Where to see deer in the Highlands of Scotland

One of the questions we get asked is ʺWhere are the best places to see deer here in Scotland? ˮ And, it’s no wonder really. When you think of the Highlands, what is one of the images that will come to mind first? The striking image of a proud stag. With towering mountains, deliciously cool forests, and sparkling lochs, our landscape here in the Highlands makes an ideal habitat for deer.

To book, look at the 'Availability Page' here on our website and check your chosen accommodation is free. You can then check our tariffs here to see what each property costs in the relevant year to when you want to book. Then fill in the online booking form on this page or contact us here by email. Or you can book by telephone on 07880 706356 or 01496 850382.

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Species of deer you can see

We are lucky enough to have two native species of deer roaming across our stunning landscape. The majestic red deer is the largest of the two, and we have the largest population in Europe. The more fragile, elegant Roe deer are regularly seen throughout mainland Scotland but, can often be seen in the forests and glens on Islay.

Furthermore, when you are out walking or cycling, Fallow and sika deer can also be seen when you are out walking or cycling. Both species were introduced into the Highlands during the 20th century due to deliberate releases and escapes from deer parks.

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Walking and Cycling

We are lucky to have so many wonderful walks on our doorstep here in Islay. Head away from the coastline and you’re sure to spot deer. Forest and grassland walks are the ones where you are more likely to be rewarded with a glimpse of the wonderful creatures. And makes sure you take a camera with you. Deer Photo Stalking is a popular pastime in the Highlands!

For those who prefer to cycle, there are plenty of routes to choose from. We have some great mountain biking trails, speeding around the island on two wheels may not be conducive to wildlife spotting. A leisurely bike ride with a picnic, to sit and experience all of the local wildlife is sure to reap its rewards. We can give you an idea as to the best routes to take to give you a chance of spotting some deer.

Deer rut

The autumn is mating season for all of the species of deer here in Scotland. The stags begin their quest for the best does and so begins the Deer Rut. This is one of nature’s truly majestic events. From the end of September to early November, stags will gather to assert their dominance. The sound of their bellows rings out over the isle and you may be lucky enough to see two stags locking horns. They will smash their horns against the other stag’s horns until they are both exhausted and one is more dominant than the other.

It is a truly magical thing to experience and a memory that will last a lifetime. But, if you come across this when staying with us, please make sure you watch from a safe distance.

Deer safaris

Possibly one of the easiest ways to see deer in Scotland is on a guided wildlife safari or walk. sometimes known as Deer Photo Stalking, these have become very popular over the years. The great thing about this kind of trip is that the person who is guiding you will have local knowledge and will know the best places to try for a sighting. There are a few companies here on Islay that offer this kind of experience.

Islay Outdoors is a local husband and wife team who are happy to take you on a deer photo stalking trek and a whole host of other outings around the isle. You can contact them for more information and to discuss what you are looking for. The outings that they can arrange for you include:

– Historical, archaeological and nature walks to suit all ages and abilities
– Seashore activities
– Beachcombing
– Guided adventure running
– Metal detecting and history
– Guided wildlife photography days while running or walking
– Stalking deer with a camera

Islay Tours and Private Hire also offer a ‘Nature in all her Glory’ tour. The tours are run by Dougie, another Islay local. He knows where to go on Islay to get you the experience and memories you want to take home. He offers a whole host of guided walks and is happy to accommodate your requests. Take a look at what he has to offer on his website.

Get in touch to find out more . . .

Here at Islay Cottages, we offer fantastic luxury accommodation and walking holidays. And, with our local knowledge, we know the best places to find deer. Sound like your ideal holiday? Get in touch on 07880 706 356 or contact us here.

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