About Time: Discover the Top Wildlife Destinations in the UKBy Angelica Malin
UK never fails to surprise you, and when it comes to wildlife, it is almost as impressive as wildlife in other parts of the world. While there are plenty of locations across the world to enjoy wildlife, there are few spots like in the UK where one can explore not just some great wildlife species, but also take great wildlife and nature photographs.
You can explore whatever takes your fancy when you take those exclusive Naturetrek wildlife holidays in the UK. After all, there is so much diversity in wildlife and picturesque treasures to be explored in the UK.
The Isle of Mull
The Isle of Mull is loaded with wildlife adventure, and it is probably the best place in Britain to observe Otters. It is one of the most picturesque Hebridean Islands and the best place to spot Otters. Killer Whales and the Humpback Whale can be seen around the Western Headlands. The impressive land animal, Red Deer, is widespread on the island while small herds of Fallow Deer can be spotted on Knock and Lochbuie. The Isle of Mull is the best place to watch White-tailed and Golden Eagles. There are vast amounts of woodland birds like Warblers and Songbirds, Seals, Seabirds and Ducks and this is why bird watching is a popular hobby.
Aigas Centre in the Scottish Highlands boasts of vast grounds where one can easily spot badgers, beavers, red squirrels, roe deer, and pine martens. You can make special trips to see otters, golden, bottlenose dolphins and sea eagles. Highlands of Scotland indeed a magnet for wildlife-watchers and boasts of impressive flora and fauna. Moreover, there are huge estates where you can hunt red grouse, red deer, and pheasant. It is a remarkable area to see remarkable nature and wildlife.
The coast of Northumberland
The mile of long sandy beaches of the coast of Northumberland is photogenic and delight for wildlife photographers. They get the chance to photograph the broad vistas with outstanding natural beauty and the region’s rich wildlife brimming with animal species. You can spot seabird colonies as well as badgers and red squirrels in woodlands. You can see hundreds of grey seals basking on the rocks. Northumberland’s rivers are home to sea trout, otters, salmon, and rare plants.
Expert birders highly recommend Cornwall for sighting peregrine falcon. Just follow the coastal path between Polzeath and Crackington Haven and look towards the fortress cliffs of Cornwall’s Atlantic coast to spot the peregrines. It is indeed a unique experience to see the majestic free flight of these birds of prey. You can visit the Blue Reef Aquarium that boasts of a stunning collection of marine displays. Spot native UK species like Otters, Owls, Cornish Chough, and Red Squirrels in the Paradise Park.
The Pembrokeshire Coast
The landscape of Pembrokeshire is still untouched by the intensities of modern living and boasts of exciting seasonal wildlife during early summer. It is indeed a perfect home for many native species such as skylarks, choughs and the stonechat, bats and many bird species. You can also spot Atlantic grey seals, dolphins and porpoises along with wildflowers. Every year a wide range of creatures return on the shores of Pembrokeshire such as blue sharks, sunfish, basking sharks, jellyfish, turtles and Risso’s dolphins.
Cardigan Bay Area
Cardigan Bay has been designated to guard a variety of important species and habitats. The spectacular Cardigan Bay area boasts of several species like porpoises, seals, bottlenose dolphins. Take boat trips to spot basking sharks as well as sunfish. The conservation area has been chosen to protect species like Atlantic grey seals, Bottlenose dolphins, River lampreys, Reefs and Sea lampreys.
The Somerset Levels
The ancient moors and wetland of the Somerset Levels are abundant in nature and history. The most extensive wetlands in England offer a spectacular winter congregation of Starlings and boast of an impressive birdwatching break. The dramatic landscape characterized by flat meadows and low hills is significant for wildlife. The nature-rich wetland landscape is thriving with wildlife that is made of snipe, dragonflies, lapwings, and flowers. Enjoy the possibility of spotting Birds of prey, Lapwings, wintering wildfowl and Golden Plovers.
Abernethy National Nature Reserve is one of the inspiring reserves that includes one of the largest leftovers of Caledonian pinewood, wetlands, moorland, and mountains. The Nature Reserve is home to a host of upland plants, animals and specialist pinewood. The forest offers you the chance to spot the more elusive Red Squirrels, that is limited to a few locations in the UK. You will have to sit still and quiet for a long time to win the trust of these curious squirrels.
The wetlands of Norfolk
Norfolk is the county’s premier spot for a wildlife holiday and is a perfect spot for those looking for a birdwatching weekend. Explore the rich marine life and the spectacular seabird colonies that accommodate millions of seabirds. Spot species like Guillemots, Razorbills, Manx Shearwaters, and Puffins galore and it is common to see dolphins and porpoises. Apart from that, there is an impressive variety of orchids, dragonflies, and butterflies. Norfolk nature experience with fields full of gardens and poppies, seal colonies, and wonderful walks in the woods indeed make it unique and special.
The Peak District
What makes Peak District unique is the mix of upland moorland and limestone dales. One of the first national parks of UK, the Peak District is home to a wide array of species and is indeed a unique place where you can spot some of the finest wildlife of England. The vast areas of the semi-natural habitat support an impressive variety of species. Spot wildlife like red deer, mountain hare and flighty red grouse in the Peak District.
The ancient woodland and rolling farmland of Hampshire Downs plus those clear spring waters of the rivers indeed make the wildlife experience special. Explore the habitats of Hampshire and the deep valleys in the wet woodlands and those nature trails will take you through the coppice and woods carpeted with bluebells. The varied landscape creates diverse habitats for a delightful array of wildlife. Spot birds like the little grebe and mute swan nesting along the river. There is a vast variety of plant species as well as butterflies.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust is a wonderful reserve that is best known for its kingfishers. The shimmering kingfisher is a magnet for every avid wildlife photographer. The lakes attract species like small falcons, barn owls, and early morning stoats. One needs great patience and an excellent camera to film the Kingfishers, and you need a fast shutter speed to freeze their flight. If you are here for the purpose of photography, avoid weekends when the location can be crowded and noisy.