We will continue to run our wildlife tours throughout the winter, as long as government guidelines allow. We normally suggest booking well in advance to secure a place, however with the current uncertainty over restrictions, for the remainder of 2020 we suggest you wait until you’re actually on Skye before booking. It’s a quieter time of year and short notice isn’t usually a problem. We will continue to take bookings for 2021 for those confident to make longer range plans.
If you have ever wanted to see a Golden Eagle cruising a mountain ridge or an Otter hunting the shoreline, then you have an excellent chance of making your dream come true on one of our day tours around the dramatic Isle of Skye.
The Isle of Skye is truly one of Scotland’s best wildlife locations for the birdwatcher and wildlife enthusiast. And you never know, on your trip you might get one of those truly amazing moments that we’ve had out:
A Golden Eagle swooping just metres overhead, two pairs of White-Tailed Sea Eagles having a territorial dispute, a female Otter teaching it’s cubs to hunt, or even watching an Otter hunting the along the coast while a Golden Eagle cruises along the hillside behind . . . . which way to turn!
We will resume operating from 15th July 2020. However things are a little different! Tours will be run as private bookings at our standard rates of £54 for adults, £25 for children, under 5’s free (Private tours are normally charged at £432) These tours will be available only until the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted to allow group travel.
New guidelines just released this evening now allow 1m social distancing in minibuses. This means we can now take out mixed groups to a limited extent: One social bubble of up to three plus a second social bubble of no more than two. We are still offering the chance for one further group to follow in their own vehicle. Our current booking form does state that unless a Tour was specifically booked as "private", Tours would resume as being mixed as soon as guidelines allowed. We will of course be checking with people booked in with us over the next few weeks, to make sure they are aware of the change.
As we are not allowed to supply food or drink please bring your own for the day. Face coverings are mandatory on public transport (and also all shops), please ensure that you have your own.
We do have hand sanitiser, but to minimise sharing we suggest you have your own supply.
We can lend you binoculars which will be thoroughly cleaned after each day, however if you can bring your own that would be better. We’ve adapted the telescope to use a phone screen so it can be viewed without contact.
No Minimum Numbers
Visiting various habitats we have the chance to see
White-tailed Sea Eagles
Grey and Common Seals
Great Northern Divers
and many many more, even the odd Minke Whale!
Don't be put off by bad weather as these days can often surprise you with some of the best sightings.
With our top of the range Swarovski Telescope you will be able to see wildlife in amazing detail.
Bring binoculars if you have them, although we do have some you can borrow.
Certain Sightings are of course dependent on the time of year but all seasons provide a wealth of wildlife.
Andy will be your Tour Guide. He has been watching and photographing the wildlife in North West Scotland for over 30 years. He is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and never tires of seeing the stunning wildlife that Skye has to offer.
Wendy looks after bookings and enquiries. She is a photographer and videographer. She is also knowledgeable about the wildlife, so will be only too happy to help plan your tour.
Tours depart from the free Long Stay Car Park at Lisigarry Court, down by the shore.
Departing at 9.45am and returning around 5pm (around 4pm during winter).
Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and bring binoculars if you have them.
The Isle of Skye is a beautiful but fragile environment, as such we take great care on our tours not to disturb any of the wildlife we see.
The majority of our sightings are made from public roads or on short walks on well trodden pathways. Considering the persecution much of our wildlife has suffered in the past, at the hand of man, we do all we can to protect them now.
We will not show you any nest sites or visit sensitive areas, that's not to say we don't get close views, just that the views we have are on the animal's terms not ours.
We will also endeavour to teach you where and how to look for the amazing animals that inhabit North West Scotland, so that not only will you be able to find them for yourself in the future, you will do so in the knowledge that the wildlife you see remains undisturbed.
We work closely with the local RSPB office, especially with the recording of Sea Eagle sightings and distribution.
Otters and Eagles
Everyone loves Otters, although it should be remembered that the Otter sits at the top of the food chain, and is a top carnivore.
The rocky coasts of Skye are an ideal habitat for Otters, the seaweed beds holding a plentiful supply of fish. Otters can be found on Skye’s rivers and inland lochs as well, although they are a little harder to see in these locations.
As with all wildlife, patience is required to spot these beautiful mammals.
The tides, weather, and sadly an understanding of human disturbance, are all factors in trying to locate the shy Otter.
On our Tours we’ve got an excellent record of spotting Otters, and regularly are lucky enough to get more than one sighting in a day.
With around 30 pairs of Golden Eagles, the Isle of Skye has probably the densest population of this magnificent bird in the whole of Scotland.
Golden Eagles can be found throughout Skye, from the high peaks of the Cuillins to the rolling moors of Sleat, from the Trotternish ridge to the high sea cliffs.
That said Golden Eagles are still elusive birds and many a birdwatcher has failed to track down this huge raptor. To be successful seeing a Golden Eagle requires knowledge of the bird’s habitat and habits, an ability to read the weather conditions, a lot of patience, and a little luck.
As I write this we’ve seen 36 Golden Eagles on the last 7 Tours, and the most Golden Eagles we’ve seen in a single day is 10.
So whether you are a keen birder on a dedicated birdwatching holiday, or a wildlife enthusiast who’d just love to see Scotland’s iconic bird of prey, then the Isle of Skye is without doubt the best place in Scotland to see a Golden Eagle.
White Tailed Sea Eagles
The Isle of Skye has Scotland’s biggest population of White-tailed Sea Eagles with 16 pairs, and numbers of this re-introduced bird are still growing!
This magnificent bird of prey is found all over Skye.
It might be surprising to learn that although mainly a bird of sea and loch, White-tailed Sea Eagles are also found inland, one Skye pair in particular hardly venturing to the coast at all.
This habit of hunting all terrains is good news for our Tours, as we often see White-tailed Sea Eagles sat in favourite vantage points where we can get the telescope on them.
To see a White-tailed Sea Eagle filling the telescope, it’s golden eyes glinting in the sun, is some sight!
With a wingspan of over 2m you’d think that these huge birds of prey would be easy for a birdwatcher to spot, but it’s not the case. There is a lot of wilderness in Scotland and on Skye and the landscape can swallow up even a White-tailed Sea Eagle. The birds also have the habit of just wandering in search of a meal, so can be less predictable than say a Golden Eagle.
But we do have a lot of success seeing them, to date 13 different Sea Eagles in a day is the record for sightings, and I personally have seen 11 White-tailed Sea Eagles together on carrion – a stunning thing to witness.
£54 per person
£25 per child up to the age of 18yrs
Under 5's free
Children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.
Packed Lunch Included
Booking is Essential
Dogs can be accommodated with prior booking. A £5 charge will apply
Credit and Debit Cards Accepted
Please complete our enquiry form
For other enquiries please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call on +44 7972 260249
(9am to 9pm)
If no answer then please email, leave a message on the answerphone, or send us a text message.
Please bear in mind that Wendy will not always be available as she is a working Mum with school runs to do during the day. Please leave a message and she will return your call as soon as she is back at her desk.
*Payment at time of booking to secure your place
Frequently Asked Questions
What wildlife will we see?
We have an excellent record of seeing two of Scotland's most iconic species, the Golden Eagle and the Otter. Skye has Scotland's biggest population of White-Tailed Sea Eagles, and we usually see these magnificent birds on our Tours. Although land based we still see plenty of aquatic life, the Summer being particularly good for Basking Sharks, Minke Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoise. We get frequent sightings of Red Deer, Seals, Hen Harriers, plus a whole host of other wildlife. Some sightings are common, such as Great Northern Divers, others rarer like a wandering Osprey. As all the wildlife is "wild", and we don't lure anything with food or visit sensitive breeding areas, then nothing can of course be guaranteed. That said every Tour has so far had a number of memorable highlights, and many have had moments that stay with you forever.
I'm a keen photographer, will I be able to photograph the wildlife?
The Tours are aimed at seeing wildlife, keeping a sensible distance with no disturbance at all. Cameras are welcome and if you look at our Facebook page and website you will see that photo opportunities do frequently arise, but obviously they can't be guaranteed. What you do get though is information of where, and how, to look. You may like to use this in your own time to sit quietly and patiently waiting to get that "shot", if you don't happen to get it out with us.
Will we do any walks?
The Tours are designed to see wildlife from the roadside without the need for long walks. We do though tailor each Tour to the abilities and interests of the group. So if someone has mobility problems then we don't have to leave the side of the minibus. But if everyone is up for a walk then we may well head off on a short stroll.
What if the weather is bad on the day?
We have run Tours in low cloud, heavy rain, and gale force winds, and still had great sightings - particularly of Otters. In reality it's rare to have a whole day of bad weather, and often we get spectacular sightings as the weather finally breaks and the wildlife comes out. We're happy going out whatever the weather and don't see poor conditions as a particular drawback - in fact it can be an advantage at times. That said you are on holiday and supposed to enjoy yourself, so if the weather is absolutely appalling on the day and we can move you to a tour on a different day we will if you so desire.
What about lunch?
A picnic lunch is provided, normally consisting of filled rolls, fruit, crisps, cake and a hot drink. We do try to cater for any special dietary requirements, but please bear in mind that specialist food is not easy to come by on the island. So if your diet is very specific it might be easier for you to bring your own lunch to ensure you are happy.
What should I bring with me?
Please come suitably dressed for the outdoors. Walking boots or stout shoes are preferable, even if we don't do a walk the ground is normally uneven everywhere we stop. A waterproof coat (even if the weather looks good). Bring binoculars if you have them. We do have drinks available at lunchtime but you may like to bring a bottle of water or something similar. Please note that there is limited storage space in the minibus, so please consider the size of any bags that you bring with you.
What about toilet stops?
Skye isn't blessed with many public toilets but we do aim to stop at any we pass (you won't have to ask!), and will certainly make at least one stop during the day.
You say the Tours aren't really suitable for young children but can I bring my child?
We're happy to have children along and have had 5 year olds who have come with us and enjoyed their day. Ultimately it's a day in a minibus looking at wildlife, if you think your children will enjoy that then they are more than welcome.
Dogs on Tours
As dog lovers and owners ourselves we understand that you may bring your dogs on holiday too. We will take well behaved dogs with prior agreement. Please note however that as there is limited room in the minibus any dog would need to stay on the floor. A £5 charge will apply.
What is the best time of year to see the wildlife?
All seasons offer great opportunities to see wildlife. Golden Eagles, Otters, Sea Eagles, Seals, Red Deer, Hen Harriers, are year round residents. The Summer months bring animals such as Basking Sharks and Minke Whales to the coasts. Spring and Autumn offer the chance of seeing migrants such as Arctic and Long-tailed Skuas, and Whimbrel. Winter visitors include Great Northern Divers, Barnacle Geese, and Slavonian Grebes. In fact Winter can be a great time to visit. Both eagle species start displaying in the new year, and with fewer people about the often shy Otter can be more easily spotted.
Why do you ask for payment at time of booking?
We can only take a maximum of 8 people on a tour, so with numbers limited we take bookings on a first come first served basis. We have occasionally had group bookings that filled the minibus with one enquiry, so we felt the fairest way to deal with places was simply to guarantee them once payment was made. Of course there are times when you will find we have availability the next day, but equally some days are filled months in advance.
Why do I have to book in advance and can't just turn up on the day?
This is simply down to the practicalities of catering for lunches, so we need to know numbers in advance.
What's the itinerary for a tour?
Where we go is dictated by the weather, wind direction, tides, and time of year, on any given day, to give us the best chances of sightings. There is no set route, although we cover quite a bit of Skye in a day so see many of the sights.
These are the terms and conditions of Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours.
The contract between the parties is made on the terms and conditions outlined herein.
Price - Prices are as advertised on the Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours website.
Payment - Payment for tours will be required in full in advance when booking.
Booking - Bookings can be accepted from persons aged 18 years and over. Bookings can be secured on full payment at time of booking, via our Bookings telephone line. Information will need to be provided at the time of booking including the name, home address, vacation address (where applicable), e-mail address and telephone numbers of the person making the booking.
What is included - Up to date details of what is included in the tours is publicised on the Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours website. Some Binoculars will be available for customers to borrow.
Dates and Timings - Dates of wildlife tours are as advertised on our website but are subject to change without notice. Customers should confirm dates and times at the time of booking.
Customers Obligations - Customers should ensure that they are suitably dressed for the weather conditions on the day of the tour. Some of the tours do require a small amount of walking. If you have a health problem or physical limitation, which may affect your enjoyment of the tour, then please advise us when booking. If you have specific dietary requirements, you should advise at the time of booking so that we can confirm whether we are able to accommodate you. A certain amount of tolerance is needed when touring with small groups and we expect participants to show consideration for other participants. Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours reserve the right to terminate a tour or not to take a participant if if any participant behaves in a manner that is not appropriate.
Cancellation - Where a payment is made and the client cancels, a full or part refund of any fees paid will only be considered if a new client can be found to take their place. Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours reserve the right to charge an administration fee in relation to trips cancelled by the client, even if a refund is made.
Where a payment is made and Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours cancels, a transfer of bookings will be offered. Should there be no suitable alternative, a full refund will be considered.
Limitation on Liability - Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours will not be held responsible if any of the following events occur, whilst on our tours:
Injuries or any loss of earnings caused by those injuries Illness or any loss of earnings caused by that illness
Target wildlife not appearing during the tour
Cancellation caused by adverse weather conditions
Prices, terms and details are subject to change without notification.
You are welcome to contact us by email, however for bookings please call us as we prefer to provide a personal service and to find the best time for your tour during your holiday. Please bear in mind that Wendy will not always be available as she is a working Mum with school runs to do during the day. Please leave a message and she will return your call as soon as she is back at her desk.
If you are already on holiday on Skye when you contact us, we will do our best to accommodate you. We understand that the mobile phone signal is difficult at times, so please feel free to send a text message as the messages are more likely to reach us when signal seems impossible.