Scottish Highlands winter wildlife

Explore the Scottish Highlands at Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. In winter the Scottish Highlands landscape turns into a winter wonderland and our hotel is right in the middle of it all. You’re invited to join us on a winter wildlife adventure to see amazing creatures that love the colder months. Come and discover the wonders of the Scottish Highlands winter wildlife with us!

Red deer

One of the most iconic and awe-inspiring creatures of the Scottish Highlands is the red deer. Winter brings a certain mystique to these animals as they roam the snow-covered glens and hillsides. You’re most likely to spot a Red Deer in the woods during winter. The best times are early morning or evening when it’s quiet. You can go deer spotting in local locations from Kingsmills Hotel. Cairngorms National Park is just over a 20-minute drive from Kingsmills Hotel, where you can explore the great Scottish outdoors and hopefully spot some red deer in the wild.

red deer stag in Beautiful Alpen Glow hitting mountain peaks in Scottish Highlands during stunning Winter landscape sunrise.
Red Deer at sunrise in the Scottish mountains.


For birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, the Scottish Highlands in winter offers a unique opportunity to spot Ptarmigan. During the summer, it sports a mix of grey, brown and black on its upper body, complemented by white bellies and wings. Come winter, it transforms into a completely white, with only its tail and eye-patch retaining their black hue. These well-camouflaged birds, with their white plumage, blend seamlessly with the snowy terrain. Ptarmigan are often found exclusively in the Scottish Highlands and thrive in Arctic-like conditions.

Ptarmigan in winter in a snowy surrounding.
A Ptarmigan’s feathers turn white in winter.

Mountain hare

Meet the Mountain Hare – a fascinating creature that loves the winter wonderland of the Highlands. These hares have special white fur that helps them blend in with the snowy landscapes. In summer, their coats are grey and brown to match the heather moorland. In winter they turn completely white to blend in with the snow. If you’re out for a winter walk in the Highlands specifically Cairngorm National Park, keep your eyes open for these hares hopping across snowy moorland in a distinctive zigzag pattern.

mountain hare, Lepus timidus, walking, running and sat in the snow during a sunny winters day on a slope in the cairngorm national park, scotland
A Mountain Hare in Cairngorm National Park.

Red squirrel

The Scottish Highlands winter wildlife comes alive with the charming presence of Red Squirrels. Even in the colder months, these lively creatures continue to play and explore the woodlands. With their fluffy red fur, they stand out against the winter foliage, creating a delightful sight for those exploring the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands in winter. Venture into the woodlands around Inverness and you might just catch a glimpse of these adorable creatures as they navigate the winter wonderland.

Red Squirrel sitting in the snow eating a nut
A Red Squirrel sitting in the snow eating a nut.

Easy accessibility to winter wonders

Contrary to common misconceptions, the Scottish Highlands are remarkably accessible during the winter months. Kingmills Hotel ensures a comfortable retreat for guests returning from their wildlife excursions. Making it easy for visitors to explore the untamed beauty of the Highlands. Well-maintained roads make travelling convenient and hassle-free. Kingmills Hotel is a warm and welcoming haven. Ensuring that your Scottish Highlands winter wildlife experience is nothing short of extraordinary.

Man driving a car in the Highlands, Scotland
Driving in winter in the Scottish Highlands.

So if you are planning on exploring the Scottish Highlands in winter our team is on hand to help you plan this exciting trip. Contact us today or book online.