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    Wildlife Adventures

    Winter Wildlife

    17 reviews

    Next Trip: 23rd - 27th Feb 2025 Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights

    From: £1,195 View Prices & Dates

    Travel Planning & Advice

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    Trip created by Rachael Gavan
    View Rachael's Profile

    Region: Cairngorms and Central Highlands
    Trip Type: Wildlife
    Accommodation: Classic
    Max Group Size: 8
    Confirmed: When 2 Travellers Book
    Deposit From: £314


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    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

    Download Itinerary

    There’s nothing quite like the mystique of winter in Scotland. Join us for a journey deep into the heart of the Highlands, exploring some of Scotland’s richest winter habitats, including the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest and hills of the Cairngorms National Park, which are home to some of the UK’s most elusive wildlife.

    From snow-capped mountains to enchanting forests, frozen lochs and dark night skies, you’ll set out each day on foot to explore a variety of different habitats and learn more about the Highland wildlife and their ability to endure during the harsh winter conditions. Exploring with your expert guide, they will help you spot tracks, identify different species and interpret fascinating wildlife behaviours.

    Discover how these vast areas of wilderness are managed and learn about the extensive re-wilding programmes that are in place intending to restore a greater natural balance to the ecosystems. Return to your handpicked accommodation each evening, where you’ll receive a warm welcome and a hearty meal.

    Trip Highlights

    • Explore a variety of habitats where you'll spot incredible Scottish wildlife.
    • Enjoy wonderfully scenic walking in the UK's largest National Park.
    • Learn about the different species of wildlife and how they cope with the Scottish winter.
    • Make the most of the dark sky where you can stargaze away from light pollution.
    • Relax in cosy Highland accommodation.

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 - Wonders of the Wetlands

    Meet your guide in the town of Kingussie this morning and kick off your adventure by exploring the Insh Marshes Nature Reserve. One of the largest wetlands in the UK, this diverse ecosystem provides a home to many species of birdlife throughout the seasons, including the arrival of winter migrants such as whooper swans and greylag geese, as well as wintering ducks like wigeon and tufted ducks. As you explore on foot, your knowledgeable guide will point out various species and distinguish between their fascinating calls. Later this afternoon, you’ll settle into your cosy accommodation, your home in the Highlands, for the duration of your trip. (L, D)

    Day 2 - The Caledonian Pine Forest

    Stretching from the River Nethy to the top of Ben Macdui, high on the Cairngorm plateau, the Abernethy National Nature Reserve is one of the largest natural habitats in Scotland. It encompasses the largest remnants of Caledonian pine forest, sweeping moors, wetlands, and of course, the iconic Cairngorm mountains range with its arctic-like plateau. The reserve is home to a host of specialist pinewood as well as many native upland plants and animals. We’ll venture deep into the Caledonian Pine Forest, where we will look for red squirrels, birds of prey and forest birds. Keep an eye out for signs for the pine marten and the rare capercaillie. Red deer are also common here, so tread lightly as an encounter with one of these majestic animals is truly unforgettable. As you walk with your guide, you’ll learn about the ongoing land management and rewilding projects in the Cairngorms National Park and across Scotland. (B, L)

    Day 3 - Coastlines and Constellations

    Stepping away from the Cairngorms National Park today, we head north to Findhorn Bay – a large tidal lagoon that provides shelter for various wildlife throughout the seasons. As we explore the sweeping sands that skirt the coastline, you’ll see waders like oystercatchers, curlew, and golden plovers dart across the wet sand through the shallows. Other species here include wildfowl such as pintail, teal and goldeneye. Keep your eyes on the water as well as you may spot a bobbing head of a seal. The area is also home to wintering pink-footed geese – catching the sounds and sight of their flights in and out of the bay is a special experience on a cool winter day. We’ll enjoy an earlier dinner this evening before wrapping up warm and heading out for a short evening walk. We’ll admire the countless stars this area of dark sky affords us while looking out for owls and other nocturnal creatures. You may even catch a glimpse of the elusive northern lights if you’re lucky enough. (B, L)

    Day 4 - Cairngorm Mountains

    High in the hills of the Cairngorms National Park, you’ll find some of the UK’s most resilient wildlife, including the mountain hare and snow bunting, and species of ground-nesting birds like the ptarmigan which are unique to this area. We’re able to drive to 600m elevation, so are high in the mountains from the start of our walk. We’ll keep an eye out for snow bunting nesting in the northern corries and listen for the distinct call of the ptarmigan travelling through the crisp mountain air. You may also spot red deer as well as the free-roaming reindeer – this area is home to the UK’s only herd. Returning to your accommodation, we’ll enjoy our final evening meal together and reflect on the many different plants and animals we’ve seen so far. (B, L, D)

    Day 5 - The Water of Life

    After a hearty Scottish breakfast this morning, you’ll step out to explore one final wintery habitat. Enjoy a local walk along the bank of the River Spey, not too far from its source. You’ll look for signs of the winter inhabitants, such as the otter, whose dense fur allows it to stay warm in the cold winter months. We may spy a grey heron fishing in the currents. As we walk, you’ll learn the river’s importance for salmon and other fish – and its crucial role in producing some of Scotland’s finest whiskies. After the walk, we will transfer you to the railway station again, where we’ll say goodbye, and you will start your journey home, leaving the wintery Highlands behind you. (B)

    Wildlife Adventures
    Winter Wildlife

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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    Trip Dates & Prices

    All payments taken in local currency GBP

    Trip Dates for 2025AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    23rd Feb - 27th Feb 20258 places leftAvailable £1,195Book Now
    9th Mar - 13th Mar 20258 places leftAvailable £1,195Book Now
    23rd Mar - 27th Mar 20258 places leftAvailable £1,195Book Now

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    Throughout this trip, we will be based in a small guest house located in the Cairngorms National Park which offers double and twin rooms with en-suite facilities and a relaxing lounge area. Each evening, a variety of local produce will be served up in hearty meals, and of course, any special dietary requirements are happily catered for, just let us know at the time of booking.

    Single Rooms

    There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you request a double room for single occupancy, a supplement of £250.00 is charged.

    Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

    Meals Read More

    Meals included on this trip are breakfast and lunch each guided day, with evening meals included on day one and day four. Included dinners are two courses as standard.

    On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group, however, if you would like to make alternative arrangements, you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 4 nights accommodation in handpicked accommodation
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide/driver throughout
    • All transport throughout the trip, starting from the train station in Kingussie on Day 1 and finishing there on the last day.
    Trip Grading Read More

    Green Graded 1-3

    Green graded walking holidays are suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails, but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km, but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    All transport and travel are included in your trip from your meeting point at Kingussie Train Station at 11.30am on day 1 to your final day when you are dropped back to the station for 12.30pm.

    If you would like to use your own vehicle on the trip please get in touch with our team to discuss.

    Photo Gallery

    Make This Trip Private

    Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.

    Speak to an Expert

    Bridget Brown

    Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Scotland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

    Ask Bridget a Question

    Meet Your Guide

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Green Graded Wildlife Holidays 1-3
    All of our wildlife trips are graded Green and involve straightforward hiking with no major ascents, as well as other activities which are pitched at novice level. You can expect to be active for around 5 hours each day so you will need a reasonable level of fitness. Please note that there may be some early starts and late nights as we seek to maximise our chances of finding wildlife, although you can always opt out of activities if you prefer an early night or long lie in the morning!

    So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this kind of trip, ask yourself:

    1. Are you generally active and, for example, happy to hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places?
    2. Are you up for a challenge and trying new activities such as sea kayaking or boat trips?
    3. Are you looking for a wildlife trip which involves more than simply sitting in a hide?

    Compare wildlife trip grades

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 17 reviews of Wildlife Adventures – Winter Wildlife



    Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

    That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.


    Carl Broomhead

    Reviewed on 25/03/2024

    Age: 50 - 60
    Country: United Kingdom
    Trip Date: 07/03/2024
    Trips Taken: 11

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Another lovely trip, you cannot underestimate how good it is to have a guide who not only loves his job but excels at it as well. That was Joe. Roll on the next trip!


    Deborah Robson

    Reviewed on 15/03/2024

    Age: 50 - 60
    Country: United Kingdom
    Trip Date: 07/03/2024
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Very well organised trip, excellent accommodation with great guide and a relaxed walking pace. We spent time in a variety of different landscapes, all very beautiful in different ways. We didn't see as much wildlife generally as I'd hoped for but I did learn a lot about conservation, rewilding, the problems faced by the wildlife in the areas we visited and the positive interventions that are taking place. The evening encounter with a mountain hare was a very magical experience and definitely the highlight of the trip for me.


    Eliza Romm

    Reviewed on 29/02/2024

    Age: 40 - 50
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 22/02/2024
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

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