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Places to spot winter wildlife

Fallow deer doe in the woods at Cannock Chase, Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire
Fallow deer doe in the woods at Cannock Chase, Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Discover the best places in our care for winter wildlife watching. See birds arriving for the winter months, woodland residents hopping through bare trees, and shy coastal creatures emerging on quieter beaches.

Abereiddi to Abermawr, Pembrokeshire
Watch choughs swirling above the cliffs all along the Pembrokeshire coast. Part of the crow family, they're distinguishable by their bright red beaks and legs. Look out to sea and you might spot sea birds such as gannets and even pods of porpoise.Visit Pembrokeshire
Belton House, Lincolnshire
When winter comes around, the rutting season ends and Belton's deer herd enters a more relaxed and sociable phase. This can present a great opportunity to come and see them from a safe distance. As the weather turns colder, look out for migratory birds such as redwings and fieldfares too.Visit Belton House
Blakeney National Nature Reserve, Norfolk
With around 4,000 seal pups born each year, Blakeney Point has the largest grey seal colony in England. The first grey seal pups tend to arrive in November, with the last born in January. The best way to see grey seals at Blakeney is by boat from Morston Quay.Visit Blakeney Point
Borthwood Copse, Isle of Wight
Tucked away in a secluded corner of the island, Borthwood Copse is home to an Isle of Wight special attraction – the red squirrel. Winter is a great time to see them, as they come down from the tree canopy to forage for food.Visit Borthwood Copse
Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
Spot herons standing as still as statues by the river at Charlecote Park. From February, they'll build their nests here in one of the largest heronries in Warwickshire. Wintering wildfowl, including teal, widgeon and the diminutive dabchick or little grebe, are also attracted to the river.Visit Charlecote Park
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Find hawfinches and goldcrests searching for small bugs around Charlecote Park. Look closely in the pine trees as there are often small flocks of crossbills foraging seeds from pinecones. On the lake, keep an eye out for goosander, winter plumaged great-crested grebes, tufted ducks and pochard.Visit Clumber Park
Copt Hall Marshes, Essex
The Blackwater Estuary is home to a wide range of wildlife. During the winter months, wrap up warm and head to the bird hide to spy overwintering Brent geese, or keep your eyes peeled for other winter visitors.Visit Copt Hall Marshes
A red squirrel balances on the thin branch of a tree while holding onto the trunk in the woodlands at Wallington.
A red squirrel at Wallington, Northumberland | © National Trust Images/Norman Scott
Crom, County Fermanagh
Crom's landscape on the shores of Upper Lough Erne is full of winter wildlife. Watch fieldfares and redwings from the bird hide or walk through the woodlands and see if you can spy the elusive pine marten.Visit Crom
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, North Yorkshire
There are hundreds of deer in the park at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. During the colder months, look out for red, fallow and sika deer among the trees as they enjoy their winter feed.Visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal
Gibside, Tyne & Wear
During winter at Gibside, look up and you might see a red kite circling above. This bird of prey is easy to spot from its reddish-brown body, white markings and deeply forked tail. Brought back from extinction in England by a re-introduction programme, the red kite population is now growing.Visit Gibside
Lyme, Cheshire
The moorland and woodland at Lyme are home to all sorts of wildlife, from red deer to a variety of birds. Winter can be a great time to view the red deer, as the deer rut is over and the herd is more relaxed. Or, take a walk to find the estate's herd of highland cattle, whose grazing habits help to improve the habitat and reduce the risk of moorland fires in spring.Visit Lyme
Malham Tarn, North Yorkshire
Over the last few years, hundreds of water voles have been reintroduced at Malham Tarn. In winter, keep your eyes peeled and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these shy, highly endangered creatures in the streams around the boardwalk.Visit Malham Tarn
Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire
Marsden Moor is a haven for winter wildlife with a vast diversity of birds, mammals and insects. One highlight to try and spy is the mountain hare – a native resident whose brown coat turns snow white in winter.Visit Marsden Moor
Mount Stewart, County Down
Look out for red squirrels jumping through treetops or searching for food on Mount Stewart's woodland floor. With fewer than 30 breeding pairs of barn owls in Northern Ireland, our rangers are working hard to give them a home here too. Winter is a great time to see Mount Stewart's barn owls, as they often hunt during the day to find the extra food they need for the colder months.Visit Mount Stewart
Birds in flight at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve in winter
Birds in flight at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve in winter | © National Trust Images/Justin Minns
Rowallane Garden, County Down
Head to Rowallane Garden for some winter wildlife spotting. Home to a diverse mix of animals, the trees provide the ideal habitat for beetles, woodlice and other bugs. See if you can discover peckish birds and hedgehogs who love to forage for insects in the debris.Visit Rowallane Garden
Studland Bay, Dorset
The variety of different environments at Studland Bay, with its sand dunes, woodlands, wetlands and grasslands, all play host to a vast amount of wildlife. Catch a glimpse of the sika deer by the marshes and wetlands, and birds such as the black-headed gull, gadwall, curlew, bar-tailed godwits and pintails by the harbour shore.Visit Studland Bay
Wallington, Northumberland
The rangers at Wallington work hard to help support their resident red squirrels. Help us monitor their come-back by visiting the wildlife hide in the west wood – there are lots of feeders there – or stroll along the river to see if you can glimpse one of these colourful characters leaping around.Visit Wallington
Watlington Hill, Oxfordshire
Situated in the Chilterns, Watlington Hill is popular for red kites and far-reaching views over the countryside. There are over 1,000 breeding pairs of red kites in the area.Visit Watlington Hill
Wembury, Devon
A paradise for birdwatchers, the shoreline at Wembury Beach harbours many rare birds, including the curl bunting. Dartmoor ponies wander around the surrounding hills, while sharks, seals and porpoise roam the sea. At low tide, discover a world of crabs, starfish and anemones in the rock pools.Visit Wembury
Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire
There's lots of winter wildlife at Wicken Fen. Watch hen harriers coming to roost over Sedge Fen at dusk during the colder months, or look out for short-eared owls on Burwell Fen. You might catch a starling murmuration, which is a dramatic flying display of starlings.Visit Wicken Fen Nature Reserve
Visitors  walk through a round structure of twigs in Walk Wood, Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

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