Best UK Destinations for Whale Watching and Dolphin Spotting

Whale Watching on Holiday

As with most wildlife watching holidays, the best places to enjoy whale watching in the UK and Ireland tends to be in more remote destinations.


The Scottish Islands are the place to whale watch in the UK

Weather permitting, the Islands of Scotland can be a great place to whale watch.  


Whale Watch on Holiday on the Isle of Mull

In summer time, boat trips operate from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.  Head out to the waters and you may be lucky enough to see whales, porpoises or basking sharks.  As at 2017, there are a number of different whale watching boat trips on offer from the Isle of Mull so choose to holiday here and you'll be spoilt for choice.

Other wildlife to look out for on Mull include various wildfowl including sea eagles and eagles, as well as otters.



Whale Watching from Land in Orkney

Orkney is renowned for its whale watching opportunities.  In season (in the summer months) you may be lucky enough to spot a killer whale, a basking shark, a minke whale or a pilot whale.  According to, around 90% of the orca sightings in the UK are off Orkney.  If you're serious about spotting whales in Orkney you may have to charter a boat as organised boat trips for whale watching are hard to find.  It is possible to whale-watch from land though on Orkney, and look out over the western waters, around Cantick Head is said to be a good spot.

It is also possible to go whale watching from the Isle of Skye.

Spotting Dolphins and Porpoises

The Moray Firth for Dolphin Delight

Experience Dolphin delight on holidayScotland again is a good place to dolphin watch, with the Moray Firth being home to a resident shoal of dolphins.  The population though is wild so sightings can't be guaranteed.  Dolphin watching trips are best enjoyed in summer time, when the weather is finer and trips more likely to run.

The Scottish Dolphin Centre at the mouth of the River Spey near Spey Bay is also a good bet when it comes to seeing dolphins from land (for those who prefer to avoid going out to sea) and even if you don't manage to catch a glimpse of them, you can learn more about these amazing creatures with a visit.

Land-based dolphin watching is also enjoyed by many at Chanonry Point.



Take to the Waters at Cardigan Bay Wales

Another great place to dolphin watch in the UK is at Cardigan Bay in Wales.  This area is home to the UK's largest dolphin population.  There are a variety of guided boat trips on offer in this part of Wales, where you can enjoy looking out for bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic grey seals and porpoises.

Again, the summer months (from June onwards) are usually the best time of year to enjoy spotting these fantastic creatures and dolphin watching is usually way more enjoyable with a bit of added sunshine!


Hints and Tips on Whale and Dolphin Spotting in the UK

Remember to take your camera and binoculars too when enjoying whale or dolphin spotting in the UK.

Before booking accommodation, remember to check if wildlife watching for dolphins or whales is possible at the time of year you plan to visit.

Wherever you choose to enjoy a spot of whale or dolphin watching in the UK, we hope our ideas on some of the best places the UK has to offer for this kind of wildlife watching inspires you.

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