The mercury is climbing, the days are stretching and soon the nights will be light! Yes, you’ve guessed the Scottish Summer is on its way. Come and explore the top 7 places to see Wildlife in Inverness and the Highlands, this Summer. Many of these fabulous birds, animals and sea-life are so close to Inverness. Book your Summer escape, stay at the Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa and explore the Summer Highland wildlife.
Array of Summer Wildlife in the Highlands
The landscape is in full bloom with heather and broom adding a brilliant splash of brilliant colour to the landscape. The trees will have their very leafy coats on with too many shades of green to count. Summer really is a beautiful time in the Highlands and one of the benefits of being in the north is the days seem endless. Your day trip and picnic can go on for hours as the darkness doesn’t come! There is such an array of wildlife in the Highlands that you may not have time to see them all. See below for a little help to point you in the right direction so you can find your favourites.
What to Wildlife to See and Where!
Top Places Located in Inverness
- Ness River Islands These lovely two small islands are linked by bridges where you can see salmon and even seals. Make sure that you look out for wildfowl, and – at dawn and dusk in spring and summer – pipistrelle and Daubenton’s bats. These bats are right at the northern limit of their UK distribution in Inverness. Stay at the Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa and these wee Island gems are only a few minutes walk along the river bank.
- Merkinch Local Nature Reserve: Is only 10 minutes in the car from the Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa considerably closer than Chanonry point. Located just between the mouth of the River Ness and the Caledonian Canal is a wildlife hidden gem. An area full of wild life with roe deer, owls, weasels, herons, cormorants and wading birds of various descriptions. If you’re lucky you may spot the kingfishers at the Muirtown pools. Even the occasional Osprey can be seen visiting the area. It is also an excellent spot for spotting bottlenose dolphins.
See wildlife only Half an Hour From Inverness
- Chanonry Point The waters around the Moray coast attract a huge variety of Sea-life not easily spotted elsewhere in the country. If you want to have your feet on dry land then take a trip to Chanonry Point. Not only is it a local beauty spot with a fantastic light house as your back drop, it is also a busy channel for wildlife. People come from all over to spot Porpoises, Dolphins and Seals and occasionally whales. Dolphins are resident in this area approximately 130 Bottlenose Dolohins living in the Moray Firth. In Spring Summer they are hunting for migrating Salmon. Try and visit at low tide, about an hour after low tide. You will have 2 good opportunities per day to spot one of these magnificent creatures. Sometimes you may be lucky and see Minke Wales or Orca (Killer Wales). Pack a picnic and you can see some amazing sea-life from the comfort of the beach. If you prefer a more adventurous approach and would like to get closer to the sea-life, then book one of the many tours that operate in this area. See Phoenix Boat Trips
- Tollie Red Kites take in a stunning location only 15miles north of Inverness, just a 25 minute you will discover the Tollie Red Kite center. You will enjoy fabulous views across to Ben Wyvis and you can see the beauty of the Red Kite. Red Kites are stunning birds of prey. This site is a partnership with the RSPB and Brahan Estate. Not only will you see the birds but you can watch them being fed! You may also be lucky and see Great Spotted Woodpecker, Ravens and Osprey who are often overhead as they breed nearby. There are always paper and crayons available for children to capture these graceful giants of the sky.
Places to See Wildlife An Hour From Inverness
- Highland Wildlife Park: If you are looking for a family friendly wildlife day out then make the 57 minute drive to the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie. The park made the headlines recently with the birth of Scotland’s first Polar Bear in 25 years. The charming wee cub is known as Hamish and would be a memorable highlight to your trip. Drive around the Main Reserve in your own car and then investigate the walk-round area on foot. The Wildlife Park has a wide and diverse range of animals. From native species such as the Capercaillie and Scottish Wildcat to those from further afield such as the Amur Tiger and Polar Bear. You can also stretch your legs and enjoy the Woodland walk. You will find the beautiful satyr tragopans, fierce some Scottish wildcats and the majestic Eurasian eagle owls. Keep your eyes peeled and you might be lucky enough to see a wild red squirrel at one of the feeding stations.
- Falls of Shin: You can watch salmon leaping from the dynamic waterfall. The Falls of Shin are spectacular in their own right, but the sight of leaping salmon makes them not to be missed. Falls of Shin is recognised as one of the best places worldwide to watch leaping Atlantic Salmon. The fish can be seen anytime between May and November, with the late summer months making this almost guaranteed. The centre features a café, gift shop, an exhibition and interpretation area and a super children’s play area. All in the surroundings of the on-site forest and of course the leaping salmon. The pavilion /restaurant is currently changing operator and will be re-opening soon. To keep an eye on when just click here or https://www.facebook.com/FallsofShin/ . The car park is open, so visitors can continue to visit the salmon leap viewpoint and enjoy the beautiful woodland walks at Achany adjacent to the car park.
- Loch Garten Osprey Centre at Abernethy is a bit of a drive about an hour away from the Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa. However if you like wildlife then it is well worth a visit. Abernethy is the RSPB’s second largest nature reserve and is highly protected by designations.The Osprey Centre has ospreys, red squirrels, siskins, crossbills, crested tits, woodpeckers, bank voles, common lizards, dragonflies and red and roe deer. Also tree pipits, spotted flycatchers, redstarts, grey wagtails and woodland flowers around the reserve. The track up to the centre is one of the best places on the reserve to see tooth fungi. The center is open daily from 1stApril and the first Sunday in September.
Stay With Us
Come & see the Highland’s, its natural habitat and amazing wildlife! The summer sunshine beckons make your escape! Book your getaway to the Highlands with a stay at the Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa. Book your Hot summer Mini Break or Summer Escape check out our Seasonal Specials. Make sure to dine and sip your favourite tipple in the NEW Brasserie and Bar. Enjoy free car parking, free Wi-Fi and don’t forget the lovely leisure club. Remember #bookdirect for your best offers. Call our reservations team on 01463 22 32 43 or email us at Palace. We look forward to welcoming you soon!