Map reveals 10 rare animals you had no idea you could spot in the UK

Lisa Walden
·3-min read
Photo credit: Catherine Clark/ - Getty Images
Photo credit: Catherine Clark/ - Getty Images

From Country Living

From red squirrels to dolphins and wild horses to sharks, a new map has revealed the best places to spot rare animals around the UK, once it's safe to travel again.

Motoring experts from have uncovered a clever road trip journey which Brits can take across the country to see 10 uncommon species. While many of us are used to spotting hedgehogs, badgers and wild birds in our garden, the map reveals the species that are harder to find than others.

For those wishing to get a glimpse of the impressive golden eagle, the Scottish Highlands is the best place to visit, while the red squirrel is most likely to be found in areas such as Cumbria and Northumberland. If it's basking sharks you're after, head to the Cornish coast or the Scottish Hebrides.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

"Take a walk in the UK countryside or national parks and you'll likely come across a number of different types of birds, small rodents, and perhaps a deer or two - but there are places you can go to see wild horses, red squirrels and even otters," a spokesperson for said.

"We think that using these locations to plan your next road trip or holiday in the UK once lockdown restrictions are eased is a great idea - we are a nation of animal lovers after all. If you're lucky enough and travel at the right time, you might even be able to spot dolphins, seals, basking sharks and even killer whales in UK waters!"

Take a look at the best places to spot the rare creatures below...

1. Red squirrels

  • Cumbria, Smardale Gill

  • Cumbria, Wreay Wood

  • Dorset, Brownsea Island nature reserve

  • Isle of Wight, Bouldnor Forest

  • Lancashire, Freshfield Dune Heath

  • Northumberland, Hauxley

  • Northumberland, East Cramlington Pond, Holystone North Wood, Holystone Burn

  • Northumberland, Tony's Patch

  • Northumberland, Juliet's Wood, Briarwood Banks

  • Perthshire, Loch of the Lower

2. Otters

  • Lancashire, Aughton Woods

  • Norfolk, Ranworth Broad

  • Staffordshire, Wolsley Centre

  • Devon, Cricklepit Mill

3. Wild horses

  • Hampshire, New Forest

  • Devon, Dartmoor National Park

  • West Somerset/North Devon, Exmoor

Photo credit: ProjectB - Getty Images
Photo credit: ProjectB - Getty Images

4. Puffins

  • Yorkshire, Bempton Cliffs

  • Aberdeen, Bullers of Buchan

  • North Cornish coast

  • Wales, Skomer

  • Northumberland, Farne Islands

  • Fife, Isle of May

5. Golden Eagle

  • Scotland – Mull (Inner Hebrides), Wester Ross Coastal Trail, Cairngorms and Findhorn Valley, Harris (Outer Hebrides), Islay (Inner Hebrides).

6. Harbour seals and grey seals

  • Orkney Islands, Scotland

  • Norfolk, Blakeney

  • West Cornwall, various locations

  • Lincolnshire, Donna Nook

  • Pembrokeshire, Skomer Island

  • Monach Isles, Scotland

  • Northumberland, Farne Islands

  • Norfolk, Horsey Gap

  • Scotland, Moray Firth

  • Cornwall, Falmouth

Photo credit: Andrew Michael/Universal Images Group - Getty Images
Photo credit: Andrew Michael/Universal Images Group - Getty Images

7. Dolphins (Common, Bottlenose, Risso’s, White-beaked, Striped)

  • Wales, Cardigan Bay

  • Scotland, Orkney

  • Scotland, Shetland

  • Anglesey, Point Lynas and Puffin Island

  • Cornwall, Land's End Peninsula and St Ives Bay

  • Devon, Berry Head

  • Dartmouth coast

8. Killer whale

  • Scotland, Orkney

  • Scotland, Shetland Islands

  • Wales, Cardigan Bay

9. Humpback whale

  • Scotland, Fife, Newburgh

  • Scotland, Moray Firth

  • Scotland, Stoer Head lighthouse

  • Scotland, Hebrides

  • Scotland, Shetland Islands

Photo credit: Barcroft Media - Getty Images
Photo credit: Barcroft Media - Getty Images

10. Basking sharks

  • Cornish coast

  • Scotland, Hebrides

  • Dorset, Lyme Bay

  • Isle of Man's southern coastline

  • Wales, Cardigan Bay

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