sun.
During your stay here, it is highly likely that you will spot a variety of wildlife roaming or flying close by! White-tailed Sea Eagles, and Golden Eagles are often found soaring above Foresters Lodge. As well as this, the nightly visits from Pine Martens and the patrolling of Barn Owls in the garden, adds an extra layer of enchantment to guest stays.
Things to do nearby
Loch Sheil is only a 10-minute walk away, featuring a pontoon where Black-throated Divers and various other wildlife can be spotted.
Valentines: Romantic wildlife retreat for couples, cosy up under the stars with a suitable beverage and enjoy a relaxing sauna and jacuzzi bath from £665.00.
Late availability: special offer from £665.00
Scotland offers unparalleled wildlife watching experiences throughout the year, extending far beyond the iconic Big 5. From the iconic White-Tailed Sea Eagle, also known as the ‘flying barn door,’ to the playful dolphins along Scotland coasts and waters. Scotland’s diverse ecosystems host a remarkable array of species. Whether you’re exploring the ancient Caledonian forests or observing marine life in the crystal-clear waters of the Hebrides, the opportunities to encounter unique and awe-inspiring creatures are endless all-year round.
Find accommodation to match your wildlife watching experience here.
Check out when to watch wildlife in Scotland here.
However, as we immerse ourselves in Scotland’s natural landscapes, it is crucial to prioritise the safety and well-being of the wildlife we are lucky to witness. By practicing responsible wildlife watching, such as maintaining a respectful distance and minimising disturbances, we can contribute to the conservation efforts that sustain Scotland’s rich biodiversity. So, as you embark on your wildlife adventures, remember to check out this useful guidance from Wild Scotland on how to watch wildlife responsibly and to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, ensuring that these incredible experiences can be enjoyed for generations to come.