NE Scotland is home to the UK's largest National Park, Cairngorms National Park set in the Grampian Mountains. The area really has the best of both environments and worlds as you can escape into the wilderness of the mountains or relax along the stunning coastline.
Step quietly and you may encounter the wildlife for yourself. Otters, pine martens and even wildcats prowl this diverse landscape, which is also home to the endangered red squirrel. Once widespread throughout the UK, their numbers have been steadily declining so Royal Deeside is one of the last places where they can be seen frequently.
Rutting stags can be heard as they clash antlers on higher ground. In October, the hills reverberate with the roars, as they vie to maintain their herds of females.
Red Deer near Braemar - Video from Braemar Media
The higher mountains are home to species such as dotterel, ptarmigan and you may also spot a mountain hare. While the lower moorland supports capercaille, which are huge woodland grouse, hen harriers, golden plover and short-eared owls. If you’re very lucky you might catch a tune or two from the Scottish crossbill, a bird that is only found in Scots pine forests of the Scottish Highlands.
Wildlife at the Muir of Dinnet - Scotlands National Nature Reserves
Scan the skyline and you may see a golden eagle, especially around Loch Muick, while Osprey, swoop for prey along the River Dee.
The Rivers are known for the fishing.
Spey, Dee and Don
Winter Salmon Run - Video from Gary Masson
Much of this wildlife can be seen in its natural habitat on the numerous estates, which are dotted across the landscape.
So pull on your walking shoes, grab your coat and get out there. The Great Outdoors of NE Scotland is just waiting to be discovered!
You can find out more about the North East of Scotland from the following tourism destinations and organisations.
- Visit Scotland
- Visit Cairngorms
- Visit Aberdeenshire
- Moray Speyside Tourism
- Visit Braemar
- Visit Ballater
- Snow Roads
- North East 250
- Visit Angus