Top 6 Hot Spots for Wildlife Photography in UK

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Wildlife photography in UK can be very interesting as there are shared and local cultures that contribute to the flavor of our magnificent landscapes.

From the surrounding water bodies, snow-decked mountains, and valleys, to the forests populated by fast-growing trees and the wildlife population, the UK remains a place to satisfy your lust for adventure and travel.

From sights to be enjoyed in the historical museums – Natural History Museum, The British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum – to the majestic Buckingham Palace, and one of the world’s prehistoric heritage, The Stonehenge-there are many things to delight you throughout the United Kingdom.  

Despite the technological influence in the excellent economy of the UK, its culture and heritage are preserved.

This means that, as much as possible, its history, including the wildlife presence, is preserved in its original form, as best as it can.

From the rewilding landscapes and species you will find in Scotland, to the scare birds you can find in the national parks in Wales, not forgetting the aquatic life, it is impossible to exhaust the wildlife present in the UK, making it a good place to enjoy wildlife photography. 

It may take numerous visits to each country in the UK to truly enjoy the depth of their wildlife.

Why visit the UK for Wildlife Photography?

While the daily lives of many residents in the UK revolve around technology, putting the appreciation for nature and its many beauties in the back seat, you will find that the United Kingdom is home to numerous wildlife species such as red and roe deer, immaculate swans, mammals such as badgers, pine marten, otters, hedgehogs, and foxes, among others.

The different countries in the United Kingdom also have national parks in different locations to help preserve the landscapes and species you will not readily find elsewhere.

Rare birds, such as the Manx Shearwater are present on the Pembrokeshire Coast and you’ll find some aquatic animals you may not find except you venture deep into the coasts.

During wildlife photography in UK, you get to see the biodiversity that exists in the wild as it is pertaining and peculiar to each country and its prevailing ecological conditions.

Not to mention other sights such as the White Cliffs of Dover, Rewilding Projects, Lake District, Fingal’s Cave, and The beauty of Scotland‘s isles and highlands, among others.

Top Species for Wildlife Photography in UK

The biodiversity in the wildlife of the United Kingdom has been declining for decades, however, thanks to some important regeneration projects, it is still a great destination for wildlife photographers.

However, certain wildlife species will easily catch your interest in the United Kingdom.

Out of the numerous wildlife species the United Kingdom offers to you, as a wildlife photographer, here are some of them and places where you can easily get them in their most natural states.

Red Squirrels

wildlife photography in UK

Red squirrels are a sight to behold when they run on tree branches or speedily ascend tree trunks.

It is also endearing to see them in their varying coat colors, depending on the time of the year and their location.

However, these interesting wildlife species have been on the decline in terms of population in the United Kingdom.

To save them, huge volunteer groups along with organisations, such as British Red Squirrel, have been working together to preserve their population by controlling the population of their competition, the eastern grey squirrel.

Where to Photograph Red Squirrels

Red squirrels can be found in many places throughout Wales and Scotland, with a handful of groups still living in England.

However, in Cairngorms, Scotland, you will find the most stable population of red squirrels all year round.

The Cairngorms National Park, which is the largest park in the UK, is a mountainous park that houses a large number of red squirrels.

There are other locations in the UK where you can photograph red squirrels. They include Brownsea Island in Dorset, Isle of Wight, also in Formby, close to Liverpool.

Grey Seals

To see grey seals, you need to be on the shores of the Atlantic ocean.

However, you can easily get to see them in the United Kingdom if you know where to go.

Grey seals are an interesting sight during the breeding season when they clap their ‘flippers’ to attract mates.

It is a known fact that noise pollution is one of the reasons one will rarely see aquatic life, including grey seals, close to the shores.

However, in the secluded coasts where they are allowed to breed in the United Kingdom, noise pollution is excellently addressed.

Where to Photograph Grey Seals

You can easily get to photograph grey seals in the United Kingdom if you visit Winterton, Norfolk. Also called Winterton-on-Sea, this is a county in the United Kingdom, not far from Norwich.

It is a village with a good report concerning holidays. The coast near the village sees a large grey seal population come there to breed towards the last quarter of the year.

There are other hotspots for grey seals where you can easily get to photograph them. They include Donna Nook, Lincolnshire, and Lambay Island in Scotland.

Badgers

Since badgers are protected in the United Kingdom, the best place you can see them digging into the soil, chasing after their food in the night, is at a professionally run set up.

Badgers are widely present in the United Kingdom, and they are protected from hunting.

As a wildlife photographer, it will be interesting to see and capture different moments of badgers’ lives. While some enjoy solitude, others may choose to exist with other groups of about 10 to 15 badgers.

Where to Photograph Badgers

One of the places to see badgers in their element is in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, at Alan McFadyen’s daytime badger hide.

Although their population in this area is low, you can find a bigger badger population all over the United Kingdom.

Otters

Canon 300mm f2.8 Lens for Wildlife Photography

Otters are somewhat like badgers and in some respect, like seals, although not as big.

They are majorly found in an area with large trees or rocks, where they can easily make their homes, called holts.

You will readily find otters close to the shores of water bodies where they can get fish, crabs or other aquatic life to eat.

They are active when they chase their prey in the rivers, with the aid of their webbed feet, but they are also active at other times due to their social nature.

Otter Cubs in their habitat, are very playful and have even been observed making waterslides to play on, an interesting photo that will make.

Where to Photograph Otters

According to their nature, Otters are most abundant in areas that are close to the water and have rocky plains. Also, they will readily live in the roots of big trees.

In the United Kingdom, places of this nature that harbor Otters can be found in the Island of Mull, Scotland, and the Shetland Islands, also in Scotland.

They can also be found in South-West England and the West coast of Wales.   

Deer

Will you love to witness the rutting of the red deer, as affected by the period in different seasons.

Have you wondered just how beautiful the coat of the roe deer can be? One of the best places to get answers to these questions is in the United Kingdom. It is home to the indigenous red and roe deer as its topography and forestry agree with them.

From thick rainforests with open areas, as contained in many National Reserves and Parks in the United Kingdom, to transitional areas and prairies.

Where to Photograph Deer

You can find their natural ecology in Isle of Rum, Scotland – a national nature reserve to many wildlife species. You will find both roe deer and red deer here.

Other places in the UK where you can photograph deer are Richmond Park, Bradgate Park, and Studley Royal.

While these parks and reserves will offer you good deer photography opportunities, you can venture into the wild in in much of the UK to see deer in their element, without restrictions.

Cuckoo

Cuckoos are present in different parts of the world, including the UK.

They can be found anywhere they can get access to food, such as insects or caterpillars, or where they can brood.

Cuckoos are interesting birds as they are not the most social. They often hide from humans and when seen, are usually solitary.

Therefore, the chances of seeing them anywhere, except in places where they are abundant, is slim.

On the rare occasion of sighting cuckoos, it is most interesting and colorful if they are drying after their plumage has been soaked by rain. They spread their wings under the sun to dry, a good pose for a wildlife photographer.

Where to Photograph Cuckoo

Cuckoos are mostly found in areas with dense trees and woodlands. One of such places is Kirkcudbright in Scotland. Again, Scottish Photography Hides gives you the perfect opportunity to achieve a great portfolio of Cuckoo images.

Other places where you can sight cuckoos are Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, Isle of Skye, Scotland, and RSPB reserve Lakenheath Fen, Suffolk.

Other Places to Visit in the UK

Leaving the wildlife behind, many historical and cultural sites across the UK will entertain you as much as the wild.

A visit to Buckingham Palace, the seat of monarch power in the United Kingdom will serve as both educational and entertaining. The cities of the UK – London, Edinburg, Glasgow, Manchester, Belfast, among others have a lot of sights that will keep wanting more.

From architecture in London to food and beverage in Scotland, agriculture in Wales, and Historical walls in Northern Ireland, there are lots of other places to visit in the UK.