Moray Firth Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins, the genus Tursiops, are the most common members of the family Delphinidae.  They are warm-blooded mammals and very social.  The Moray Firth in Scotland is home to a population of around 190 bottlenose dolphins, including the WDCS adoption dolphins.  Our bottlenose dolphins are the heaviest of the dolphin species as they are at their northernmost limits and have more body fat to keep them warm in the cooler waters of the Moray Firth. The Moray Firth also plays host to an abundance of other wildlife including seabirds, otters, ospreys, seals, harbour porpoises, basking sharks, minke whales and common dolphins.  

Great places to watch for dolphins are from the ramparts of Fort George or Chanonry Point on the Black Isle. Between these two points the Moray Firth narrows so you get close to the dolphin action.  I would say that although Chanonry Point has been described as the best place to watch dolphins from the land in the UK, it does get very busy in the summer and the car park gets full quickly.  In an attempt to alleviate this problem a shuttle bus runs from Fortrose to Chanonry Point during the summer months.  You can see dolphins from Fort George without the crowds - and of course you can enjoy free entrance to Fort George with the cottage annual pass.


Scottish Dolphin Centre, Spey Bay

The Scottish Dolphin Centre is based on the southern shore of the Moray Firth in Scotland. It is the perfect place to find about the amazing wildlife of this area, including the world famous bottlenose dolphins. 

Based at the mouth of the River Spey on the southern side of the Moray Firth on the east coast of Scotland, the centre is about an hour’s drive from Inverness. Set on a 450 hectare nature reserve that is home to ospreys, grey and harbour seals, otters, wildfowl and waders. It has exhibitions, café, toilets and shop.

Attractions include:

•    Our Underwater World experience, in the biggest Ice House in Scotland
•    Extensive education and outreach programme for children and schools. 
•    Walking on the beautiful Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve
•    Watching otters, ospreys, seals and other local wildlife 
•    Listening to live underwater sound from the sonobouy and exploring the acoustic exhibition

•    Café Wild; relax and unwind with delicious homemade cakes and a cup of tea
•    Gift shop with a fantastic selection of souvenirs.

•    Spot some of the biggest bottlenose dolphins in the world using our binoculars and telescopes
Telephone: 01343 820339

Dolphin Boat Trips

As the dolphins follow the tide to feed on fish you can often see them in the channel between Fort George and the popular viewing point at Chanonry Lighthouse on the Black Isle.  You can also take boat trips, please make sure that the boat operator is responsible and is approved as  Wildlife Safe Operator - one such company is based at Avoch harbour.

From Inverness - Dolphin Spirit, a purpose built boat for up to 75 passengers on two decks, with a heated inside cabin. park at Inverness Marina, cruise duration is 1hr 15 minutes with four sailings each day from April to the end of October, Well behaved dogs welcome. Visit, or call 07544 800620

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Guest Comments

perfect and dog friendly Left on Jun 18, 2018 for a stay in Jun 2018 this is a lovely place to stay. We have done so twice and will be back. Lovely walks from the cottage, garden is secure for dogs a ...