Go on a BBC Wildlife highland safari

Join the BBC Wildlife team for six days of wonderful wildlife-watching in the Cairngorms and Speyside. 

Red squirrel
23rd October 2016 - 28th October 2016


Don’t miss the chance to enjoy autumn in the Scottish Highlands and fantastic views of some of the best wildlife in Britain, including red deer, pine martens, golden eagles, badgers, mountain hares, red squirrels, bottlenose dolphins, ptarmigan and a host of winter wildfowl and raptors.

This special five-night holiday is hosted by the BBC Wildlife editorial team, joining resident guide John Poyner and his colleagues to lend their expert help to ensure that guests have the best animal encounters.

The Grant Arms, our base for the holiday, is a specialist wildlife hotel that has a long and distinguished history.

At the heart of Grantown-on-Spey yet close to Anagach Woods where roe deer and red squirrels abound, and the River Spey with its otters and water birds, the hotel offers comfortable en-suite rooms, a cosy bar and a first-class restaurant serving locally sourced food.

It is also the home of the Bird Watching and Wildlife Club with its clubroom, library and lecture theatre where members of the BBC Wildlife team will give evening talks on nature and wildlife photography.

A local wildlife expert is on hand to advise on walks and the best wildlife spots if you choose to spend some time doing your own exploring.


Below is a representative itinerary of the various tours/activities that will be available as part of this all-inclusive holiday, devised exclusively for BBC Wildlife by the Bird Watching & Wildlife Club, based at the Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown-on-Spey.

Depending on numbers, guests will be divided into small groups for the tours and will travel by minibus.

Each group will be accompanied by a member of the BBC Wildlife staff and a wildlife guide, and on at least one of the days by naturalist, author and TV presenter, Nick Baker.

Sunday Oct 23

  • 6pm Welcome drinks and holiday briefing
  • 7pm Three-course dinner with wine
  • 8.30pm Talk on wildlife photography and choosing pictures for the magazine by the BBC Wildlife picture editor

Monday Oct 24

  • 7.30am Breakfast
  • 8.30am Cairngorm Mountain – funicular railway, mountain hares, ptarmigan, snow buntings
  • Packed lunch
  • 12.30pm Findhorn Valley/Farr – wild goats and birds of prey
  • 4.00pm Grant Arms for high tea
  • 5pm Pine marten and badger hide
  • 9.30pm Grant Arms for cheese and wine

Tuesday Oct 25

  • 7.30am Breakfast
  • 8.30am Rothiemurchus Estate – red squirrel photo hide (3 people max), wildlife walk for non-photo people
  • 11am Bespoke wilderness safari for red deer, including lunch overlooking Glen Einich
  • 7pm Three-course dinner with wine
  • 8.30pm Evening talk by a member of the BBC Wildlife staff

Wednesday Oct 26

  • 7am Breakfast
  • 8am All-day trip to Deeside, taking in the Lecht, Braemar, Glenshee, Mar Lodge, Lyn of Dee and Loch Muick, and including packed lunch
  • 7pm Three-course dinner with wine
  • 8.30pm Evening talk by Nick Baker

Thursday Oct 27

  • 6.45am Breakfast
  • 7.45am Black grouse site
  • 9.30am Walk round Lochs Garten and Mallachie – red squirrels, woodland birds including crested tits
  • Packed lunch
  • 12.30pm Chanonry Point – bottlenose dolphins
  • North Kessock - otters
  • 7pm Scottish-themed gala dinner
  • 8.30 Evening talk by wildlife photographer and tour leader, Mike Read

Friday Oct 28

  • Breakfast and departure

This itinerary is a rough guide only. Different groups will do the day trips in a different order. Trips and timings may be subject to change depending on the weather, availability and other circumstances.

For more information about the hotel visit www.grantarmshotel.com and for more information about the Bird Watching & Wildlife Club visit www.bwwc.co.uk

What is included in the cost of your wildlife holiday 

  • Five nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast in a superior room or free upgrade from a single to a double/twin room
  • No single supplement
  • Buck’s Fizz reception on Day One
  • Packed lunches on Days Two, Three, Four and Five
  • Gala dinner on Day Five
  • Free wine with dinner
  • Small-group day trips with a local guide (six people maximum)
  • All transport included on the trips
  • Evening talks on wildlife photography and Scottish wildlife
  • Dolphin-watching on the Moray Firth
  • Evening trip to a pine marten hide
  • Half-day with a photo expert in a hide
  • Trip to see the red deer rut
  • Trip to the top of Cairngorm Mountain
  • The holiday also includes all entry fees and free pick-up and drop-off at either Inverness Airport or Aviemore Rail Station

What is not included in the cost of your wildlife holiday

  • Travel to Grantown-on-Spey
  • Drinks (apart from those specified above); travel insurance
  • Other incidental expenses
  • Gratuities

Please note the programme schedule may change due to weather, availability and other circumstances.

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