You don't have to travel far to see amazing wildlife. These locations around the UK have everything a nature lover needs...
Summer is rapidly approaching, and with it the desire to get back into nature and explore. The United Kingdom boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and if that isn't enough, these locations happen to be home to a rich diversity of wildlife and habitats.
You might be surprised to discover that you don't need to travel far beyond the Great British countryside and coastline to get closer than you might imagine to some truly spectacular wildlife. These are 8 of the best locations across the UK to release your inner explorer...
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
Quacking photo of one of #cairngormsnationalpark great beaches! Yes - we have quite a few!
Une photo publiée par Cairngorms National Park (@thecairngorms) le
As Britain's biggest national park, the Cairngorms National Park is home to an incredible variety of wildlife. From mountains to forests, moorlands to rivers, this park has it all. Its diversity also means you're guaranteed to spot some amazing animals - especially as a quarter of the UK's threatened species live here. Red squirrels, wildcats and golden eagles all await you at this stunning Scottish site.
Exmoor ponies on Woolacombe Down 1 of 2 ?? @joshuahaywardday #devondigitalimaging #exmoorpony #sunset
Une photo publiée par Devon Digital Imaging (@devondigitalimaging) le
Exmoor is famous for its wild ponies, which is already pretty exciting, but did you know that there is an abundance of other wildlife to see on this stunning moorland? Cuckoos, barn owls, kestrels and red kites all call this their home. Exmoor also boasts some of the darkest skies in the country, making it a fantastic place for stargazing.
Cardigan Bay, Wales
Birthday bottlenose! My first Welsh dolphins ????
Une photo publiée par Gaia (@gaia_lou) le
You don't have to travel far to spot dolphins in the wild. In Cardigan Bay you'll find the UK's biggest pod of dolphins who are regularly sighted in the bay. But that's not the only good news, there's a god chance you might also see some seals, and in the summer months you may even spot basking sharks or the occasional orca.
The Isle of May is currently celebrating 60 years as a national nature reserve. It's home to a great range of wildlife, especially sea birds. It's the middle of breeding season at the moment which is when the best bird watching can be done. Keep your eyes peeled for puffins and guillemots and even occasionally whales.
Une photo publiée par Samantha Wilson (@samanthywils) le
This beautiful nature reserve was opened by Sir David Attenborough over 40 years ago - so you know it's got to be worth a visit! Lakes, wetland, grassland and scrub are the surroundings for the great local wildlife. You can even observe the reserve in one of the many hides which offer great views without disturbing the birds around you.
London Wetland Centre
Une photo publiée par Anastasia S (@bittersong) le
Just 10 minutes from Hammersmith, the London Wetland Centre is an urban oasis for wildlife and people. The impressive nature-spotting opportunities make you feel a world away from the capital. A popular spot for bird-watchers, this season is the best time to spot house martins, swifts and little ducklings.
Water of Leith, Edinburgh
Happy Saturday! Went on a morning run and saw this beauty of a view. Edinburgh always manages to take my breath away. #Edinburgh #DeansVillage #WaterofLeith #architecture
Une photo publiée par @edinburgh_lothians le
Located in Edinburgh, this Urban Wildlife Site provides calming respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take a walk along the river to take in some of the site's 80 species of birds and you may even be lucky enough to spot an otter or two.
Kielder Forest, Northumberland
Une photo publiée par @izzyeyre le
Kielder Forest is England's largest forest and an environment that provides a haven for some of the country's rarest wildlife. Known as the Kielder Super Six, the forest is home to ospreys, red squirrels, pipistrelle bats, roe deer, salmon and otters. You can also visit the Birds of Prey Centre to see flying demonstrations with owls, falcons, eagles and hawks.