The best places in the UK to see seals, puffins, dolphins and more incredible wildlife

5 August 2021, 17:55

The UK has some incredible wildlife, and it's so easy to see!
The UK has some incredible wildlife, and it's so easy to see! Picture: Alamy
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

From the Scottish Highlands to Devon, these wildlife hotspots make the perfect place for a truly unforgettable staycation...

Summer is finally here and there's never been a better time to book a last minute staycation!

If you're a nature lover you'll be pleased to learn that there are so many incredible animals right here in the UK - and they might be nearer to home than you think.

The team at Holiday Cottages compiled the top five places to spot Britain’s most impressive wildlife such as dolphins, whales, and even turtles!      

If you do go off on an adventure in the UK and come face to face with an awe inspiring wild animal, make sure to respect their space, don't litter their habitat, and always keep a safe distance from them.

Highlands

Scotland is famous for its magnificent stags, but there's more to see
Scotland is famous for its magnificent stags, but there's more to see. Picture: Alamy

There are wild deer, sheep and cows in the Scottish wilderness - and the endangered and rarely seen Scottish Wildcat - but there is even more gorgeous wildlife to be found off the coast.

Well known for its beautiful scenery and stunning oceans, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful wildlife experience at Moray Firth in the Highlands. 

When visiting, there’s a chance that you could spot dolphins, minke whales (they make quite the splash when breaching the water), and seals!

(Oh, and we can't forget the Loch Ness Monster!)

Northumberland 

The Farne Islands in Northumberland are home to seals and a huge puffin colony
The Farne Islands in Northumberland are home to seals and a huge puffin colony. Picture: Alamy

Northumberland has so much more to offer than castles and incredible landscapes, it is also home to some of the UK'smost impressive wildlife.

The Farne Islands, located off the wild Northumberland coast, are an exceptional place to spot all sorts of wildlife. You can watch seals having fun on the shore and dolphin spot to your heart’s content!

They are also one of the best puffin locations in the whole of Britain.

There are around 40,000 nesting pairs in the Farne Islands' puffin colony and the best time to visit is the summer months when they return to the islands to breed.

Getting to see the beautiful birds is an adventure in itself! To avoid disturbing them, a boat will take you to the islands and keep you a safe distance away. 

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Badgers are found across the UK but their habitat is under threat from humans
Badgers are found across the UK but their habitat is under threat from humans. Picture: Alamy

Cornwall 

The Scilly Isles are great for dolphin watching
The Scilly Isles are great for dolphin watching. Picture: Alamy

Cornwall is a popular holiday destination, but some amazing wildlife call it home. 

The Isles of Scilly is a great location to stop by; the island homes a range of different wildlife animals including seals, whales, sharks, and puffins and if you’re lucky you might just see them all!

Although the Isles of Scilly have a lot to offer when it comes to wildlife if you’d like to see dolphins, Porthgwarra is the location for you whilst Penzance is the hot spot for catching a rare glimpse of leatherback turtles – yes that’s right, turtles in the UK!

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Devon 

There are wild ponies on Dartmoor - and more wild animals live off the coast
There are wild ponies on Dartmoor - and more wild animals live off the coast. Picture: Alamy

Devon is home to dolphins, puffins and seals so there’s something for all the family to see. If you’re wanting to see dolphins, you should visit Labrador Bay, whereas Lundy is the place to be if you are looking to spot puffins and seals.

Inland, ponies roam Dartmoor and Exmoor, which is also home to beautiful butterflies, red deer and otters.

Hedgehogs are native to Britain but under threat of extinction
Hedgehogs are native to Britain but under threat of extinction. Picture: Alamy

Pembrokeshire 

Puffins live on Skomer Island, which is off of the coast of Wales
Puffins live on Skomer Island, which is off of the coast of Wales. Picture: Alamy

Pembrokeshire is famous for its Welsh coastline and its stunning attractions, and it is a fantastic destination for a staycation.

If you decide to take a trip out to Skomer Island, you may even catch a glimpse of a seal splashing around or a puffin picking up some fish with its brightly coloured beak.

Wales is home to some other fantastic animals, there are five native deer species; red, fallow, muntjac, roe and sika.

There are also can also badgers, foxes, hares, hedgehogs, pine martens, otters, rabbits, stoats, weasels, red squirrels, and thirteen species of bat!