Self-catering cottages and holiday accommodation for bird watchers in the Highlands and Islands of north west Scotland

The west coast of Scotland and the Highlands have always been popular places with  tourists and bird watchers.  The hill walkers come to bag Munros (the high hills) and sightseers to explore the lovely coastal towns and villages and picturesque lochs. The shrieking cry of gulls is always present on the coast; the cliffs and outlying rocks providing safe ledges for thousands of birds to nest.  Find a place to stay in country cottages in the Highlands for a self catering break with bird watching.

holiday cottages west scotland

You cannot fail but spot birds everywhere you visit in north west Scotland but the main nature reserves are as follows:

Balranald  in North Uist - the Western Isles.  Large numbers of waterfowl breed in this sand, lagoon and marsh nature reserve.  You may see dunlin, redshanks, ringed plovers, terns, oystercatchers, snipe, gadwall, shoveler, red-breasted mergansers, tufted duck,. shelduck and eider. Most visitors come to view corncrakes although they can also be found on the isles of Mull, Lewis, Harris, Barra, Vatersay, Canna, Coll, Iona, Colonsay and Islay. Whooper swans are winter visitors and barnacle geese, pomarine and long-tailed skuas may be spotted during spring migration.

The Island of Rhum (owned by Scottish Heritage) - a fair-sized mountainous Hebridean island just south of Skye.  Unlike many Scottish islands it does have some trees. Day trippers can visit the island by ferry from Mallaig and Arisaig but be warned, if whales or dolphins are spotted then the trip may include a time to watch them. A large group of Manx shearwaters of about 100,000  nest  high up on the mountain. You may also see golden eagles, golden plovers, corncrakes, merlins, peregrines and twites.

Loch Druidibeg on South Uist in the Western Isles is home and breeding ground to a remnant of wild British greylag geese. Also find nesting golden and ringed plover, and dunlin.  Sanderling over winter here.

Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve is a 7 peaked ridge Highland reserve at the southern tip of Loch Maree with mainly rocky moorland and pine forest. Buzzards, sparrowhawks, golden eagles,  ptarmigans and long-eared owls breed here.  You should also see redstarts, wood warblers, siskins, ring ouzels, dippers and red polls.

Handa - an RSPB island reserve just off the  coast, just over 40 miles north of Ullapool,  and can be reached by boat from Tarbet during the summer months. The stately cliffs of over 120m in height are a safe breeding haven for guillemots, kittiwakes, and at lower levels, puffins and razorbills. You may also see Arctic and great skuas, twites and red-throated divers.

Several loch-side luxury houses each sleeping 2-6,  pet and child friendly

Luxury self-catering holidays near the sea in ScotlandMelfort Pier and Harbour in Argyll and Bute feature a range of special lochside holiday homes. With high quality furnishings and fittings, along with views over Melfort Loch and spa bathrooms featuring spa baths and saunas, these lodges have plenty to recommend them. Situated around 16 miles from Oban, Melfort Pier and Harbour is also home to a small private beach as well as a harbour with free fishing.

Whether you only have a few days to spend or a week, this is a fantastic area of Scotland, rich in wildlife and wonderful sights.

Activities on offer nearby include walking, cycling, horse riding, golfing and watersports. This is also a good part of the country for bird-watching. Boat trips can be taken locally to discover uninhabited islands rich in birdlife.


Contact: Click on the photograph above
Bird Watching Cottages, sleeps 4-6, near to Loch Caolisport in Argyll and Bute

Secluded country cottages for self-catering holidays by the seaFor an inspiring place to stay take a look at the Ellary Estate Collection in Argyll and Bute.  With a number of coastal cottages a stay with Ellary Cottages could be an excellent choice, particularly for those with an interest in sea birds.

What's more, many of the cottages in their collection benefit from being in tranquil settings where you can enjoy nature at its best.  Activities on offer include fishing, walking, cycling, boating and naturally bird watching.



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