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Scotland's Water Wellness Experiences Rank Top

Thu 21 Oct 21

Scotland has ranked top in the UK for water wildlife experiences, a survey has revealed. 

VisitScotland are encouraging visitors to take a walk on the wild side during the Autumn and discover the incredible coasts and waters Scotland’s wildlife call home. 

YouGov* research has been commissioned, as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, which found that two thirds of UK adults think Scotland is the best part of the UK for exploring rivers (60 per cent), opportunities to see dolphins and whales (34 per cent) and watching coastal wildlife (32 per cent). 

The survey showed that the most popular activity for UK adults on holiday in Scotland to help them relax and unwind, would be walking along a deserted beach (63%).  

And previous VisitScotland research has shown that day trips that include watching wildlife/ bird watching generated a collective spend of £54 million. 


Bass Rock


As the season changes, there are plenty of places for people to learn about the many creatures living in and around our coasts and waters and how to enjoy nature in a responsible way.  

For more water wildlife watching options visit:

Other recent findings by VisitScotland showed that wanting to connect with nature/the outdoors was chosen by over 50 per cent of visitors as the reason they travelled to Scotland as restrictions eased last year. 

Autumn brings a new dimension to the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and it’s a brilliant time to get out wildlife spotting as the scenery changes. Scotland’s coastline is stunning, brimming with spectacular wildlife, full of golden sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, and lots of history and heritage. 

It is where families have holidayed for generations and there’s no better place to spend the Autumn than at our coasts, seaside towns and villages, lochs, rivers and more.

In the wake of COVID-19, there will be a focus on improving our well-being and taking time to appreciate the wealth of wildlife around us is a great way to do this.

Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland Senior Tourism Insight Manager

Scotland has some of the most amazing habitats and landscapes that support a wide variety of plants, insects, animals and birds.

It is well known that being out in nature brings great benefits for the mental and physical health of us all, which is why it is so important that we can get out and enjoy Scotland’s green spaces, coasts and waters.

But it is equally important that in doing so we don’t ruin our green spaces, coasts and waters both for others who want to enjoy them and also for the wildlife that lives there.

Accessing nature in a responsible way, by leaving no trace and following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, means that we can protect Scotland’s unique nature for future generations.

Anna Pugh, RSPB Visitor Experience and Marketing Manager

For more inspiration visit VisitScotland's themed years pages.

For information on how to enjoy wildlife watching responsibly check out the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code.

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