Dolphins have long been amongst the most beloved of all animal stars with documentaries, television programmes and films all focusing on these intelligent, friendly, playful creatures and enchanting people of all ages. So much so, that a BBC poll of the public’s top 50 ultimate ‘things to do’ wish list placed swimming with dolphins in the number one spot.
The best way to enjoy these fascinating creatures has to be through seeing them in the wild. Ecotourism has taken the world by storm, more than trebling in the last 20 years and one of the top countries for dolphin spotting is definitely Scotland.
Marine research expeditions off the west coast of Scotland recorded record numbers of dolphins last year with over 2,300 common dolphins being sighted. Visitors can get involved both by spotting them from the shore or by taking one of the many Seafari boat trips that are offered from locations including Gairloch, Oban and Crinan.
Scotland’s east coast is also enjoying a dolphin and porpoise boom with sightings occurring from the Fife coastal path south-east of St Andrews to South Queensferry and of course on the highly dolphin populated Moray coast where Chanory Point is regarded as the best location to dolphin spot from the land.
If getting up close to these beautiful animals is something you’d like to experience, we can offer ideal places to stay. The best time to spot dolphins in Scotland is from April to September so now is the perfect time to book a gorgeous holiday cottage as a base for your next ecoadventure.
We have dozens of cottages ideally situated for sealife spotting but have a selected a few that are in particularly prime locations.
The First Officers Quarters forms part of Rua Reidh Lighthouse near Gairloch on the West Coast. Built in 1910 by David Alan Steveson it has a truly spectacular location and this ground floor apartment within the lighthouse has been modernised to create a cosy and comfortable holiday home for up to five guests.
There are views from the property to the Isle of Skye, the Shiant Isles and the Western Isles, cliff top walks and beaches to explore and fantastic wildlife spotting opportunities with whales, dolphins, otters and eagles all regularly seen from the lighthouse wall. A stay in the First Officers Quarters is just £365 for 7 nights – it has three bedrooms and pets are welcomed.
Also enjoying an enviable location is Mallard Cottage in Tayvallich. Sleeping up to 5 adults this stylish cottage features panoramic views of the marina with a stunning galleried landing and an open plan double height living/dining and kitchen area. Priced from £495 to £795 for week long stays it is just a short drive from Crinan harbour where boat trips are offered for wildlife watching and out to the dramatic Corryvreckan whirlpool.
Alternative options on the east coast include The Old School House that is very close to Chanonry Point) and Cherry Cottage. The Old School House sleeps 8 people in four bedrooms and also welcomes pets. Priced from £550 a week it is set in a secluded location in Rosemarkie in the Black Isle, just 5 minutes from the beach. For a couple, picture perfect Cherry Cottage offers a fabulous romantic retreat and is the ideal place for dolphin spotting with views of the Moray Firth from the garden. The cottage is located near Ardersier by Inverness and costs from £295 to £495 per week.
Peruse our range of cottages or call 01835 822277 and speak to our friendly booking team who will help you choose the perfect accommodation for your Scottish dolphin spotting experience.