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Spotting bottlenose dolphins in Scotland

Date published: 10/11/2022

Where and when to spot dolphins in Scotland

Scotland is a magical holiday destination for wildlife lovers. Exploring our magnificent Highland landscapes, you’ll find a wide variety of animals in the skies, on the land and in the waters. Ospreysotterssalmon, kingfisherspine martens, squirrelsdeer and golden eagles, to name just a few. But did you know the Scottish Highlands was also a prime location for spotting bottlenose dolphins? Just a 40-minute drive from our log cabin village, you’ll find one of the best places in the UK to view dolphins from the shore.

Bottlenose dolphins at Chanonry Point

Chanonry Point is a narrow spit of land, which juts out into the Moray Firth. There are around 200 dolphins in the Moray Firth and it’s possible to get a close-up view of them from the shore, as they come to feed and play. You may also see porpoises, seals and otters from there.

You’ll find Chanonry Point on the Black Isle, between Fortrose and Rosemarkie. This is 30 miles to the northeast of Eagle Brae, around 40 minutes drive. There is limited car parking by the lighthouse at Chanonry Point. Or you can park at nearby Fortrose and walk from there, which takes around 30 minutes.

Chanonry Lighthouse on the Black Isle
Chanonry Point is a famous dolphin-watching spot in Scotland

The best time to see dolphins

Although it’s possible to spot dolphins in Scotland all year round, the best chances are when there is a good supply of fish in the waters. At Chanonry Point, the best time of year is from May to August, when the salmon and sea trout are passing through the Moray Firth on their way back to the rivers Beauly and Ness. The best time of day varies, depending on the tides. The fish come in with the tides, and the dolphins follow. So, check the tide times in advance and plan to visit on the rising tide, a few hours before high tide.

Two dolphins leaping, viewed from Chanonry Point
Watch dolphins leap from the waters of the Moray Firth at Chanonry Point

Find out more about the amazing wildlife you may encounter during a log cabin break at Eagle Brae, with our latest blogs. You can choose your log cabin here (every one is different!), before booking a magical stay, surrounded by nature.

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