Pine Forest Wildlife Tour

Rated 4.80 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)


A wildlife tour exploring some of the famous pineforests of the Cairngorms, packed with rare species and great views.

Private guiding for up to four people. Half and full day options available.


Select a date to view available bookings.

Choose a date above to see available times.


Explore old Caledonian pine forest…

The Pine Forest wildlife tour explores one of the rarest forests in Britain. Located in the Cairngorms National Park, these are world famous remnants of the huge Caledonian forest.

caledonian pine forest
Caledonian pine forest

That habitat once spread across the uplands of northern Europe, following the end of the last Ice Age.

Rare forest wildlife to be found

We will be sharing the woods with some of the most elusive and intriguing forest species in Britain. For example, birds such as scottish crossbill, capercaillie and crested tit and mammals such as pine marten and red squirrel. Indeed the famous osprey nest protected by the RSPB is located in the Abernethy Pine Forest Reserve.

crested tit in abernethy pine forest.
Crested tit (affectionately known as ‘cresties’)

Special pine forest insects and plants

However, birds and mammals aren’t the only stars. At the right time of year, spectacular insects, edible berries and mushrooms, medicinal plants and fascinating lichens can also be found.

Twinflower (Linnea borealis)

Enjoy the pine forest wildlife tour in any season

During spring, trees ring with the sound of summer migrants returning, such as willow warblers and redstarts. There is also the chance of seeing a secretive capercaillie (my Speyside Capercaillie and Black Grouse tour focuses on these).

Male capercaillie displaying
Male capercaillie on alert.

During summer delicious blaeberries grow under the trees and many birds and animals work hard to feed their young.

Autumn brings a wealth of fungi and the first frosts. In addition there are also more sightings of young resident birds and mammals as they become more independent.

Winter is a magical time to explore. A dense blanket of snow muffles sounds and reveals animal dramas through intricate footprint trails.

Pine marten tracks in snow
Pine marten tracks

Being in the company of an expert guide, you will certainly get an insight into the life of the forest, whichever season it is.

Wonderful pine forest wanders

There are plenty of trails of varying lengths, all offering great views. These include relatively short all-abilities paths, narrow stalkers’ tracks and old drove roads that weave through the glens.

glen einich pine forest walk
Walking at the edge of Rothiemurchus forest.

The challenge of finding forest wildlife

From the easily missed ‘chup, chup’ calls of Scottish crossbills, to the signs of a pine marten kill, it takes a practised ear or eye to locate some species. Furthermore, many animals frequently move between different parts of the forest. Therefore, we will often visit several good locations during the course of a day.

roe deer in forest
Roe deer

A wildlife tour that respects the forest

Many of the forests and their species are heavily protected, hence the designation of the Cairngorms National Park. As we explore, then, we will take great care not to cause disturbance at nest sites or at display territories. Additionally, we will seek to understand how these forests are protected and managed, for the benefit of both animals and people.

scottish crossbill
Male Scottish crossbill

A memorable pine forest wildlife journey

The Cairngorms pine forests have a long history and some unique inhabitants. So whatever the weather, we will certainly be left awestruck after spending time amongst the mighty pine trees.

Half day options

This tour is available as a half day, but there are a number of other wonderful habitats nearby. So why not create a unique day out by combining this with another half day tour?

Additional information


Half day (up to 3 1/2 hours), Full day (up to 8 hours)

Walking Grades


Highlight species

, , , , , ,

Booking types

Private (up to 4 people)



Group size (maximum)


Your Guide

What's included?

Complimentary transport, Guidebooks, Guides telescope, Guiding, Limited hire/spares

5 reviews for Pine Forest Wildlife Tour

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    R and C Whiffin

    We did not get all we wanted on a hard day. Not your fault – you tried hard and it was appreciated. Your efforts and determination were notable. Above all was your friendly attitude.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    B and A Hooker

    Although we didn’t get to see all the birds we were looking for, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience at just the right pace.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    J & N Smith, North Carolina, US

    Once we described what we wanted to see, you came up with excellent suggestions of how to accomplish our goals. Email and Skype were great ways to communicate and to get to know you before we met in person…we enjoyed being with you.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    N & G Basset (OBE), Hotel Terravina

    We had a great time with you and can highly recommend a trip out with your expert guiding – brilliant!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    D. Playle

    I have used Malcolms’ services as a wildlife guide for the past three years…. we have had truly excellent days in the forest, the mountains, and on the coast. The wildlife can be sparse, hard to find and the weather fickle but with [his] expertise we have enjoyed memorable sightings.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like…