Winter wildlife to spot

It might be cold outside, but winter is still a great time to get out and spot wildlife. Rare red squirrels, shy deer and other creatures are easier to spot when the trees have shed their leaves. There's also something extra-special about seeing the best of nature against a frosty winter backdrop.

While there are some winter wildlife highlights that only appear in certain areas (like snowy-white mountain hares or coastal migrant birds), you might be surprised by how much nature there is on your doorstep at this time of year. Take a look below to discover some of our top picks and locations for winter wildlife watching, as well as tips to lend nature a hand during the colder months.

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops and countryside locations are open. Many houses are also open to visit. Advance booking for visits helps us keep everyone safe and socially distanced. At quieter times such as weekdays, booking shouldn't be necessary, but to guarantee entry we recommend booking in advance, especially at weekends and bank holidays. Please check the property webpage before you visit and follow government guidance.

Where to spot winter wildlife near you

Sheep on Cheddar Gorge

Winter wildlife in the South West

Despite the cold, you can still discover wildlife all across the South West over the winter. Whether you're in search of the region's top twitching spots or the chance to see hardy mammals weathering the chill, these are some of the top spots to explore.

Pine martens can be spotted at Crom in Fermanagh

Winter wildlife in Northern Ireland

From pine martens to deer and swooping birds of prey, there's no shortage of wildlife to spot in Northern Ireland during the winter months. Whether you’re keeping an eye out for Irish hares on the trails of Divis Mountain, or spotting harbour seals on the shores of Strangford Lough, there are plenty of reasons to wrap up warm and head outside.

Winter wildlife in the South East

Sheep on Cheddar Gorge

Winter wildlife in the South West

Despite the cold, you can still discover wildlife all across the South West over the winter. Whether you're in search of the region's top twitching spots or the chance to see hardy mammals weathering the chill, these are some of the top spots to explore.

Winter wildlife to look out for

Immerse yourself in nature

With fewer hours of daylight, not to mention the rain and cold, it’s no wonder that so many of us can find winter difficult. In many cases spending even just a few minutes in nature can be a real help – giving us time and space to recharge away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Whether you’re out hiking the hills or strolling around your local park, take a few moments to really tune in to your surroundings. Wildlife spotting can be a helpful way to get started, as you’ll be actively noticing the sights, sounds and sensations all around you – right down to the texture of bark as you investigate a tree, or the feeling of brushing through long grass.

Help wildlife on your doorstep

If you don’t have quite enough time to head out in search of wildlife, why not encourage them to come to you? Try some of our top tips for turning your outdoor space into a wildlife haven. You'll not only help nature to thrive in your back garden, but you'll also be able to easily practice your wildlife spotting skills.

The Diner Bird Feeder hanging outside, full with food and a blue tit sat on the top

Short on time? 

Looking for an easy way to encourage your feathered friends, nature neighbours and wandering mini-beasts to make a pit stop in your garden? Explore our unique selection of habitats, feeders, bird baths and more, including our new range made for the love of nature in collaboration with leading wildlife specialists CJ Wildlife.