As nature-lovers continue to watch BBC2 programme Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart, also available on iPlayer, VisitScotland recommends some of the top experiences in the Highlands for fans of this spectacular series.
Viewing ospreys in Abernethy Forest
Viewers who fell in love with the nesting ospreys, whose hunting prowess was viewed over 13 million times online, can head to the family-friendly Osprey Centre at Loch Garten in Abernethy Forest to see more of these wonderful birds and learn about their lives close up. The centre provides unmatched views of these birds, while paths in this part of the reserve also offer the opportunity to spot red squirrels, dragonflies and crested tits.
Details: The Osprey Centre is open daily, 10 am–6 pm from April to end of August. Admission costs: adults £5, concession £3, under 16s £2, family (up to two adults and four children) £10.
Viewing dippers in the River Braan
Dippers can be viewed throughout the Highlands but to see the beautiful filming location selected by the BBC then visitors can make their way to the River Braan near Dunkeld. Visitors heading to The Hermitagecan enjoy woodland scenery, where it is said that the 3rd Duke of Atholl used a canon to scatter tree seeds to the more inaccessible parts of the landscape. Here visitors can take a walk to find dippers and enjoy the scenery, which also takes in the charming Ossian’s folly and Black Linn Falls.
Details: The Hermitage is open all year round and access is free of charge.
Red deer on Jura
The BBC show takes viewers to Jura, where it’s not only possible to see otters, seals and golden eagles but where the red deer outnumber people 30 to 1, making Jura ideal for red deer spotting. Large groups can often be seen together and Autumn rutting season visitors may hear the sound of the stag’s distinctive mating call echoing across the beautiful island landscape.
Details: Visitors can make their own way around by foot or bike, or alternatively, book a tour with Jura Island Tours. Jura Island Tours cost from as little as £15 per person.
Otters on Mull
Mull is home to the Eurasian Otter, which can be spotted in a variety of locations across the stunning island. Visitors can book one of the many established wildlife tours operating in the area to catch a glimpse of these elusive creatures. From Mull book a boat trip to look out for other local wildlife such as whales, dolphins and basking sharks or stay on the island and enjoy a day in the charming town of Tobermory.
Details: Tours are available all year round from a variety of operators, more information can be found here.
The Highland Games are a long established tradition and visitors who enjoyed a taste of them in the series can come join these community based events, which take place all across Scotland. Highland Games events are open to visitors from all around the world, showcasing Scotland’s cultural and sporting heritage in a number of fun and welcoming days out across the nation.
Upcoming highland games 2016:
Tuesday 23 August: Granton on Spey Highland Games, Highlands
Thursday 25 August: Argyllshire Gathering Oban Games, Oban
Thursday 25 August – Saturday 27 August: Cowal Highland Gathering, Dunoon
Saturday 27 August: Birnam Highland Games, Birnam, Perthshire
Sunday 4 September: Braemar Highland Gathering, Braemar, Aberdeenshire
As fans of the series will know there is no need to go all the way to Lapland to catch sight of a reindeer when the Cairngorms is home to a herd of free-ranging reindeer. Half-day reindeer treks are available at The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre for visitors wishing to get up close and personal to lead a reindeer across the stunning landscape.
Details: The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre is open from February half-term holidays right though the year until early January. Adults: £14, Concessions: £11, Children: £8 and Under 5s: free
Argaty Red Kites feeding station
A mere hour in the car from Edinburgh or Glasgow will get visitors to the shooting location of the Argaty red kites, a feeding station for these magnificent birds, which remains open to the public all year round. Live CCTV links to red kite nests in summer and to the feeding site in winter; this can be viewed in the visitor centre where visitors can learn more about the birds. Visitors to Argaty might also catch a glimpse of red squirrels and roe deer, as well as enjoy the beautiful wild flower meadows in summer.
Details: The red kite feeding station is open all year round. Admission is from £6 for adults and £3 for children (ranger-led visit to the hide).
Bottlenose dolphins in Spey Bay
Lovers of the famously intelligent and friendly bottlenose dolphins featured in the series can follow in the footsteps of the BBC crew and visit the Scottish Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay. Located on the edge of a nature reserve this is one of the locations of the final episode in Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart.
Enjoy a Wildlife Wander to spot local wildlife or watch the dolphin cam to see the latest dolphin activity from the comfort of the visitor centre’s interactive exhibition.
Details: The Scottish Dolphin Centre is open 7 days a week and Wildlife Wanders run from April – October. Admission to the centre is free of charge.
For further information contact:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 0131 4722043