Where to see the Moray Firth Dolphins


Moray Firth is home to around 130 Bottlenose Dolphins | Credit: Ellis Lawrence

The dolphins in the Moray Firth are one of the most popular visitor attractions in the area.  There are many different ways and places that you can try to catch a glimpse of the beautiful creatures.

Dolphins are one of my favourite animals.  They are intelligent, beautiful and can even be a wee bit cheeky!  The unique opportunity that visiting Moray offers to see the dolphins in their natural habitat is a compelling reason to holiday in the area.

There are thought to be around 130 Bottlenose dolphins living in the Moray Firth, and they are the most northerly residing dolphins in the world.

Due to the fact that they live in a colder climate than their relations, these dolphins are a lot bigger and fatter, as they have a larger percentage of blubber in their bodies to protect them from the cold water.

The cold Moray Firth water means that the Bottlenose Dolphins need extra blubber to keep themselves warm | Credit: Anne Burgess

One of the main dolphin spotting hotspots is at Burghead, just an 11 minute drive from Carden Cottages.  From Burghead you access some brilliant spots for checking out the Firth’s wildlife.  The best viewing spot is the cliffs where the visitor centre is.

From the cliffs you can see for miles, gaining fantastic views of the sea for around 40 miles on a clear day.  Taking a pair of binoculars with you is highly recommended.

Seeing a dolphin can be a rare treat, however if you follow Moray Dolphins’ guide you are far more likely to spot one of the magnificent creatures!

If you are unlucky and you miss a chance to view the dolphins there are plenty of other wildlife you will definitely be able to spot.  There are some great birds to be spotted, including sandmartins, comorants, shags, fulmar and herring gulls.

You can also often see seals in the harbour – and if you are really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a whale in the sea!

Burghead visitor centre also offers an insight into the rich history of the area, including the Clavie ancient fire festival.  It also provides toilets, which is always a bonus as you could be waiting a while for the dolphins to make an appearance.

Burghead has a rich history including the burning of the Clavie at the ancient fire festival | Credit: Anne Burgess

Another way to see the dolphins is to go out by boat to see them.  You can go out on boats from Lossieouth, Nairn, Inverness, Buckie, Avoch, Cromarty and Portmahomack.  A full list can be found at greaterspeyside.com

Whichever way, and wherever you choose to view the dolphins of the Moray Firth from, Carden Cottages is the ideal place to come back and relax in after a long day of wildlife watching.