Best UK beauty spots to see wildlife in action – from dolphins to puffins

Coronavirus restrictions are finally relaxing and we can actually leave the house again.

But where shall you go now you can explore again?

Well Number1Plates have researched and found some of the UK's best beauty spots where you can see nature in action including seals, otters, scorpions and even dolphins.

Whether you're looking to get out of the city and enjoy the fresh air, or entertain the kids away from the swings, here are the best places within driving distance to keep you occupied for the day… and even better, you could spot incredible, rare animals.

Enjoy and get planning your day trips and staycations!

1. Blakeney Point, Norfolk – Seals

Blakeney Point in Norfolk is the home of England's biggest grey seal colony with thousands of cute pups born every year.

You can take the Blakeney Point Coastal walking route from the Cley beach car park, but please make sure you keep your distance so you don’t disturb them!

Day trip driving distance from: Lincoln, Nottingham, Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Peterborough, Northampton, Birmingham, Loughborough, and east England.

2. Isle of Sheppey, Kent – Scorpions

It's thought that yellow-tailed scorpions arrived on our shores in the 19th Century. And now there are up to 15,000, including a small colony that lives in the brickwork of a wall at the docks in Sheerness, on the Isle of Sheppey.

Why not have an explore and check them out?

Day trip driving distance from: London, Dover, Ashford, Canterbury, Brighton, Chelmsford, Maidstone, Southend-on-Sea, Brentwood, Hastings, Eastbourne, Guildford, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and the South East.

3. Bosherton Lakes, Stackpole, Pembrokeshire – Otters

You can find a whole host of otters at Bosherton Lakes in Stackpole, Pembrokeshire.

Their favourite foods are eels, pike, perch, roach and tench that live in the lake. You can see the otters at any time of year, but the best time to spot them is early morning.

Day trip driving distance from: Bristol, Bath, Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Worcester, Gloucester, Swindon, Cheltenham, Hereford the South West.

4. Chanonry Point, Cromarty, Inverness – Dolphins

Who doesn't want to see some dolphins splashing about in the water on a day off from work?

Your best chance of seeing dolphins at Chanonry Point is usually on a rising tide.

The main viewing area is on a shingle, stony beach behind the lighthouse.

There’s a path near the car park entrance which will take you to see these marvellous aquatic mammals.

Day trip driving distance from: Inverness, Aberdeen, Wick, Dundee and north Scotland.

5. Kielder Forest, Northumberland – Red Squirrel

Red squirrels are now very rare in the UK, and Kielder is home to 50% of the UK’s population.

Taking a stroll through Kielder Forest is therefore the best way to track down these endangered, fluffy creatures – you’ll often find them on the feeders.

Day trip driving distance from: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sunderland, Durham, Carlisle, Dumfries, Middlesbrough, Morecambe, Edinburgh, north England, and Scotland.

6. Forest of Dean – Wild Boars

There are hundreds of wild boars in the Forest of Dean. You can spot wild boar safely here – your best best to watch them is in the woods between the Sculpture Trail starting at Beechenhurst Lodge and the Go Ape site.

You may see wild boar at any time, but try late afternoon along the logging tracks to give yourself the best shot.

Day trip driving distance from: Cheltenham, London, Reading, Worcester, Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and, Wales, the Midlands and south England.

7. Rutland Water – Ospreys

Rutland may be the smallest county in England, but it’s home to some of the UK's most beautiful nature that is has to offer.

You can watch Ospreys at their nest site on Lyndon Nature Reserve, as they soar majestically through the sky or dive to catch their prey.

Day trip driving distance from: Peterborough, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Loughborough, Lincoln, Grantham, Birmingham, Cambridge, Northampton and the Midlands.

8. Farne Islands, Northumberland – Puffins

The rare Puffin bird is unmistakable and there are few better places to see them up close than in Northumberland. From April onwards, thousands of puffins make the Farne Islands their home.

For this one, you’ll need to drive to the Northumberland village of Seahouses and take a boat tour. You can pre-book 2 hour Farne Island boat trips, allowing you to bask in the sight of wonderful rare puffins emerging from their cliff-face burrows.

Day trip driving distance from: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sunderland, Durham, Edinburgh, and Scotland and north England.

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