Scotland's Marine Life
Scotland’s coastlines are a treasure for those interested in whale watching, dolphin watching as well as scuba diving! Beneath the waves lie rocky reefs covered in soft corals, sea fans, sponges, shallow beds of delicate maerl, sea grass and horsemussel; all of which provide a safe habitat for young fish. There are some big fish (and mammals) in our waters too! From Bottlenose Dolphins and Basking Sharks (the world’s second largest fish), there’s also the chance of spotting an Orca Whale (Killer Whale), a Humpback Whale as well as the Minke Whale. There is a plethora of wildlife both big and small that roams around Scotland’s coastlines. For a chance to see them you can take boat tours or you could hire your own boat! Sea kayaks in particular can let you get as close and as intimate as you want with these animals. The options are limitless and the variety of what you can see is endless!
Marine Life Boat Tours
Sealife Adventures is one of the tours which you can go on to see some of Scotland’s varied marine life as well as stunning coastal sites. They operate whale and wildlife watching boat trips from their pontoon near Oban on the west coast of Scotland, overlooking Mull, they are based in one of Scotland’s most visited tourist spots. Oban has its own distillery as well as providing other great transport links along Scotland’s west coast. All cruises from Sealife Adventures also allow customers to see the stunning Corryvreckan whirlpool, the world’s third largest whirlpool and a stunning aquatic wonder! Furthermore the area is perfect for those looking to spot some porpoise, minke whales, dolphins, basking sharks, otters and seals. Bird watching highlights also include sea eagles, golden eagles, puffins and a whole range of other seabirds. Sealife Adventures run tours from 3 to 5 hours, all ages are welcomed. For further information on pricing and times visit their site here!
Heading further north towards the Hebrides on Scotland’s North West coast you’ll find Hebridean Whale Cruises based at Gairloch. Their base of operations overlooks fringes of the North Atlantic and on the horizon you’ll be able to make out the misty shapes of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. If you look towards your south you’ll also be able to see the impressive and rugged peaks of Skye. These stunning northern waters are flavoured with an abundance of marine wildlife. Offering to take you as close to action as possible, from one of their whale cruises you’ll be able to not only catch a glimpse of some of Scotland’s native whale population but you’ll also be able to see dolphins, porpoises and sharks. On the shoreline there is also the chance to see colonies of seals and families of otters as well as rare bird species such as the Puffin or White Tailed Eagle. They have two boats in Gairloch and operate daily whale and wildlife cruises – Offshore, to whale and dolphin feeding grounds in the open waters of the North Minch; and Inshore, around Loch Gairloch, a natural wildlife haven. You can have the fun and adventure of Orca 1, their open RHIB, speeding you quickly and safely to offshore destinations; or the comfort and stability of the M.V. Kerry, their classic offshore cruiser. Hebridean Whale Cruises can take you on a unique trip to the remote and fascinating Shiant Islands. They offer specialist cruises for those interested in the birds of the sea. They cater for all – from families and parties to individual travellers. Being based in Gairloch, which is one of many settlements around the North Coast 500 route, makes it easily accessible for those already on the route. A perfect day out on your journey around the NC500? We think so! For more information on prices and operating times please visit their website here!
If you’re the kind of person who is not content with just merely being a passenger then Scotland also offers many spots for sea kayaking. Please check below for our list of top spots!
- Vatersay to Mingulay
- The Sound of Arisaig
- Luskentyre to Taransay
- Applecross to the Crowlin Islands (NC500)
- The Summer Isles (NC500)