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The best places to see birds of prey in Britain

Birds of prey, including raptors, eagles and red kites, are among the most spectacular residents of the UK’s skies, with their soaring flight patterns and gorgeous plumage. Fortunately for birdwatchers of all ages, you don’t need to venture far off the beaten track to have a special encounter with a bird of prey. Seeking these majestic creatures in the UK just requires you to be in the right place at the right time — and the sight of a kite’s wing or an eagle’s dive can make your camping holiday unforgettable. Here are some of the best places to see birds of prey around the UK.

Discover where to find stunning goshawks

Golden Eagle, Scotland

Golden Eagle, Scotland

Scotland

Scotland is one of the best locations in Britain to see a wide variety of birds of prey, particularly buzzards. However, you can also catch a glimpse of golden eagles, kestrels, white-tailed eagles and harriers in its wild regions. Galloway has its own Red Kite Trail around Loch Ken for people to see this once-threatened bird in its natural surroundings.

The Cairngorms are the place to see golden eagles, usually in flight above the peaks. Their own habitats are excellently hidden, so don’t expect to stumble across them accidentally. No eagles? No worries; the Cairngorms are also home to many raptors and several rare hen harriers.

It’s also worth paying a visit to the RSPB’s Loch Garten Osprey Centre, just outside Aviemore in Inverness-shire. In spring it’s the most popular place in the UK for ospreys to come home to breed. The warmer months of the year are also the best time to see Scotland’s white-tailed eagles off the Isle of Skye. With a variety of camping sites across Scotland to choose from, you can shape a birdwatching trip with Experience Freedom to suit your every need.

 

Red Kite, Oxfordshire

Red Kite, Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire

Base yourself at our Burford site to catch glimpses of the Oxfordshire countryside’s biggest success story: the red kite. Reintroduced to the Chilterns in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the red kite has flourished so much in Oxfordshire’s skies that sights of breeding pairs are now common in the countryside and even above Oxford city itself.

To get a good glimpse of these once-endangered birds, position yourself on Watlington Hill or take a walk around the countryside surrounding the town of High Wycombe, particularly in cooler seasons.

 

Peregrine Falcon, Hampshire

Peregrine Falcon, Hampshire

Hampshire

The New Forest in Hampshire is a particularly important breeding ground for goshawks, which tend to be most visible during late winter and early spring, during breeding season. Elsewhere in Hampshire, the Farlington Marshes hold a surprise: they’re a prime area for young peregrine falcons learning to hunt. Experience Freedom has numerous campsites around Hampshire to help you create that special bird of prey viewing experience, too.

 

Puffins on Skomer

Not quite birds of prey - these puffins at Skomer are the perfect backdrop for predators battling for food

Wales

Lovers of red kites and eagles can have their fill at the Brecon Beacons mountain range in Wales, catching glimpses of the rulers of the skies on walks across the peaks. If you’re fond of peregrines, merlins and goshawks, you’ll likely see plenty at the Gilfach nature reserve, one of the best in the country for birds of prey.

It’s worth remembering that lovers of puffins who flock to Skomer to see them in abundance will also likely see eagles and other predators in flight as they battle for food. Across Wales, birdwatchers should keep an eye out for the rare Welsh ‘white’ kite, or red kite with white feathers; experts believe there may be only six in the whole country. Set up at one of our Wales campsites and see how many majestic species you can spot.

 

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