Scenery and Wildlife

Aberdeenshire has one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in Scotland from its lush forests and woodlands to its sandy beaches and magnificent mountains and is home to a range of outdoor activities to suit even the most adventurous and remarkable array of wildlife. 

The Cairngorms National Park, the largest in the UK, is an outstandingly beautiful expanse of rugged moorland, lush forests of Scots pine and majestic mountains which can be scaled and explored on foot or by bike. The National Park is home to a myriad of rare creatures including the golden eagle, osprey, dotterel, Scottish crossbill, pine marten, red deer and badger are just a few of the species you can spot here.

The region has a number of beautiful nature reserves where many rare birds and animals thrive. At Glen Tanar, south west of Aboyne, is one of the last remaining remnants of Scotland's ancient Caledonian pine forest. Black grouse, goshawk and the elusive capercaillie all breed there and red squirrels are a common sight.

A unique mosaic of wetland, birch woodland and heather-clad moor, the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve is a haven for wintering wildfowl including whooper swans, goldeneye, wigeon. On occasions, ospreys can also be glimpsed fishing on the lochs.

The varied habitat and windswept sand dunes of the Forvie National Nature Reserve, situated in the Ythan estuary, also supports a diverse array of flora and fauna including grey seals, nesting eider ducks, terns and oystercatchers.

The cascading Falls of Feugh are one of the region's best natural salmon leaps. Scotland's only mainland gannet colony can be seen at Troup Head; these spectacular cliffs are also home to thousands of kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills, along with several other species, including puffins.

The region's dramatic coastline, particularly the northerly Banffshire Coast, is an ideal place to look for dolphins, seals, porpoises and occasionally even a whale.


Last update: 6 February 2014